Long Iron Stingers Made Easy


Scott Sackett
Director of Instruction
McCormick Ranch Golf Club
Scottsdale, AZ

More Information

The stinger is a shot most players hit with only 1 technique. They simply put the ball in the back of their stance and swing. I want to go over why this is not the best way to execute this shot. The farther back the ball goes in the stance, the more the path is pushed out to the right and the greater the attack angle becomes (amount down a player hits on the shot).

Why is this a bad idea?  
In simple terms, the ball is likely to curve more the farther the ball moves back in the stance, assuming the face angle returns square. This presents a problem. Without getting into too much detail, players need to make major adjustments to account for the amount of curvature and severity in club path to get the ball arriving on target. We want to keep this shot simple, not full of adjustments.

Solution: Given the adjustments one must make to hit a straight shot, it is advisable to keep your set up and ball position constant while hitting the shot to hit the ball straighter while still keeping it low. I have found the best results with the following data guidelines. You want the height approximately 1/3rd of a normal shot. Average height of every club in the bag for PGA Tour players is 90 feet. Dynamic Loft should be less than 10 and Attack Angle under 4. With a long iron the ball will be well forward. In order to keep the Attack Angle closer to zero (ideal for this shot), the player must swing the golf club well out to the right, as if he was trying to hit up a driver. This will insure the bottom of the arc is reached closer to impact. The handle of the golf club will remain well in front of the golf ball and a release with the right hand will feel delayed. Work with 50% speed to start and get a feel for how to bring dynamic loft down without hitting more down at it. There should be no divot on this shot, even when hit without a tee. 

Scott Sackett, GOLF Magazine Top 100 Teacher since 1999, just voted as one of Golf Digest’s Best Teacher in the State for the fifth year in a row. Also, Director of Instruction at Park Meadows CC in Park City, Utah and while in Scottsdale teaches at McCormick Ranch Golf Club. If you would like to reach Scott, you can contact him at www.scottsackett.com.