As a golf enthusiast, you surely have noticed golfers hitting stinger, a unique golf shot. To be more precise, Tiger Woods is often seen pulling this golf shot smoothly and changing the game. He is the one who developed this method in the late 90s. And now many players, including Zac Radford, play it to turn the game in their favor.
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What is the Stinger Golf Shot?
Stinger is a low-flying golf shot with a low spin rate where the golf ball goes a long way on the ground. It starts flying low when hit and then gradually rises while gaining speed. It is mainly played in windy or cold weather when the air force distracts the ball. Since this shot is lower than the usual trajectory, it rolls on the ground and travels a good distance.
Stinger is also helpful when you are playing in the woods and want to hit a good shot avoiding the trees overhead. Hitting the stinger also helps while golfing at a narrow fairway. Or if the holes in the golf course are filled with sand or water.
In short, a stinger can be described as a controlled and punch shot that helps to keep you on the right track when in trouble.
Who Should Use the Stinger?
The Stinger golf shot is an appealing shot to many. If you hit an excellent stinger golf shot, you’ll hear people applauding loudly. But not everyone can pull this cool shot off easily. Mostly low handicappers who tend to adjust their swings use this shot in the game. Also, players who are comfortable and confident with the iron and can hit golf shots lower than 85 mph can be good at this.
However, learning to hit the stinger can add a feather to your crown, whether you are a new golfer or a professional. It can get you out of trouble on the golf course and change your game in good ways.
How to Hit Down the Golf Ball: Perfect Stinger in 7 Steps
We’ve observed how legendary PGA Tour Golfer Tiger Woods hits the perfect stinger golf shot and tried to analyze everything regarding this shot, from A to Z.
Hitting down the golf ball, indeed, is a bit tricky. So apart from practice, you will need to gain some skills to be an expert at this golf shot. We will share some golf tips later in this article to make the process easier.
But before that, you can follow the 7 steps described below to learn how to hit a perfect stinger.
Step 1: Choose your equipment
You can hit down the golf ball with any golf equipment that allows you some control and delivers speed to the ball. But since it’s mostly used to hit off the tee, we encourage using drivers or the longer clubs. You can use 3 iron, 4 iron, and 5 iron for the best result while trying it for the first time.
But after you have mastered the basic techniques, you can also hit this punch shot with a driver, hybrid, and wood. However, these require a bit different hitting style.
To start with, we’d suggest using a 5 iron. It combines forgiveness and distance perfectly. Lower than this number can be challenging to golf swing at first. 5 iron is not too long, and you can have enough control over the trajectory.
Step 2: Prepare your set-up
How you set up everything before the shot can influence the result. Setting up here includes your stance, address, and ball placement,
Take a normal stance: The ideal stance for hitting down the golf ball is a regular stance that you usually take for any iron shots.
For the perfect stance, stand closer to the ball. The gap between your feet should be narrowed. You can keep it similar to the shoulder length, or the gap can be widened slightly. But ensure it’s not too broad, as a wider stance can make you lose balance and control. Place more than half your weight on the front foot by tilting a bit forward.
Ball position in the back of your stance: The ball position is very important to hit the perfect stinger shot. We’ve seen Tiger doing the same, placing the ball one ball-width back in his stance to hit it low.
So, place the ball slightly further back in your stance for the best outcome. Thus the ball will get a lower flight. This ball placement will also help you to keep the weight on the leading side.
Maintain a ‘y’ shape grip: Keep the grip loose yet firm. Ensure the grip is about 2 or 2.,5 inches down from the normal. The perfect stinger golf shot grip will resemble a ‘y’ formed with your arms and the shaft.
Step 3: Take a normal backswing
You may think taking a short backswing will keep the ball low. But if we follow Tiger Wood’s guidelines, a regular, full backswing can help you make the perfect stringer shot. When you take a full backswing, you turn your hips and shoulders around with total energy, and thus, you generate an adequate amount of power to hit the ball. With that extreme force, the ball travels a long distance.
To take a proper golf backswing:
- Keep the iron parallel to the ground to ensure the correct takeaway.
- Then, rotate your hips as soon as you takeaway.
- Keep your left elbow and arm straight until the club touches the top position. Make sure your left heel is still on the ground as lifting the hell will reduce the ball speed.
Step 4: Trail shoulder ahead of the ball
This step is very crucial. Understanding and practicing this step is a must to learn.
After you are done with your backswing and ready to go for the downswing, it’s essential to feel your trail shoulder staying on the top of the ball during and until impact. Doing such will reduce the loft on the club and the ball will be at a lower flight. Unfortunately, it means your trail shoulder must cover the ball to hit the perfect stinger shot.
