How To Hit A Stinger In Golf

How To Hit A Stinger Like A Pro: Learn The Easiest Method

Author: Larissa Allard

Updated: Aug 21, 2023

Comments: 0

Undeniably, the stinger is one of a kind golf shot that every golfer likes to have in their kitty. 

Even though the stinger has been around for decades, it was not until Tiger Woods who instilled class and confidence and showed the world how it’s done. Since then, every golfer has been trying to get their hands to perfect their stinger. 

As a powerful, low-shot, the stinger demands a lot of control and command to propel things forward. Fret not! It’s easier than you think. 

Whether you are a seasoned golfer or a rookie, this post will help you master your stinger quickly. If you already know how to hit a stinger, you might pick a thing or two to better things.

After all, there’s always room for perfection, right?

Let’s dig in!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • You can start by using a 5-iron for the perfect stinger shot to achieve the necessary descending blow.
  • You must pay attention to your setup and avoid excessive weight shifting onto your forward foot.
  • Keep your arms loose and free during the backswing and focus on an assertive downswing with a full-body turn to execute a perfect shot.

What Is A Stinger In Golf?

Contrary to what many would like to believe, the stinger shot ain’t exactly original to Tiger Woods.

Sure, he made it more popular than anyone else, and undoubtedly, no one does it better, but the credit goes to another golf legend Ben Hogan.

Hogan was the first to have invented the stinger golf shot and passed down the secret to his friend Claude Harmon, who further taught it to his son Butch, one of Wood’s earliest coaches from 1993.

Stinger Golf
Source: Zac Radford YouTube

As you already know, the stinger shot is essentially a low-playing shot and was purposely invented to combat rough, windy situations where the player can have command and control over a desired distance.

A stinger golf shot is perhaps the only low-flying shot that demands massive power and precision.

Tiger Woods is known to have resorted to stinger shots whenever his driver went unreliable. As incredible as it sounds, Woods could hit a stinger more than 260 yards off the tee by using only a 2-iron club!

Ask any seasoned golfer, and you will know how they favor the stinger shot to play it safe all down the fairway and land on short grass to avoid trouble.

So, when eyeing the perfect stinger shot, you will need to include three basic things :

  • A lot of power 
  • Forward spins and rolls
  • Penetrating flight

Who Should Play The Stinger Shot?

Stinger shots are an absolute favorite among low-handicap players as they are prone to make multiple adjustments before they can swing things away. 

But that’s not all. 

Even mid-handicap golfers who have mastered low playing shots find it easier to tap into low handicap range to play the stinger.

Simply put, the stinger is a fairly easy shot if you know what you are doing. Once you have cracked the code, you will always find yourself returning to the stinger shot for all good reasons.

When To Play A Stinger Shot?

Although the stinger golf shot is an absolute favorite, you won’t be able to hit it every time.

You ask why?

Well, precisely because it’s a shot reserved for long distances in not-so-favorable weather conditions where you still want to pack a punch and do more with precision and spin.

Here are some of the best scenarios to hit a stinger shot:

For Long Straightaway Drives

When looking to hit a perfect stinger shot, long distances are your best ally chiefly because of the roll it gives.

So, only hit a stinger shot when you have a clear and direct view down the fairway center. If you have an elevated tee box, that’s a plus, as it will offer the much-needed extra height and better landing.

Made For Windy Days

A stinger shot can easily cut through the wind. So if you are playing it near the coast, there’s a good chance to score with a few stingers. Just make sure you are using the right end of the club to carry the ball.

Hitting A Par 5 In Style

As a rookie golfer, it’s only normal to fall short on par 5 with a couple of shots. Well, blame the backspin here because, in most cases, it is the only impediment as the ball hits the ground.

Such an approach hinders the rollout toward the target as well. Thus, the approach to a par 5 with a straight, unblocked view of the hole is a good option for a stinger shot.

If a water body or bunker hinders your view,  go for more than one stinger.

Keeping It In Line With Links Style Golf

If you’re playing it on a links-style course, you might as well give the stinger shot a go. Just ensure you keep the shot in line with the shape of the land and avoid playing high lofts.

Courses That Run Fast

Got a fast-running course? Well, make the most out of it with a stinger shot.

Generally, golf courses are way more lush in summer than in other seasons, which means you have to deal with taller grasses.

In other words, not so much room for regular swings. Hence, the stinger shot is the only way to turn things in your favor.

How To Hit A Stinger In Golf?

Now that you know a good deal about the stinger shot in golf, it’s time to get the show on the road by learning how to hit a perfect one. The following steps will make your life easy.

Say Yes To A 5-Iron

You might think the longest iron will help you get a maximum roll in a stinger shot, right? You are mistaken! Your best weapon for hitting the perfect stinger should be a 5-iron.

Simply because the descending blow that is needed to play a stinger usually changes the clubface angle when you make an impact.

So, once you have got the hang of hitting a stinger shot with your 5-iron, feel free to switch to a 4 or even a 3 that will give you the perfect low launch.

Your Setup Matters

No matter who you are or what club you use, hitting the perfect stinger demands you shake up your setup right.

Setup
Source: Zac Radford YouTube

You start by teeing it normally, keeping things to the ground. Remember, pulling off a stinger shot is nearly impossible if you’ve got the iron way too high. 

Also, steer clear from moving your weight too much onto your forward foot, or you will be hitting it down for no good.

Keeping It Easy With Your Backswing

Do you know why a good number of golfers fail to hit the perfect stinger shot?

Simply because they are way too tense. Undeniably, it can appear as a not-so-normal shot when you are trying to pull off a stinger for the first time.

Backswing
Source: Zac Radford YouTube

That’s why refrain from thinking about it more, as it will make your forearms grow even tighter, slow down the swing, and limit the speed at which the ball travels.

So, the idea is to keep “noodle arms.” Just let things hang out, nice and easy.

Fire Up The Downswing

When hitting a stinger shot, you must move your hips and deloft the club at impact. This helps on more than one front.

First, it will help you position your hand across the club, and second, it enables you to stop your hands at the follow-through.

For a descending blow, always keep the club faces straight up as much as possible to help generate the much-needed topspin for the ball to roll out firmly as it hits the short grass.

Always Full Turn Your Body

Lastly, always ensure a full turnaround of your body like you would do in a normal swing.

Here the focus should be on the follow-through. Simply put, shorter follow-throughs guarantee perfect lower shots.

Wrap Up

As all good things on earth are bound to be, keep practicing the stinger as much as possible.

You can record yourself working on your position and command of the ball and slowly but steadily master the stinger, day after day.

FAQs

  1. What club should I use to hit a perfect stinger shot?

    There’s no fixed club to hit a perfect stinger. As we’ve already discussed, you can choose from a 5-iron and even go down to 2, 3, or 4. But be a little careful using 3, especially if you are a rookie golfer, as they are longer clubs and can be challenging to handle.

<a href="https://golfgearz.com/writers/larissa-allard/" target="_self">Larissa Allard</a>

Larissa Allard

Larissa has been a flamboyant golfer since the raw age of 8. With her savvy mind and keen observation skills, she mastered the sport faster than anyone else could. Larissa has always been eloquent with writing and is a graduate of Creative Writing from the University of California, San Diego. Being a golf player for 16 years and a professional golfer for 8 years, she's adapt and has coached many amateur golfers as well.

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