What is a Stinger Golf Shot? How to Hit It Like Tiger Woods

golfer hitting a stinger shot

What is a Stinger Golf Shot?

A Stinger golf shot (also known as a Knockdown shot) is a highly skilled golf swing taken by professional golf players. During a Stinger Shot, the ball is hit at a very low angle; travelling a long distance without gaining much elevation.

Every golfer will have a special shot or trick they use in their arsenal when facing a highly challenging situation on the course.

Tiger Woods is a good example of a golfer who pulls out his own variation of the Stinger shot in a do-or-die situation.

A Stinger is the perfect go-to shot if you have a lot of trees or low hanging bushes blocking your path, but still need to make the distance.

What’s so special about this shot is that the ball will keep rolling long after it hits the ground. I really do find it a pleasure to watch a nicely taken stinger shot in action!

Stinger shots typically do not have much of spin but are rather focused on covering the distance. It’s an effective shot to be used when there a number of obstacles on the course


How to hit a Stinger Golf Shot

So how do you hit a golf stinger shot? The most important thing you need to hit this shot is excellent control over your club. Club speed is also very important to make this shot work.

To perform the Stinger shot correctly, use a long club like a driver or iron and play from the middle of your stance. You will need to choke down a bit on the grip to ensure that the ball goes a long distance. You should aim for a balanced swing which can still hold enough aggressive power to let the ball fly low.

Stinger shots are a difficult shot to attempt. It took me over 100 attempts to see anything half as close to what Tiger Woods can do!  Although I wouldn’t spend too much time attempting this shit, it’s a wonderful feeling once you get the basics down!

If you’re a newbie or have trouble playing consistent shots, then it’s advisable to first practice improving your overall game, before attempting highly skilled moves like the Stinger.

Instead focus on your stance, positioning and swing technique before you worry about taking near impossible shots.

You need to remember these 2 tips to hit the perfect stinger shot.

  • Good club speed is necessary to let the ball roll and travel far into the fairway.
  • You need to hit clean shots while keeping a balanced swing.


How to Hit a Low Stinger Golf Shot

Hitting a stinger shot takes many hours of practice. It does become an easier shot once you have good control over the ball. To hit the perfect stinger shot, follow these tips:

  • Stinger shots require an on-plane swing during the impact.

  • It’s necessary to have optimum control of your club. Don’t try to be too aggressive and be sure to keep a relaxed posture while hitting the ball.

  • Using a divot in front of the ball can help you get the perfect control over the ball. This can help control the spin, as well as the elevation of the ball.

  • Try controlling the clubface so that your wrist doesn’t turn quickly on impact. Doing so can cause the ball to spin too much.

  • While hitting the ball, focus on keeping the shaft parallel to the ground. This will help the ball travel a longer distance while at the same time maintaining a low altitude.

  • Maintain a balanced posture. You can even lean slightly forward so as to obtain the perfect downswing.


How to Hit a Stinger with a Hybrid Club

For some strange reason, many golfers have this misconception that hitting a stinger with a hybrid is near impossible. You can hit a perfect stinger even by using a hybrid club.

The only difference would is that hybrids and irons do have small variation in loft.

How do you hit a stinger shot with a hybrid club? Use a 3-hybrid club. You need to keep the shaft parallel to the ground, keep a balanced posture, and then choke down on the grip. This technique will create low flight and long distance which described the perfect Stinger Shot.

You will need to identify the right counterpart for the iron in order to be able to play efficiently.

In general, hybrids are about 4 degrees stronger than irons.

If you practice using a 2-iron for a stinger shot and wish to switch to a hybrid, remember the 4 degrees loft difference.

You need to pick a hybrid which is closer to the loft of a 2-iron. This will help you maintain the perfect spin and angle while hitting the stinger.

A lot of people find that using a 3-hybrid helps make this shot work better for them. If this is your first time trying a Stinger with a hybrid, I recommend reaching for the 3-hyrbid on your first attempt.

