Hitting the ‘stinger’ is regarded by the top players as a ‘safe’ shot as the resultant flight is lower with very little shape, more penetrating in a wind, and able to ‘chase’ down a fairway or up onto a green.
Tiger Woods made it famous with the term ‘stinger’ but, essentially, it is an old-fashioned punch shot which can be used with virtually any club in the bag.
The main focus when playing a stinger is to keep your chest and mass over the ball through impact so it feels like you ‘cover’ the ball. In order to get to this position, you need to follow a few straightforward rules involving set-up, and swing thoughts.
Move your upper body
Your first thought at set-up should be to position the ball in the middle of your stance with both shoulders as level as possible. This gets your spine over the ball, which is the body position you are trying to replicate at impact.
Secondly, the hands should be positioned above the ball, not in front of the ball leaning the shaft towards the target. You are trying to de-loft the club through impact by turning the body correctly, not trapping the ball with your hands.
Thirdly, make a full turn over the ball without swaying to try and get behind the ball. The first feeling you should have when starting down is to plant the left foot so you have a solid platform to turn your hips around.
Through impact you then need to feel like you ‘cover’ the ball with your chest as you turn your hips and body through impact. Feel like you are turning your front hip and front shoulder around to the left as you strike down.
You should not feel like your arms are swinging much; your arms are reacting to your body and hips turning.
Murray Urquhart is the Head PGA professional at Spey Valley and a former European Tour player. For lessons, call Murray on 01479 811725.