Gary Woodland did a lot of things right at the 2019 U.S. Open — that’s why he walked home with the trophy on Sunday night. But of all the things he did so well at Pebble Beach, there was one that stood out above all others: The Woodland Stinger.
That’s right, it’s the Woodland Stinger, because the shot really is that good. Frankly, we couldn’t blame Tiger for being nervous that golf’s newest major champ is coming for his stinger mantle.
Just look at these beauties.
We all love the stinger, and it's a shot that's needed at the #USOpen
📺 Take a look at Gary Woodland's best stingers.. pic.twitter.com/8XScTEuHok
— BETDAQ (@BETDAQ) June 15, 2019
Woodland talked after his victory about sticking to his game plan, which involved hitting driver a lot, but the stinger was always there as a little security blanket in case he needed it, and never failed him at any point during the week.
— Donald Remington (@donaldremington) June 16, 2019
Woodland first developed the shot under the tutelage of his then-coach Randy Smith.
“I don’t know if I can take credit for much, but if you see that low burner iron that goes about 250 yards, maybe I’ll take a little credit for that because I know we worked on that shot for a really long time.”
Woodland’s swing is uniquely suited to hitting this kind of shot. As you can see, when he gets to the top of his backswing and his body begins moving down, he lets the club drop as he pulls his hands down. The club and wrists re-hinge slightly in a way that is similar to Ben Hogan’s signature move.
U.S. Open Champ Gary Woodland's signature move. pic.twitter.com/wmkc5YhFR1
— LKD (@LukeKerrDineen) June 19, 2019
Woodland hits his stinger mostly off the tee, but he can also pull this shot off out of divots from the fairway. His current coach Pete Cowen helped him develop it. Woodland focuses on swinging even more steeply while de-lofting the clubface, helping keep that spin-loft down which helps him hit that penetrating ball flight making his low-bullet stinger the envy of golfers everywhere.