Is a low-lofted ‘stinger’ iron right for your game? Here’s what I learned testing one

The Lynx Prowler VT Stinger Driving Iron.

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.

Does your bag need an overhaul? Visit the expert fitters at our affiliate company, True Spec Golf.

Luke Kerr-Dineen Contributor

Luke Kerr-Dineen is the Game Improvement Editor at GOLF Magazine and In his role he oversees the brand’s game improvement content spanning instruction, equipment, health and fitness, across all of GOLF’s multimedia platforms.

An alumni of the International Junior Golf Academy and the University of South Carolina–Beaufort golf team, where he helped them to No. 1 in the national NAIA rankings, Luke moved to New York in 2012 to pursue his Masters degree in Journalism from Columbia University. His work has also appeared in USA Today, Golf Digest, Newsweek and The Daily Beast.