LAKE FOREST, CALIFORNIA | On the afternoon of Dec. 5, 2006, golf club designer Dave Boone left his Orange County, Calif., apartment for a walk.
He never came back.
Boone's acclaimed Parallax irons, manufactured and sold in the 1990s by Lynx Golf, had won both the Masters and U.S. Open. At 56, though, he was inexplicably missing. Golf at this point was meaningless.
There was speculation that he might be injured or lost in nearby Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park, which encompasses 2,500 acres of steep canyons, slopes, hills, oaks, grasslands and scrubs. At night, in the foothills of the Santa Ana Mountains, it can be freezing cold. Mountain lion attacks have been confirmed in the park, which is open year round from 7 a.m. to sunset.
Intensified searches provided no clues. The Orange County Sheriff’s Department deployed bloodhounds and helicopters. The dogs picked up Boone’s scent, but this led nowhere. Likewise, search and rescue teams found nothing. Boone was intimately familiar with this land. He walked it frequently. A former college football player, he knew how to protect himself.
Some of Boone’s friends, especially those from the glory days of Lynx, wondered about a possible psychological breakdown. Lynx went out of business after declaring bankruptcy in 1998. Boone, the chief golf club designer, left the faltering company before the bankruptcy and ultimately became executive vice president of Zevo Golf. Unfortunately Zevo followed the path of Lynx, liquidating...
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