The origin of the stinger: How Tiger stole his dad’s one-iron and learned his patented shot

May 9, 2018

Tiger Woods gave the media a brief history lesson of the shot he made famous.

During his Tuesday press conference prior to the start of this week’s Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass, Woods was asked when he developed his patented stinger shot. While he didn’t specify his exact age when he learned it, he did say it all started when he swiped his father Earl’s beryllium copper Ping Eye2 one-iron. He said he used it for a number of years.

Realizing an airborne ball had more time to drift off track than a low, line drive — a.k.a. the stinger — Woods said he started chipping and hitting low one-irons before he got the mechanics of the shot down.

“Eventually it started to basically cross over into other parts of my game,” Woods said. “I started learning how to hit the ball flat with all my clubs. Because when I was younger, I grew up on kikuyu grass out there in SoCal, and you can’t ever roll the ball up, so you had to throw it straight up in the air, so when I was younger I hit the ball straight up, full release as high as I could, and I had to learn to bring it down. That one-iron was probably the start of learning how to hit the ball down, and plus we had balata balls back then, so learning how to take spin off of it was a big thing.”

You can see tee times for Players week here, and check out Woods hitting the aforementioned stinger below.