锘? In the most recent issue of Golf Digest (June 2007) there is a detailed description of what is called the "Stack and Tilt" swing. This golf swing is being promoted by golf coaches Andy Plummer and Mike Bennett.
In describing the Stack and Tilt swing Mike Smith Jersey
, Peter Morrice, the author of the article, indulges in a bit of overstatement when he says "Their secret...contradicts almost everything being taught in the game today." But is this swing really that unique?
The Biggest Difference
The most important difference with the "Stack and Tilt" swing is the way it encourages golfers to keep their weight forward - on their front foot during the entire swing. Stack and Tilt does away with the normal "weight shift" concept during the different parts of the swing. With Stack and Tilt the golfer starts with about 60% of her weight on the front foot, and presses even more weight towards the front when taking the club back.
To some golfers this sounds a lot like a "reverse pivot." That happens when the golfer leans towards the target at the top of the swing - a move that has been completely banished from mainstream teaching during the last generation. Most of today's teachers of what we might call the "typical modern swing" want their students to stack their weight over their back foot as the club reaches the top of the swing. But Stack and Tilt has the golfer make a leaning motion towards the target while the club is taken up.
To the golfer who is not familiar with the subtle variations promoted by various teachers, it may be hard to spot the difference at first. For one thing with the Stack and Tilt Swing the back leg does not remain flexed as in the typical modern swing. The photos featured in the Golf Digest article (p.122) demonstrate how the back leg straightens out as it pushes back towards the target. When the club is at the top Maurice Richard Jersey
, there is almost a straight line running thru the back leg along the torso neck and head. This line is angled about 10 degrees (from vertical) towards the target.
The result is that the front sided of the body is "stacked" over the front leg, and the back side of the body is "tilted" towards the target.
For a comparison, look at photos of Tiger's swing of the last few years, or see the photo of V.J. Singh's swing on page 43 of the same issue of Golf Digest. At the top of his swing Singh's upper body is "stacked" over his back leg, and the trailing side of his torso is (more or less) perpendicular to the ground - not angled towards the target as with the Stack and Tilt swing.
Lessons from the Past
If you are familiar with the teachings of most modern golf coaches this may sound like a radical departure from golf orthodoxy. But the fact is Matt Duchene Jersey
, there have always been alternative schools of thought which questioned the simplistic "weight shift" idea. In particular, look at old photos of Jack Nicklaus, Ben Hogan or Sam Snead. None of these golfers make the major shift over the back leg like you see with Tiger Woods, for instance.
Or look closely at the famous teaching videos produced by Bobby Jones in the 1930s. He does not shift his weight to the back. Nor does he shift it to the front. He remains centered over the ball throughout the swing with his focus on rotation around the center point rather than the lateral weight shift advocated with the typical modern swing.
Can This Stack and Tilt Help the Average Golfer?
There are clearly some aspects of the Stack and Tilt swing that may help the average golfer hit the golf ball more squarely and more precisely.
The first is the idea of keeping your weight on your front foot. Shifting one's weight to the back inevitably promotes a shallower swing at the same time as turning the ball into a moving target. This increases the chances of bottoming out too early. Depending on the golfer and the course conditions this can either result in fat shots or thin ones. Pressing into the front foot as you take the club back is a good way to force a steeper approach to the ball and a way to eliminate topping the ball. It also results in a lower trajectory since it results in de-lofting the club face. Unfortunately it also puts more strain on the front knee.
The second point is that Stack and Tilt promotes a flatter swing. A flatter swing is less vertical and more rotational, and is the way Stack and Tilt compensates for being more on top of the ball when the downswing is begun.
The third point is the not-much-discussed idea of the "pelvic thrust" which the Stack and Tilt guys claim is necessary in order to get the club approaching the ball correctly. With Stack and Tilt Mark Messier Jersey
, since one's weight and shoulder position are forward, the approach to the ball will be significantly steeper than normal. The pelvic thrust helps to "shallow out" the swing. You achieve this by whipping your hips around and thrusting your lead hip up and towards the target. In other words you have the sensation of jumping up and striking the ball while on your toes. For examples of this see photos of Natalie Golbus or Sergio Garcia, or a younger Gary Player.
If these seem like subtle differences to you, give the "weight forward" idea a try. You will see that it feels quite different from what you are used to. The biggest difference in your game will probably be fewer thin hits. But it may also result in pushes, especially with the longer clubs. You may also find it more physically taxing - requiring more body contortions - and it's questionable whether that can be a good thing.
Author's Resource Box
Rick Hendershot is an avid golfer who writes about golf swing theory and golf travel. Catch his blogs called The Weekend Golfer and Have Golf Will Travel.
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