The PGA Show in Orlando hosts a demo day every year at Orange County National’s humongous 360 º driving range. This is where companies come to peddle their latest and greatest to the PGA Professionals, media and industry professionals who attend the show. In some years it’s a bragging event of who wants to make the biggest splash, flex their corporate muscle, indulge in new found fame or simply as a desperate way to get noticed. This is where you can hit virtually any US Market club and test/compare in real world conditions.
To a bonafide club ho like myself, it’s like Christmas morning, only better. It’s not unusual for the OEM’s to have their club designers and engineers ready to answer any question posed to them and also more then willing to ask questions to the testers themselves.
Well, I was more then happy to oblige their requests to demo their latest, and arguably, greatest releases. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to make it to every demo booth as simply there isn’t enough time in an 6 hour window. What makes the time fly by even faster is when PGA/LPGA/WLD professionals arrive to do a 30 min clinic and sign autographs, it can easily distract one from what they are really there to do. Hit everything. I admit it. I tried. Truthfully they could make demo day 2 whole days and I’m not sure that would still be suffice. But, enough of that. Here is part one of an unknown number of parts showcasing everything I saw and experienced. I truly hope you enjoy this as much as I do bringing it to you.
A while back I wrote a fairly scathing article criticizing Lynx for their refusal to engage and work with Twitter sensation @ClubProGuy. Lynx was starting their rebirth under new ownership and wanted nothing to do with his way of presenting himself. Just so those of you who are unaware of CPG, it is a parody internet account of a failed Mexican mini tour player who now runs a pro shop in Kansas City. To many, it is pure gold. Lynx didn’t, and well still doesn’t, see it that way. It’s too bad. Lynx could use the marketing power CPG could bring them, and probably pennies on the dollar then any other form would afford them. I say that because after demo’ing several of their products, it is a crying shame more North American golfers don’t know about how good their stuff actually is. Special thanks to Lynx Golf’s Andy Sumner for guiding me through some of the product line.
Lynx’s Prowler VT iron set is a hollow cavity set that is eerily similar to the Titleist T-MB in headshape and footprint. These absolutely blew me away. Stunned might be the best word. To me they are the pinnacle of what a higher-COR iron should look, feel and play like. The offset is minimal and the head isn’t huge. The playability is also very good. I was able to work the ball both ways as well as flight the ball with ease. Strikes on off center hits wasn’t harsh and still had a decent amount of forgiveness. Some driving type irons feel awful at impact and designers inject foam into the head to mitigate it. These irons are completely hollow and have the face welded to the body. While they don’t have a max limit CT, they are still have a crazy amount of “pop”.
What I also tested was their Prowler VT driving irons. These have more offset and are larger then the VT irons. The crazy thing is that Lynx Golf makes the VT driving iron in a 12º loft. Twelve degrees! Unfortunately for me the one steel shafted demo they had available was S200 flex, which is a much different feel then the 130gm X flex shafts I normally play. Even still the head was easy to hit and didn’t feel harsh. In fact the head might feel as good as the VT irons. The prospect of having a twelve degree driving iron at my disposal for windswept or tight driving courses might be too good to pass up.
Lynx also had several intriguing clubs, including a driver with a switchable face plate, some awfully nice looking forged wedges and a couple of good feeling Anser style putters.
Another club that caught my attention from Lynx was their Parallax hybrid. This club is a tweener. I wouldn’t classify it as a hybrid per se as it has more of a fairway footprint. The design enables it launch higher and be forgiving while still retaining the easy-to-hit characteristics of a hybrid. The feel didn’t stand out to me but it wasn’t a turn off either.
New for this year is the Prowler Forged iron set. The head has been precision milled in the back and while this is mainly done for looks, I think it also slightly change the feel at impact (that’s a good thing). There are also PXG Type screws that have no effect except for asthetic purposes. They headshape from address is a bit more squared off and has some offset (=/- 1mm). For golfers liking a buttery smooth feel at impact while still having some added forgiveness will love these. Interestingly enough, the price on these is set at $999 (5-PW) with KBS Tour 90 shafts. And yes, 3 and 4 irons are available individually. I can see the 3/4 irons being purchased to compliment their Tour Iron blades.
Lynx Golf debuted their new blacked out Black Cat irons. These irons are solely targeted for the mid to high handicapper. As per most GI/SGI clubs, these are designed for maximum forgiveness and to elevate the ball. Elevate they did. Good luck trying to hit a punched knocked down shot. Ain’t going to happen.
Overall, I can’t stress enough how much I was impressed with the products, especially the VT irons. Kudos to Lynx for thinking outside the norm and be willing to take the risks needed to survive in the market. They still have a huge uphill battle in North America to change the perception of the brand that has been degraded over the past decade or two. These clubs certainly won’t impede that effort.