The Stack & Tilt?

This isn’t breaking news, but I just learned of the new “revolution” in golf this morning when I was leafing through the June issue of Golf Digest (I’m a little behind).

The Stack and Tilt is a major revolution in the golf swing. I’m surprised I haven’t heard of it until now (OK, sometimes I really live under a rock). It was developed by Mike Bennett and Andy Plummer (you might recall reading about them in The Scorecard Always Lies) and is being used by around 20 tour pros, including Aaron Baddeley who has won twice since making the switch. There has been some comparison to the techniques of Mac O’Grady. While I know who O’Grady is, I’m not very familiar with his swing method, so you’ll have to educate me there.

Check out the article linked above for an in-depth look at the technique. The basic premise is rather simple: that shifting weight to the right on the back swing only to then shift back left on the down swing is inefficient and inconsistent. The Stack and Tilt has the player keep the spine vertical over the ball throughout the swing, as opposed to tilted away from the target.

During the back swing, the weight stays left and the right leg is relatively straight. This is a far cry from the currently accepted swing technique, and would be considered to be somewhat of a reverse pivot.

On the downswing, because the spine stays over the ball, the club approaches the ball on an extremely steep angle of attack. To shallow out the club, the lower body must spring up. The article uses the analogy of trying to crush a soda can under the left foot. As the foot pushes down and the left leg straightens, the hips release and thrust upward.

The finish is more along the lines of a reverse-C position, with the spine tilted away from the target for the first time in the whole process.

Admittedly, I’m very intrigued. One of the problems with the modern golf swing is that there is so much going on. This technique promises to simplify some of that. To me, simpler is better. I think I’d like to give it a try on the range and see what I think.

In the mean time, Geoff Shackelford posted about the Stack and Tilt last month. His post was brief, but the comments section has been very lively, with a number of people having tried it with success. There seems to be an indication that it might be easier to accomplish with lower irons and more difficult with the driver, but several people have claimed success there too. There seems to be a lot of consensus that the technique increased ball striking, accuracy, and distance to a noticeable degree.

I’m curious to give it a try for the sake of experimentation, but as with anything new that goes against everything I’ve been taught, I’m cautiously skeptical. As soon as I give it a try, I’ll let you know what I think.

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Further Reading:

Stack and Tilt Instructional DVD Set (Life in the Rough)
Golf Digest Revisits the Stack and Tilt (Life in the Rough)
More Stack and Tilt Analysis (Life in the Rough)
Stack and Tilt: A Follow Up (Life in the Rough)
The New Tour Swing (Golf Digest, June 2007)
Stack and Tilt Part 2 (Golf Digest, September 2007)
Stack and Tilt Critics Speak Out (Golf Digest, September 2007)

Comments

  1. hacker says:

    http://www.southlandgolfmagazine.com/t-av-new-tour-swing.aspx

    Check this video about the hips and legs

  2. Double Eagle says:

    Nice video, hacker. That really does a nice job showing the hip and leg action of the stack and tilt swing.

  3. joe says:

    well i am not so sure about stack and tilt i think in the longterm it will create injuries

  4. Pete says:

    I used to have some back pain with the conventional swing, but since changing to the S&T last year, none.

  5. Double Eagle says:

    That’s one thing I’ve been wondering about, Pete.

    I’ve had some back trouble over the last few years. When I tried the stack and tilt, it didn’t feel bad, but just different. So I couldn’t help wondering what that would mean in the long run. Certainly, back problems can stem from a lot of issues, but it’s interesting to hear that some people who have had back problems are feeling like it’s easier on the back.

  6. hanon says:

    I have got amazing results with stack & tilt in just 3 weeks. Now I hit the ball really straight (with a draw) and with a solid and crisp contact. I have hit more greens than ever before.

    In my golfing life I have tried many types of swing: S&T is by far the most simple and consistent of all that I know. For recreational golfers, the key for consistency is to avoid shifting the weight, and this is what S&T is all about. For the first time I feel confident before swinging and, I really feel that I am going to do a great hit: this is also a big help in the psychological side of the game. What else can I ask for?

  7. curt says:

    I have had much more consistency with the stack and tilt. My power with the driver has improved. I do not use it in my short game.

  8. doug king says:

    hi; I’ve been working on the stack n tilt method for about 2 weeks.wow what a transformation. i used to hit about 12 greens in reg. now im hitting 16 greens in reg.i usually shot 74 to 80, now im shooting par and less. shot 2 under 70′s 3 times so far,two of them could have been 67 or 68 if i could have putted a little better. this swing virtually eliminates my lower back pain. im really excited about this. thankyou for publishing the stack n tilt instruction

  9. Double Eagle says:

    Glad to hear you’re having such great success, Doug.

  10. Erol Dimmitt says:

    Hello Fellow Professionals,
    I very much enjoyed reading the articles explaining the stacked swing concept; agree with almost all principles mentioned besides that it was invented by the authors. We may take a look back at Hogan and todays Jose Olazzabal, Seve and a few others. Me personally have been teaching golf since 1983 and must have tough over 100,000 lessons (Head Pro Muenchen Nord Eichenried – BMW International Open) and in these years find your idea very on the money. As so many great teaching methods and ideas the modern age feels they invented them but sorry to say the basics we have been teaching for decades remain. Enjoyed your ideas on the swing and look forward to reading more in the future.
    Best Regards,
    Erol

  11. Double Eagle says:

    Erol, you’re right that Plummer and Bennett borrowed from a lot of sources for the Stack and Tilt and that much of it has been around for a long time. Unfortunately, history will probably credit them because they codified the swing, gave it a name, and promoted it. They deserve a lot of credit, but so do a lot of others. In fact, they give a lot of credit to Homer Kelley themselves for concepts like the flying wedge and others.

  12. Erol Dimmitt says:

    Double Eagle,

    Oh yes I do give them a great deal of credit with the stack / tilt method; not so much with the “naming” but their ability to recognize the hitting method vs. conventional “swing”. As a very highly experienced “Master Golf Professional” I too have for years been on the road to teaching my students basics that evolve around their physical attributes with minimal latteral movement. My knowledge is unique since having the great opportunity in life to be able to work overseas teaching and observing golf. If you want a lesson on “hitting” the golf ball watch on of Vicente Ballesteros’s golf trick shows; I had the opportunity to spend 4 weeks on the range in Lamanga Spain back in 1995 and till this day the images are very clear. I also was able to see how Seve ruined his swing by trying to change from – you call it stacked to a “body release” player; literally it was game over. Gotta run…
    Regards,
    Erol

  13. Double Eagle says:

    Interesting stuff, Erol!

  14. bob says:

    I think the S&T is good. I bought the dvd set because I was hitting my fairway shots fat. I was demoralized when I began reading about the S&T. The S&T is almost developed for the purpose of pure contact, or avoiding the fat shot. I can’t say that after two rounds that I haven’t hit a fat shot, but I’ve hit a LOT more pure than fat and that is huge progress for me.
    The ‘flying wedge’ is a new concept to me. I’ve taken lessons from a number of pros and have over 20 books on the swing and have never run into it before, yet after only two weeks, I think it is a fundamental regardless of swing type.

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