Welcome to Play Smart, a game-improvement column that drops every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from Game Improvement Editor Luke Kerr-Dineen to help you play smarter, better golf.
While putzing around in my garage — which I’ve recently turned into a makeshift simulator situation — I happened upon a club I was recently sent: A Lynx Prowler VT Stinger Driving Iron.
The stinger driving iron is part of the company’s new slate of products as it inches back into the equipment space; they’re available in either 16 degrees or 12 degrees for $129.
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I have the 12-degree version. Curious to peek inside the pandora’s box of what such a low-lofted iron could offer, I powered-up a Foresight Quad launch monitor and hit a few. For reference, my average driver ball speed usually hovers in the 155 mph range, and recently has been tending toward lower spin.
Initially, I was going to hit shots both off a tee and the ground, but my shots off the ground were a disaster: They basically didn’t get airborne. Then I started hitting smother hooks trying to will them off the mat. It was user error that was also going against the point of how this club is designed: It’s intentionally built to be hit off a tee as a driving iron.
So I proceeded to hit eight shots off a low tee, and here’s what we came back with. As you can see, directionally speaking, things looked pretty good. Most shots were low fades over a zone about 20 yards wide.
My spin numbers were south of 2,300 — which is ideal for a driver — but the launch angle was only about 6 degrees. That’s far too low, according to the optimal launch condition chart, and it was costing me distance overall.
My launch would’ve been higher if I had more swing speed, but alas, I don’t, which means I would’ve needed to find some other way to generate more spin to account for the lack of height on the launch.
Keep in mind, I was in my garage, which is why my shots only carried about 200 yards, which is about the same carry distance as my 4-iron. But they did come off much lower and hotter than my 4-iron. Some shots rolled upward of 50 yards (!), though that’s obviously somewhat dependent on conditions.
In all, I just don’t have enough speed to make this club work, but I do think this club could be a serious weapon for a specific kind of player: If you’re an athletic golfer with lots of swing speed who perhaps struggles with control and hasn’t found a 3-wood you can depend on, maybe you need the Stinger in your life.
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