This is the first article in a new series I am starting on Front9Back9, called Three Footer for Par. It is a series of golf tips and course management ideas that I hope you can use on the course. Now, I am not a great golfer and I am not a golf coach. So I want to make that clear before getting started. I am strictly getting these tips and strategies from trusted sources like Golf.com or GolfDigest.com, two of the many websites or magazines I read weekly. Before I write about them, I have taken them out to the driving range or the course and attempted the tips myself. So these will all be tips that I have attempted to improve my game, so I am not trying to come across as a know-it-all. I hope you come back and read often. Enjoy.
How to Hit A Stinger 3-Wood
During the Honda Classic this week, I watched Camilo Villegas hit a beautiful singer 3-wood various times throughout the tournament. Tiger Woods is probably the person who has made this shot so popular over the last ten or so years, but this shot has been around for decades. I personally have been trying to hit this shot for years and sometimes I can pull it off and sometimes I screw it up. So on Friday after seeing Camilo hit is a few times, I Googled “how to hit a stinger 3 wood” and I read through a couple of the articles to see what I could work on to hit it better. The one I think helped me the most was the one from 2 1/2 years ago on Golf.com by Claude Harmon. Here’s exactly what the article says on how to hit the stinger 3-wood.
At address, play the ball an inch or two farther back in your stance than normal, which will set your hands slightly forward. Choke down about an inch on the grip for added control. These adjustments should cause your arms and the shaft to form a “y”. Make a smooth, full backswing, and try to retain this “y” as much as possible throughout the swing. The stinger’s low trajectory and extra roll result from the bowed wrist position at impact. This means the left wrist is firm and curved toward the target. To feel this, my father had students hit a punch-slice with a long iron, asking them to “hit and stop.” The only way to stop so quickly after impact is to keep the wrists firm.
At impact, my arms resemble the “y” position from address. This prevents the wrists from flipping over or “releasing” after impact. Once you achieve the bowed impact, the finish flows naturally, as the trunk and arms rotate the club around to the left. Instead of causing a slice, this allows for a low, running draw. The faster the body unwinds, the farther you can hit the ball.
The finish should feel very different from a normal swing where the hands turn over. To “sting” it, the wrists stay firm, and the left elbow folds down toward the ground.
When I would attempt to hit this shot over the years I would tend to hook it left. Way left!! So what I did was move the ball a little bit back in my stance and I tried to stay back a little more and over-exaggerate keeping my hands ahead of the ball through impact. This seemed to work a little better but I found myself “chunking” more shots and hitting them real fat. I am talking real fat. I think what I need to do is keep my hands more firm through impact as well and not let them roll over.
So if you are looking to try and hit this shot, I hope this article helps. There are a ton of other articles out there as well. Along with a couple good YouTube videos. All you need to do it type in “how to hit a stinger 3-wood” and hit search.
I am going to continue to work on this shot and I hope you master it as well. If you have any thoughts or comments let me know below.
Villegas photo credit: Greenwood/Getty Images
Woods photo credit: J.D. Cuban