Varying your hybrids during the practice sessions can help you identify the right one for you.


How to Hit a Stinger with a Driver

The most important thing to remember while hitting a stinger is to hit the ball hard, yet manage to keep it low. The ball needs to travel a long distance with a low altitude.

To help you reach the longest distance possible, I recommend you read my other article on golf club distances

A lot of people think it’s not possible to hit a stinger with a driver. A common opinion is that a traditional long iron is necessary to hit a perfect stinger shot. Nowadays a lot of golfers have been attempting to master the stinger using a driver.

Of course, you will need to practice a lot to get the perfect angle! You need to create a low spin while hitting the ball. This will help reduce altitude.

A low dynamic launch is a must to help the ball travel a great distance. If you lean towards the target at impact, you can easily produce a low dynamic loft. If a high dynamic loft is produced at impact, the ball will gain elevation.

Another tip to help you hit the perfect stinger is to square the face up during the strike. You can also lean the shaft forward lightly to help obtain a bow. This can give you more control of the shot, which is crucial in mastering the stinger.


Best Stinger Golf Clubs

A lot of people keep wondering as to which is the best club to use for hitting a stinger shot. As such, there is no perfect club available. It all boils down to how fluid your movements are, and how well you can control the ball.

Practice is the only secret for hitting an excellent stinger! Believe me; it took more attempts than I care to admit! The stinger is the most difficult shot I have ever attempted, and it does require many hours of practice.

Hitting 280 yards with a 2-iron is next to impossible for a beginner. Don’t have any unrealistic expectations when you start out. Start slow and small and build up distance as you progress. 

The best thing about this shot is that you do not need any particular type of club or wood to make it work. A 2-iron or a 3-iron will also work, as will using a fairway wood.

The technique is what makes the difference. You need a club with a long shaft and a relatively big club face. Start with a 5-iron and try covering a distance of about 30 yards.

Keep increasing your range and moving to other clubs. You will work out the correct club and technique after a few tries.


About Tiger Woods Stinger Shot

Contrary to what most people believe, the Stinger Shot was not invented by Tiger Woods. It was instead discovered by Ben Hogan. His friend’s son Butch also learned this shot from him and later became Tiger Wood’s coach. If anything, it was Woods who made this golf shot popular!

This is how Tiger Woods learned the art of hitting the perfect stinger shots.

Woods relies on the stinger shot when the weather conditions become unfavorable, or when his driver performance is off the mark. He is known to use this shot to cover a distance of about 260 yards using a 2-iron.

Golfers will only use this expert shot when it’s absolutely necessary. Stingers are best used when there are obstructions in your path, or when the weather is on the windy side. Woods is known to use this shot even in the place of normal standard drives.

Stingers became popular after Tiger Woods started using it as his go-to shot. It has become his signature shot and no one can play it as well as he does.

During the Augusta tournament back in 2008, Woods used the Stingers shot to make a miraculous comeback to finish 2nd place. The stinger started gaining popularity right after this match.



The Stinger Shot first became popular in 2008 thanks to Tiger Woods. It’s also referred to as his “Knockout Shot”.

Stinger is a special type of shot in golf which can be used when the conditions are quite rough. Wind can cause a ball to derail from its track. If the ball travels at a low altitude, it will not get derailed by the wind and can still cover a lot of distance.

This is the essence of the stinger shot. The ball is hit in an aggressive manner, but the end result is simply magical to watch!

With less backspin and low elevation, the ball cuts through the wind to reach a long way down the fairway.

Keep in mind; it’s by no means a shot to be tried by an amateur or a beginner. Great control and balance are required for this shot to work. If you can master the Stinger Shot, it sure is an excellent shot to have in your arsenal, and the most beautiful golf shot I have ever seen.

You can improve your golf swing by reading my guide here on Regaining your Golf Swing


Ernie loves documenting interesting facts about golf.

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