Played a round of Golf yesterday with John Duval, the writer of intothegrain.com. He’s (big surprise) a much better golfer than I am and was really cool to play golf with.
Infrequently and always upon request, he’d impart nuggets of wisdom on this hapless, yet hopeful, hacker.
One of the coolest things he showed me was the knockdown/stinger shot. It’s a shot that has very little loft and spin and when it hits the ground it rolls for a mile.
Coincidentally, he’s previously written about this shot (one of this favorites), here’s the link.
Below is an excerpt of the post.
As with most shots, the secret to hitting the knockdown shot is in your setup. To hit the ball lower, you have to make a few changes that will help you de-loft the club and basically turn a 5 iron into a 3 iron.
Step 1: Take an extra club or two and grip down on the club so that a few inches at the top of grip stick out past your left hand. Choking down on the grip gives you a bit more control and makes the club shorter, which reduces clubhead speed and spin.
Step2: Move the ball back a few inches in your stance. Ideally you want to play the ball just behind the center of your stance. The reason we do this is mostly to force the hands ahead of the ball and deloft the club. Be carefull not to play the ball too far back, as this forces you to make compensating moves to hit the ball solid and produces too much of a decending blow, creating backspin. The goal is to reduce backspin to the shot flies lower.
Step 3: Make a full backswing and shoulder turn. Don’t confuse the knockdown with a punch. This isn’t a punch shot. A punch shot requires a shorter backswing, but a knockdown is a full swing that flies lower, so make a normal, full shoulder turn.
Step 4: Lead with the hands. The key to this shot is delofting the club, and the setup is designed to help that. At impact your hands should be ahead of the ball and the club should be striking the ball with a slightly descending blow. You have to resist the urge to help the ball in the air by flipping it, the goal here is a low flying shot.
Step 5: Follow through low with your hands going towards the target. Tiger likes to play this shot with “soft hands”, which basically means that he’s not releasing the club aggressively. Instead he doesn’t let the right hand overtake the left on the follow through and the result is a low flying stinger, as shown below.
We played out at Eagle Creek Golf club and from the tips, I shot a 93. Which is easily ten strokes better than my average. I attributed it to a couple of factors, one being my custom fitted TaylorMade Burner Irons, another being “rising to the occasion” and playing with a one handicap golfer like John and the last being the new ball I’ve switched to. I’ve played two rounds with the Srixon AD333’s and both rounds have landed me in the 90’s.
I’m working on a post about fitted clubs, which are said to be beneficial to golfers of all levels. At first, I’d always dismiss this as a marketing tactic, but now I think I’ve seen the light. <- stay tuned for more.
Hope the Monday isn’t too harsh!