To keep the trail shoulder ahead of the ball, you have to:
- Put 70% of your weight forward
- Keep your hands a bit ahead
- Right shoulder in front and impact
Step 5: Keep your arm, shoulder, and body relaxed.
Most players aren’t familiar with stinger shots. That’s why it’s normal to be nervous and have tension through your muscles and grips. Your hands, arms, and lower body become stiff. But this state can backfire on all of your strategies and efforts.
Your best stinger shot will happen when you are relaxed and the body rotation leads your shot.
This shot demands your body rotation to lead the golf swing. You must soften your arms while speeding up the hip rotation to hit down the golf ball ball. So it’s important to keep the arms loose to ensure a consistent result.
Step 6: Follow the ‘Breaking Mechanism’
Stop your hand as fast as you can post-impact. Stopping the hand around shoulder height is called the Breaking Mechanism. This step relates to the previous step we mentioned: keep the hands soft and rotate the lower part. Thus you will have control over your hands to stop it as soon as you impact. It’s like breaking your hands to be consistent with the body speed while hitting down the golf ball.
This mechanism can affect the ball’s trajectory depending on your speed. The faster you do it, the lower the shot will be.
Step 7: Pull the downswing to the left
Shot the ball low and left- that’s what you must do in the final stage of hitting a golf stinger. Move your hand and wrist to the left and shot to the left of your target. This move allows your weight to be transferred to the left as you hit the ball. The finishing is lower on the left, resulting in a lower stinger.
How to Hit a Stinger Off the Tee
You can always hit a stinger shot off the tee, and that’s acceptable. We have seen many expert golfers doing so. You can hit the stinger off the tee using any club like irons, drivers, or fairway wood; Here, we’ll guide you with a long iron since it allows much lower flight with more control over the club and ball. But what you need to take care of is the tee height.
Use a lower tee for a low stinger shot. The lower you keep the tee, the lower ball flight you will experience. The rest of the steps are similar to those before.
- Position the ball slightly further back in the stance.
- Your stance should be narrow, similar to the shoulder length.
- Put at least half of your weight on the front foot.
- While hitting down the ball, hit it earlier in your arc.
- Try to cover the ball while swinging it slightly to the left.
How to Hit a Stinger with a Hybrid
You don’t have to worry if you wonder whether hitting a stinger shot with a hybrid is possible. You can pull off an excellent stinger shot using your hybrid. However, hybrids tend to create higher shots than irons, so you may not see a very low flight, but in the end, it will be a good hybrid stinger if you follow the techniques.
Hybrids have almost the same length as irons but with smaller clubheads. Hitting the stinger with a hybrid can be executed following the same steps you did with an iron. Here’s a quick guide to hitting a stinger shot with a hybrid:
- Place the ball in the back of your stance.
- The hybrid should be positioned at the lowest point of the swing arc to hit the ball down.
- Keep the clubface closed.
- Rotate your shoulder enough since hybrids are longer clubs when takeaway
- Hit the ball down while keeping the clubface square.
Hopefully, our article helped you understand a perfect stinger and how to do it. For further demonstration, we recommend watching the following video:
5 Tips for Hitting a Better Stinger Shot
Many golfers dream of hitting a stinger shot that’ll turn heads around. True that hitting such a shot is not as simple as hitting a fade or draw. It requires strong skills in golf, enough confidence, and a lot of practice.
But following a few tips and tricks, you can do better at this excellent shot with much ease.
So here are five tips for hitting a better stinger shot.
- Observe your golf course. Golf courses with lush and long grass will likely run faster, giving you less roll. Choose a course where the grass is short and isn’t on growth.
- Use a lower tee while hitting the low stinger off the tee. A lower tee height helps to keep the ball flight low and create a better stinger.
- While the downswing, stay centered over the ball to let your lower body lead the swing.
- Keep the clubface square to the ball on impact.
- Practice with a short distance at first and then gradually increase the yardage for a better stinger.
The Stinger shot is different than a typical golf shot. It didn’t seem simple if you’ve seen it in golf tournaments. But in reality, a stinger combines a few smart and simple techniques. It can be done smoothly if you get the basic approach. It’s a golf shot that feels great to have in the skillset. And we want you to feel the same.
As you go through this complete guide to hitting a stinger shot, we hope you are more confident and mentally prepared than ever. So practice more and more accordingly and apply the tips in between to witness your first iconic stinger shot!