Stack & Tilt aficionados regard the technique as the “holy grail” to golf enlightenment. They are devout followers of Plummer and Bennett, Mac O’Grady and “The Golfing Machine”. The techniques are based on physics, biomechanics and kinesiology and are espoused by its proponents like the gospel.
As I mentioned in my previous article the main premise of the technique is to strike the ground in the same place every time with the club. Let’s put this in perspective. One of the most difficult elements for golfers of most levels is to strike the ball consistently without striking the ground before the ball or missing the ground all together or in other words hitting fat and thin shots. The main concepts of Stack & Tilt to help rectify the problem are to start with and maintain the weight on the front/lead foot throughout the swing.
I do not have enough space in this article to dissect what is right and wrong with this concept but suffice it to say, it is not necessary for the individual who is coordinated with a proper transition when initiating the downswing. Unfortunately many golfers begin their downswings by initiating it with an upper body spine rotation toward the target. If the weight is already favoring the front foot at the top of the back swing then this move can be effective as long as:
1) The back swing is flat (lead arm matches shoulder plane) 2) The shoulder plane is steeper (lead shoulder is lower)
Both can be seen in the swing on the left side of the photo:
Let’s dissect this concept further however. We all know that golf swing efficacy is difficult to maintain. There are times when it is working on all cylinders and yet other times when we simply can’t recreate that magical feel. Why is this? It is because it involves proprioception; the mind body connection that gives us a sense of our body parts. Basically feel for what we are doing while performing a movement. What I find perplexing with Stack and Tilt is that we move the arms, club and coil the body away from the target while attempting to maintain the weight toward the target. This is paradoxical because if the components of our upper body are moving in one direction the weight distribution should follow. It should follow in a natural way and not contrived. However with Stack and Tilt it is suggested to maintain the weight on the front foot. The problem that invariably occurs is that golfers don’t simply maintain the weight on the front foot but they increase it in an effort to stay there. Proof is in the pudding.
We have seen Tiger work more closely toward this concept with Sean Foley. Sean does not adhere to Stack and Tilt but rather a biomechanically sound swing based on geometry. I agree with him on his swing concepts and in working with Tiger we see he has gotten Tiger more on his left side at address. From there he wants to see Tiger coil deeply into his backswing in order to create leverage with the ground with both feet. By favoring the left side at address, the coiling of the torso away from the target places the weight equally on both feet at the top of the swing with both being corkscrewed into the ground. From there everything moves toward the target mindlessly with a complete release (hips, torso, wrists). Tiger in his effort to incorporate these changes on occasion increases his weight to the left foot during the backswing which has caused some problems. He has popped shots up on numerous occasions and has been struggling with fairway bunkers because he has been too steep.
This being said the concept of favoring a little weight on the forward foot at address can be effective but it must be done so properly and although the idea of maintaining it there is nice in theory, it is not plausible due to the movement away from the target with the club, arms and torso.
Next article: Stack & Tilt (part 3) The deception DAVID HILL
Is a certified examiner for the USGTF and a ranked instructor. • 24 year golf professional • USGTF Master Professional • Class Member Canadian PGA • Over 25000 lessons given in career • Director of Instruction Elm Ridge CC Montreal Canada • Owner Montreal Golf Academy (4 Locations) • President/Owner Marquis Golf (Corporate Golf/Travel) • Top 50 Canadian Teacher (National Post) • Top 100 USGTF Teacher