Hitting the "Stinger"
When the wind blows, the perfect shot off the tee is one that barely gets off the ground. I have always enjoyed Tiger Woods hit what he calls his 'stinger' with a 2-iron, and I hope this interpretation on how to play it will come in useful the next time you are heading to the links.
At the set-up, these are the thoughts you should work around when preparing to play a low shot...
- BALL BACK IN THE STANCE (I.E. SLIGHTLY RIGHT OF CENTRE)
- A SLIGHTLY NARROWER STANCE PROMOTES A STEEPER ANGLE OF ATTACK
- FEET ALIGNMENT SLIGHTLY OPEN - THAT HELPS YOU CLEAR THE HIPS ON WAY THROUGH
- 60% OF YOUR WEIGHT FAVOURS THE LEFT SIDE (AND KEEP IT THERE THROUGHOUT)
- HANDS FALL JUST INSIDE LEFT KNEE, GIVING THE APPEARANCE OF BEING WELL
AHEAD OF THE BALL
Uppermost in your mind when you play in any kind of wind is that the harder you hit the ball the more spin you impart on it and the more the ball spirals up into the wind. So make a pack with yourself: Swing a little shorter and easier. Adopting a slightly open stance will naturally shorten your backswing, and this three-quarter, compact position is ideal.
For a pure strike on the back of the ball, the key is to replicate your set-up position at impact. Hands leading the club-head as the upper body unwinds promotes the low trajectory that you are looking for.
The fact that you are trying to minimize backspin is further reflected in the length of the follow-through. A slightly abbreviated position indicates that you have accelerated evenly through the ball rather than attempt to hit at it. Perfect balance on the left side winds it up nicely.