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How to use Rory McIlroy’s unique stinger

Rory McIlroy introduced a new type of stinger at the US Open. Here’s how you can try it yourself!

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Welcome to Shaving Strokes, the series where we share the progress, lessons learned and takeaways from novice golfers like you — including the speed bumps and challenges they’ve faced along the way.

Sure, this year’s US Open may be over and a champion crowned, but there’s still a lot to take away from the PGA Tour’s third major of the season.

One of the biggest? Watching the famous bomber off the tee, Rory McIlroy, try something new: A low hitting shot with low ball flight and heavy top spin.

At a course like Pinehurst No. 2, we have seen many pros use the stinger to perfection, which allows the course and its conditions to increase the distance with more roll after hitting the ground. Because of the other elements and the narrow fairways on some holes, the stinger was a great game.

But watching McIlroy use it at … shocking. After all, this guy can crush his driver with ease, and he averaged 335.6 yards during the US Open – second only to the champion, Bryson DeChambeau. So it’s rare to see McIlroy go back and try to rip it.

Since the stinger is an easy concept that beginners like you and I can add to our repertoire, I reached out to GOLF Teacher to Watch Chad Gibbs for tips on how to hit it. Sure, we might not be able to use it like McIlroy, but Gibbs at least offers some steps to try.

4 simple adjustments to hit Rory McIlroy’s shot

In modern golf, hitting monster drives continues to be the name of the game, with players building as much speed as possible while trying to hit it 3-5 degrees. We want high launch and low spin for 90 percent of golfers – and there are few golfers in the world better than McIlroy at doing that.

But every now and then, the player has to take it back and use some creativity, which McIlroy did at the US Open by hitting a solid shot – something we’ve never seen before.

Rory McIlroy leaves the Pinehurst clubhouse after our Sunday opener

In the tense moments after Rory McIlroy’s US Open defeat


Alan Bastable

This type of shooting allowed him to use tight and fast conditions without sacrificing distance. It also gave him a more accurate picture, as the landing sites were small and surrounded by native areas.

So how can you replicate his stinger? By making these four simple changes.

1. Just like a second serve in tennis, you need to change the mindset of your goal. You have to commit to your shot and visualize the different flight of the ball.

2. Next, you must lower the length of your tee and restore the ball position. By doing so, this will help you deliver less consistent loft and more attack rate.

3. In a normal drive, we try to use a max pressure shift that corresponds to maximum brake force, which gives us a natural angular and linear force on the golf ball. But when you hit a dart, it’s not like flying a bell – where the arms and pivot have to connect. You want to feel like your pivot/body is in control, and your arm speed isn’t in the middle of the swing.

4. Finally, hitting the rope means having touch more control in turning – because it’s a rotating movement. The pivot is central and the follow through is short, both arms and torso working together.

If you’re looking to add a stinger bullet to your arsenal like McIlroy and other pros have done at the US Open, start by using the four adjustments above.

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