For anyone that tuned into a golf tournament anytime post-1996, you may have been in awe watching the pros hit a glorified worm-burner with a 3-iron that they can hit 275 yards in any condition. This shot, made famous by Tiger Woods (you may have heard of him) known as the stinger, is a very beneficial shot to have in your arsenal. Even though the guys on TV make it look rather simple, it can be a very difficult shot to play, even for the scratch golfer. Following these 5 steps can help you master this very useful shot:
To hit the stinger, the ball must be aligned 2-3 inches inside your back foot. In doing this, it keeps the club face at a closed position when it makes contact with the ball, keeping the ball flight down.
As you saw in Step 4, in order to successfully hit the stinger, your swing plane must be a touch higher, or steeper, than normal. While this keeps the ball low, it also promotes a fading ball flight. To counteract this, pick a spot about 3-5 yards left of your target (for right-handers) or 3-5 yards right of your target (for left-handers) so the baby fade will bring the ball right back to the middle of the fairway.
When hitting a standard shot, you want to ‘load’ up on your back leg, then transfer your weight back towards the center when driving through the ball. When hitting the stinger, you want to keep that weight on your front leg. This is essential to keep the ball flight down. It allows you to ‘trap’ the ball and prevent the high trajectory.
As mentioned in the previous step, ‘trapping’ the ball is a key aspect to the stinger. Steepening the swing place, or coming over top of the ball, is what allows you to trap the ball. Swinging over the top like is also what contributes to the baby fade as previously stated.
Last but not least, cut off your follow through. This is the most crucial step of the stinger swing. The follow through of your swing is what dictates the height of the trajectory. By cutting off the follow through at your shoulder, this will prevent the ball from continuing to rise, instead staying low and driving through the air.
Follow these 5 simple steps and you’ll be hitting the stinger as confidently and successfully as the man himself.