Lynx Golf for links golf – a purr-r-r-fect pairing

Fred Couples won his only major, the 1992 Masters, playing Lynx Golf clubs. Ernie Els won the 1994 U.S. Open playing Lynx. Short story: Lynx Golf has an impressive pedigree.

Longer story: Lynx Golf was bought out by Golfsmith, which turned it into an in-house component parts company. The Golfsmith went under and Lynx became a “house brand” for Dick’s Sporting Goods.

Even longer story: In 2013, the Lynx Golf brand was purchased by Stephanie Zinser and her husband, Steve Elford. They’re based in the U.K., where Lynx has seen its sales grow by 130% or more for a couple years. Next up: Regaining U.S. market-share.

Lynx has always been an innovator. Look up commercials for the Lynx Boom Boom Driver, one of the early metal drivers—you almost still want to buy one! Their big new driver last year – the VT Prowler SwitchFace – allowed players to actually swap out the face of the driver to achieve desired loft and ball flight, rather than adjusting the hosel (as in all the other adjustable drivers on the market).

Now Lynx is taking some of the treasures of its “glory days” and re-engineering them for the modern game and today’s player preferences.

For example, take a closer look at the Lynx Prowler VT Stinger Driving Iron. Through the decades until the mid-1990s, almost every Tour pro’s bag contained a driving iron, especially when conditions got firm and fast, as they did on the baked-out fairways of Open (aka British Open) venues. Hit a low-flying, low-spinning bullet with a 12- or 16-degree driving iron and not even a Scottish gale-force headwind could keep it from running out over 250 yards.

But times have changed and major equipment companies have convinced today’s players that they need to pull out a toaster-headed driver on every hole, damn the torpedoes (and hazards).

Enter Lynx Golf, whose Prowler VT Stinger combines a muscle-back profile with a hollow, variable-thickness clubhead. The VT Stinger comes in 12.5 and 16 degrees, with steel ($129) or graphite ($149) shaft and two finish options, chrome or “fossil.”

When I opened my 16-degree Prowler VT Stinger, I recalled back a couple years ago, when my driver was behaving quite badly, and I played a half-dozen rounds with an 18-degree driving iron instead. I loved the control, but the feel was harsh, and the distance I got from it varied wildly, depending on minute differences in contact.

Long story: The Prowler VT Stinger looked like an improvement: lower loft, a profile that is clean yet appeared forgiving, exquisite balance and weighting.

Longer story: So I gave it a try on my course indoor simulator first, where swing after swing produced low shots that carried about 170 yards but then ran another 30-60 yards (depending on simulator settings). Then, after 3 days of rain and before my local course closed for the current pandemic, I snuck onto the 17th hole, a par 3 that stretches to 230 yards from the tips. I took 3 old range balls and a broken tee for the best “test” I could give it under the conditions. The first shot I teed a bit high (I thought), and pulled just left of the green, but with beautiful medium-high trajectory. The second shot was teed lower – classic low bullet, no higher than 8 feet off the ground, directly at the flag. The hole runs a little downhill, though, and then back up slightly to the green, and I didn’t see the ball roll onto the putting surface from the sloppy turf in front. The third shot was nearly identical to the third, with a tiny fade. A group was coming to the tee – a group composed of my son and his friends. I asked my son to tell me later where he found those three balls, and then I went back to my car.

Later on, he told me two of them were within inches of one another, a foot off the front of the green. The third was just short of pin-high, 3 yards left of the green, plugged in the mud. In better conditions, those second two might have been over the green…or absolutely purr-r-r-r-fect.

Short story: I dream of the end of COVID-19, and the re-opening of my home course. I dream of firm, fast summer fairways. I dream of getting back to Scotland and Ireland for proper links golf.

In all these dreams, the Lynx Prowler VT Stinger is in my bag. Soaring shots can be hit with it, especially by natural high-ball hitters. But its true glory is the low bullet—the “stinger,” as its name implies—with a tracer-like ball flight and 100 yards of run.

I’ll never be as cool as Boom Boom Couples, but hitting shots like him is a nice consolation.

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