Three simple words - Stack and Tilt - have done about as much to turn the world of golf instruction upside down as anything in recent memory.
It's the move that led the U.S. Open through three rounds this year. It's the move that's led to the resurgence of the careers of a number of pros, including former Masters champ Mike Weir. It's a move pros have been adopting in quantity, and a move amateurs have been adopting with sometimes remarkable success.
It's also been a few months since the Golf Digest article first hit newsstands. I postulated that a lot of the early success amateurs were experiencing was simply a result of a temporary short-circuiting of their brain and that, eventually, the old swing flaws would return. Perhaps that was a bit short-sighted…
My question for the S&T adoptees now is simply this: have your swing flaws returned? Or have you stuck with Stack and Tilt with improved ball-striking and scoring? Post in the comments below.
I scoffed at the Stack and Tilt swing (click the link above for a description) when I first saw it in print. Most of my reaction was due to the horrible "traditional swing" pictures that were displayed alongside the stack-and-tilt swings. "Only a big duffer swings like that!" I thought to myself. I also thought "if Stack and Tilt were so great, someone would have come up with it a long time ago. Tiger would probably be hitting the ball that way, and a bunch more golfers besides Aaron Baddeley would be using it."
After all, when was the last true swing revolution? Hogan's Five Lessons? They don't come around every day, you know.
Without much consideration for Stack and Tilt, and as a long-time self-taught golfer, I've developed a slightly new swing myself this year. I used to pre-set my weight to the right, coil around my spine, and move through on the downswing. My swing worked, but it still required a good amount of timing on the lateral shift to the left in order to make solid contact.
This year, in addition to swinging a bit more upright and standing a bit closer to the ball and taller at address, I've given up on the idea of worrying about my weight shift at all. My swing is now fairly well centered: I simply swing the club back and up by rotating my shoulders, then back down and through, firing the hips through first. My weight shift still exists, but it feels a lot more automatic now. As the club and my body rotate back, my weight naturally moves a little that way. The opposite is true coming down, but until my arms pull my head up to the finish position, I like to feel as though my head stays relatively centered.
In thinking about it, I suppose I've adopted somewhat of a Stack and Tilt swing. Or perhaps I've adopted half of it: Stack. After all, I don't have the dramatic inside takeaway, I don't crush any cans, I don't "pop up," and I don't feel as though I'm leaning one way or another, but I stay centered over the ball and just use rotational force to hit the ball.
I could go on for quite awhile, but I don't want to get away from the central question: If you've taken on the Stack and Tilt swing, how are you doing now, a few months later? Have your old swing flaws returned? Do you have trouble hitting your driver? Are your misses less frequent, more frequent, better, or worse? How's your distance? Is your contact better and more consistent?
Please answer in the comments below.
Photo Credit: © Golf Digest.