How To Hit A Stinger

Knowing how to hit a stinger will come in very handy in certain conditions. Top 50 coach Barney Puttick explains the technique required

How To Hit A Stinger
(Image credit: Neil Tappin)

The stinger not only looks great when you pull it off, but it's also a really handy shot to have up your sleeve, especially in winter. In the following video and article, PGA pro Barney Puttick explains how to play it.

A really productive shot when playing golf in cold weather is the famous stinger. The more you hit the ball up in the air, the more it is going to get affected by the wind, so we’re going to try and flatten the trajectory by making a few simple tweaks.


Most of the impact conditions required to hit this shot can be preset at address. First, move the ball position a little further back towards the centre of your stance. This will help you keep your weight on your lead side, making it easier to stay over the ball through the hitting zone. Use alignment sticks to help with this, at least until you feel comfortable recreating the shot at will. 

PGA pro Barney Puttick preparing a stinger shot at Essendon Golf Club

(Image credit: Neil Tappin)

Another thing you can to do further encourage the desired flight is to nudge your hands towards the target a fraction at address. Now, you're ready to hit the stinger.

The swing

A great way to start honing this shot is to head down to the driving range or practice ground and hit some 7-irons using a long chip and run technique. Make some small swings back and through trying to control the trajectory, hitting the ball maybe 50-100 yards. 

PGA pro Barney Putting hitting a golf shot at Essendon Golf Club's driving range

(Image credit: Neil Tappin)

From there, gradually extend the swing. Take the club back so the hands are at chest height and match that on the way through, all the while trying to keep the ball nice and low.

Once you’ve done that, start to work up through the bag, repeating this process until you can hit this shot with the majority of your clubs. You probably don’t want to swing any further back than shoulder height as you might start to lose some of the control you’re looking to gain by adding the stinger to your repertoire.

PGA pro Barney Puttick hitting a golf shot at Essendon GC

(Image credit: Neil Tappin)

One thing to watch out for is that the ball might squirt a little to the right with the change in ball position. If this is the case, make sure you feel like you're swinging left through impact and you should see the ball flight straighten up.

Barney Puttick
Top 50 Coach

Location: Mid Herts Golf Club

Barney turned professional in 1979 and gained the Assistant Professional position at Dyrham Park Golf Club. He played full time before becoming Head Professional at Ramsey Golf Club in 1987. He can now be found teaching at Mid Herts Golf Club. Barney's favourite golfing memory is tying Greg Norman for third place in a 36-hole tournament in Cannes.

Teaching philosophy:

My goal with every student is to work with the player and what they possess rather than impose a prescriptive style for everyone. The key, for me, is improving players' fundamentals and their impact factors, and setting of that all important chain of events of one good move leading to another. 

Typical lesson:

Technology makes it possible for everyone to see their swing and get their numbers. My job is to unravel them and give the player a positive set of ideas to take away after the session. Using swing drills and drawing sporting comparisons to the swing - for example, throwing a ball - the player can improve quite quickly once they put these into practice. 

Significant influences:

I was fortunate to spend my formative years working for Ian Connelly, Nick Faldo's early mentor. He instilled in me the love of the art form that is coaching, and I still use some of his ideas to this day. Latterly, I enjoyed Bobby Clampett's ideas on the swing, as he was a phenomenal player with a quirky action. His ideas on impact have aligned to my teaching. I have also been blessed to spend time with Mike Bender, Zach Johnson's long time coach.