Changing Faces: History of Lynx Golf
John Riley Sr. started Lynx in the 1970s after leaving PING, where he had helped design groundbreaking cavity back irons with Karstein Solheim. In a little more than 10 years with PING, Riley pushed club making and the game of golf in a new direction.
Lynx quickly became one of the top clubmakers in the sport in the 1970s and 1980s, Lynx featured a tour roster of major champions such as Fred Couples (1992 Masters) and Ernie Els (1994 U.S. Open), who both reached world No. 1 in their careers. While Lynx was never the equipment game’s global chart-topper, it was a well-established brand in the club wars, prompting a series of high-visibility folks to invest when Couples led the purchase of the company in the mid-1990s and moved it to Carlsbad, Calif.
The celebrity investors included actors Clint Eastwood and Jack Nicholson, tennis great Pete Sampras and CBS broadcaster Jim Nantz, according to The Los Angeles Times.
Within a few years, however, Els had left for TaylorMade and Couples had begun using a Callaway driver. The company began a slow death spiral in the US,
By 1998, , the company had filed for bankruptcy protection, and finding Lynx products in U.S. pro shops became increasingly difficult for those who bothered
In fact, Golfsmith bought the brand name in 1998 and featured it in its brick-and-mortar stores, but the retailer went bankrupt and the rights were purchased by Dick’s Sporting Goods.
In 2011, Elford and his wife Stephanie Zinser, operating under the name Charles Clare LLC, became Lynx licensees for the UK and Europe. By 2017, they had most of the international rights and began expanding.
Today Lynx has a wide range of equipment and is growing steadily. The men’s range is extensive and includes four drivers—Black Cat, Parallax, Predator, and the new #BB. The #BB received a lot of attention and has been named in honour of the “Boom Boom” couple.
There are also three fairway metals, three hybrids, two wedges, five putters, and eight sets of irons.
At the beginner or high-handicap level, there’s the Predator and Parallax irons which are made with very good-quality components, and are excellent value. At the other end of the scale, there are Tour blades, Prowler Forged CB irons, and Prowler VT irons.
There’s a full ladies range too (two drivers, two fairway metals, two hybrids, three irons, one wedge, and one putter), and Dame Laura Davies and LET player Becky Brewerton are among Lynx’s female ambassadors. Juniors are well catered for too, with full sets and 7-iron/putter combos available in four different colors.