Lynx Prowler VT takes driver adjustability in a different direction with switchable face plates
The Lynx Prowler VT driver takes a fundamentally different approach to adjustability. In fact, you could say it does an about-face when it comes to its adjustability features, but frankly, that would be a little too cute. Lynx’s approach is actually more of a fundamental disagreement with the current landscape of adjustable drivers.
The Prowler VT eschews movable weights and especially rotating hosels and instead has a plan for switchable faces. Still in the prototype phase and not yet on the conforming list of driver heads, the Prowler VT is expected to be introduced as a product later this spring.
The theory is the switchable face provides a better way of adjusting loft without affecting any of the other club parameters, particularly lie and face angle. In addition, says Kevin Woolgar, head of research and development for Lynx, the switchable face approach is a better distribution of mass in the head.
“As far as I’m concerned from the point of performance, the longest drivers have never been adjustable where you’ve shifted all that weight into the hosel,” Woolgar said, also noting that the lack of an adjustable hosel provides a simpler, leaner look. “You’ve got to take weight from somewhere and you’ve got to move it into the hosel.
“The thing is when you set this driver down it is square, and I can change the head to any loft and it’s going to stay square at each loft—8, 9, 10, 11, 12 degrees. And if I want it a degree closed I can give you a face that’s exactly a degree closed, nothing else.”
Woolgar said the saved weight from not having an adjustable hosel is redistributed in the perimeter of the head to improve the head’s moment of inertia, or stability on off-center hits.
The separate faces are a cupface structure made of a cast 6-4 titanium alloy that’s then computer milled. The faces join the 8-1-1 titanium alloy body via five titanium screws around the perimeter of the face, three of which are at the top of the face. Woolgar says their light weight does not unduly raise the driver’s center of gravity, but he also says only in recent years have materials and manufacturing processes allowed this concept to become real, although the idea has been a decade in the making.
“The quality of casting has come on dramatically to allow us to do this,” he said. “And we can actually get the CNC milling machine in the right place to make the design we want and need. When you’re joining two metals together like that, they’ve got to be very precise, and we couldn’t get quite there even a few years ago. Now we can get there.”
Woolgar, who also talked about several new Lynx initatives at last month's PGA Merchandise Show, said he is working on dozens of options for the switchable faces on the Prowler VT to cover a range of lofts and face angles. To start, the plan will be to offer faces in five lofts (8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 degrees) with five face angle options in one-degree increments running from two degrees closed to two degrees open.
The Prowler VT will be sold with two faces ($500). Each additional face will be $100. It will be available in both orange/black and white/black cosmetics. The UST/Mamiya Recoil shaft is standard.