How to Hit a Stinger Golf Shot
If you are even halfway serious about golf, chances are you have heard about the legendary stinger shot. Although the stinger has been around for some time, it was golfing pro Tiger Woods that made the famous. Woods has regularly reached for his irons and deployed the stinger during his extensive career. Provided you utilise the proper technique, the stinger can be used from the tee itself, launching the ball low along the centre of the fairway.
The stinger serves as an effective alternative to a conventional drive. Teeing off with a driver can send the ball high in the air, limiting distance. By contrast, the stinger more than delivers when it comes to distance, while also ensuring that the ball is properly positioned for the following shot. Once you have mastered the stinger, it will become you go-to starting shot, helping you keep your handicap and scorecard as low as possible. While the stinger has the potential to improve your game, it can be a challenging technique to master for the less experienced golfer. Unsure of whether the stinger technique is right for you? Our guide has everything you need to know about the stinger shot and how to effectively utilise it in your next game of golf.
Key Stinger Requirements
In order to achieve maximum success with a stinger shot, you need to ensure a few key requirements are fulfilled, every time you tee off. For starters, you will need ample club head speed. A stinger shot will not work if you have not achieved sufficient club head speed. It is worth considering an ideal flight path from a stinger shot. The ball needs to remain in the air as it travels down the fairway. You need to ensure you impart enough speed at the moment of impact to ensure enough backspin is put on the ball itself. This should not deter less experienced player. You do not need to have the same power in your swing as a pro-level golfer to get a handle on a good stinger shot. However, those who consistently struggle to achieve good speed in their swings will find the stinger a difficult thing to master.
A clean strike is another key requirement of a stinger shot. Ideal conditions for a good stinger shot require that you make optimal contact with the ball upon the moment of the impact. Achieving a clean strike consistently is a tall order, even for an experienced golfer. Consider how regularly you make clean strikes. If you find it difficult to achieve consistently clean strikes, the stinger shot may be out of reach until you master more basic skills.
Finally, you need to ensure superior balance when looking to achieve a solid stinger shot. Good balance often goes hand in hand with a clean strike, but you should never overlook the importance of balance when attempting to make this type of shot. A clean strike requires perfect balance throughout the entirety of your swing. As you are looking to achieve considerable swing speeds, you will not have time to correct your swing while in motion. You need to be properly balanced over the ball itself and look to preserve this balance throughout the swing, right up until the finish.
Obviously, this is a lot to consider and it is understandable why even the most experienced of golfers have trouble deploying a successful stinger shot. However, provided you fine-tune the basics of balance, swing speed and ensuring a clean strike, you will put yourself in good stead.
The Stinger in Practice
If you think you have the core skills that can translate to a strong stinger shot, you can start thinking about putting the technique into practice. A key thing to remember here is that you will need to spend a great deal of time practising this technique before you think about deploying it on the golf course. This is something to perfect on the driving range before you begin to consider deploying it at the tee.
When it comes to playing a stinger shot, you need to pick the right club for the job. As a general rule, you should be looking at the longest iron in your bag for a stinger shot. You should also look to the tee ball up in the middle of your playing stance. For best results, you should look to play from the middle of your stance. If you go too far back, you are likely to compromise your swing, resulting in it being far too steep as you bring it downwards. You should also apply additional pressure on the grip at address. This is pretty much everything you need to think about when it comes to setting up this challenging shot.
While the setup is straightforward, the swing itself is more challenging. The key thing to consider when carrying out the swing is to remain centred relative to the golf ball. You want to avoid any lateral movements during the swing. Instead, focus on your centre of gravity and aim to rotate around it. This will result in a balanced swing which will allow you to hit down with far more energy. All going well, this should result in a low ball flight that is essential for a good stinger shot.
Another thing to keep at the forefront of your mind as you move the swing through impact is to keep hold of the club. Avoid the temptation to release it. Rather than release pressure on the club, you want to maintain a firm hold off the finish. You should also aim to keep your right shoulder as low as possible throughout the shot. When all is done, the club itself should be positioned in front of you, instead of being positioned at the back of your head as with a conventional swing finish.
When to Use the Stinger Shot Effectively
If you have put in the practice and perfected the stinger shot from the tee, you can consider putting it to use elsewhere on the golf course. The stinger stinger can be played with an iron in lieu of a driver in all manner of play scenarios. If are faced with a tee shot on a narrow par four, the stinger shot is definitely something to consider. Carried out properly with a long iron, the stinger will provide a much better result that what you can expect to receive from a driver.
You can also utilise the stinger for second shots. If you need to move the ball along the green, but are worried your driver will result in a less controlled shot, the stinger is the way to go. A properly deployed stinger shot can also be used to combat adverse weather conditions. If you find yourself at a course beset by harsh winds, a drive is not always advisable. A driver can often launch a ball too highly into the air, where strong winds can dramatically impact flight path. A stinger shot circumnavigates this issue, sending the ball far along the fairway without it having to interact too much with the breeze.
Although you are unlikely to rival Tiger Woods’ proficiency with the stinger, this legendary shot will certainly give you a significant edge on the golf course. Admittedly, this is one technique best reserved for the more experienced golfer, but even the golfing novice can look forward and start planning for this top-tier technique. No matter what your playing proficiency, start thinking about the specific requirements important to a stinger shot. You can also consider practising the basic setup of a stinger shot, as this is relatively straightforward, even for a beginner. Once you have laid these foundations, you can start perfecting the slate of skills required for you to properly employ the stinger shot on the driving range or golf course.