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Tilting toward/away from the target

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
(I almost tacked this onto this thread, but I felt this train of thought warranted it's own thread.)

Here's a Stack and Tilt write-up from PGATour.com. His discussion of spine tilting confused me. FTA:
Quote:
The truth is that even if you are more conventional at address and have tilted your spine slightly away from the target, your spine would still be leaning toward the target during the backswing if you were to stay in your spine angle. Although you probably don't feel this -- it does happen. Now, imagine that you have no tilt or are tilted slightly toward the target at address, your spine would be well toward the target during the backswing assuming you stay in your spine angle. This exaggerated approach to the spine along with your weight excessively forward, you can see where the name Stack and Tilt starts to define itself.

Although these two components seem to promote a more consistent club head strike in front of the golf ball, it seems it makes it more difficult to control ball flight as the clubs get longer. What's important to understand is not only does the club head need to be moving "down," it also needs to be moving "out" and "forward". These three directions define the geometry of the downswing plane of motion and you need to take them all into consideration when you decide how to use your body. With that said, at the TOUR Academies, we like to see less spine tilt away from the target with the weight slightly towards the target at address/backswing with the shorter shots. However, as the clubs get longer and lose loft, some tilt away from the target and leveling of the weight is highly recommended to help assure the proper launch conditions as well as face and path control.

Tilted toward the target at address? Tilted away from the target at address? Tilted toward the target at the top of the backswing?

I've never heard of tilting toward or away from the target before. My understanding of S&T is that the tilt comes from rotating the torso and hips, while keeping the center of the shoulders and center of the hips in the same position. Thus you start "tilted" forward at a 90* angle to the target line from your chest, then you end tilted at that same spot because you just rotated on an imaginary line through your initial spine position. Your shoulders may not be rotated fully 90*, but even if they're slanted toward the target you're still tilted straight at that same spot, which is not toward the target.

What does the other so-called "conventional" swing teach about tilting that distinguishes it from S&T in this area? Does the hip sway/loading on the right foot cause the hips to move right more than the shoulders, causing that imaginary spine line to slightly tilt toward the target? Is that what the author means?
post #2 of 6

What the **** is he talking about in the first paragraph? If you were to faithfully "stay in your spine angle" from address -- as in maintaining forward flexion at the waist -- then your head would translate significantly AWAY from the target in the backswing. And, at least the last time I checked, your skull is attached to the top of your spine.

 

And even a golfer making a very centered shoulder turn (call that S&T if you will) is not going to have a spine "leaning well towards the target." Which end of Tiger's spine is closer to the target here, the cranial (neck) end or the sacral (butt) end? 

 

hall_spine_angle_2.jpg

post #3 of 6

It is difficult to define, because you are rotating and tilting in three dimensions.

 

The backswing consist of two motions for the upper body. Bending sideways and rotating.

If you only tilt to the left, you would tilt the spine towards the target. If you only rotate, you would face up the target line, looking "behind" you.

 

It is when these two are combined we get the proper motion, rotating to the right while tilting sideways, it is a gradual motion.

The reason why S&T are talking so much about side tilt is to prevent the upper body from translating to the right on the backswing, moving weight to the back foot. By tilting sideways, you keep the head and upper body centered, keeping the weight more centered.

 

At address, you are not tilted left or rotated, the upper body is only bent forward. When you start the backswing, the upper body is bending sideways and rotating at the same time. I don't know the exact number, but let's say we are tilting 30º to the left during the backswing and rotating 90º.

 

At address: 0º side tilt and 0º rotation. (Some prescribe a bit of side tilt at address in S&T, but I'll use 0 to make it easier)

1/4 turn: 8º side tilt and 23º rotation

2/4 turn: 16º side tilt and 46º rotation

3/4 turn: 24º side tilt and 70º rotation

Full turn: 30º side tilta and 90º rotation

 

At 1/4 turn, the upper body has rotated 23º to the right, which means our shoulders have rotated off the initial shoulder line. We have also tilted 8º to the left, which means the upper body is tilted slightly towards the left of the target line. When we reach a full turn, the shoulders are rotated 90º from the target line, straight down at the ball. We have at that point tilted 30º sideways, which is towards the ball, not the target. If we only tilted, we would be tilting towards the target, but because we also rotate, we are gradually tilting more and more towards the ball instead of the target.

 

Since we bend forward, we don't rotate the shoulders parallell to the ground. At address, our shoulders are pointed somewhere ahead, depending on what kind of shot we are going to hit. Calling it "target" is easier, since it would mean to the left of our feet. As we rotate the shoulders, they start pointing towards the ground between the target and your ball until we are fully turned and the shoulders point towards the ball, or at least in the vicinity of the ball. We don't point them directly to the ball, but ahead of it.

 

To sum up: At address you may be tilted slightly towards the target, depending on what whichever S&T instructor you talk to. At the top of the backswing you are tilted about 30º towards the ball, not to the target.

During the downswing, we tilt back up while rotating back and start tilting to the right while extending. At some point during the follow through and finish, we rotate a bit the other way. After you've struck the ball it's mostly a matter of style how you end up at finish.

 

S&T use the slightly left tilt at address to get the sensation of the weight staying more on the left foot, also making it easier to keep it there. It is to achieve a 55-45% ratio, hardly possible to measure on a video.

post #4 of 6

Okey doke...
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by B-Con View Post

Quote:
The truth is that even if you are more conventional at address and have tilted your spine slightly away from the target, your spine would still be leaning toward the target during the backswing if you were to stay in your spine angle.

 

This is the part where the guy goes horribly awry. I have no idea what he's really saying here. The only way you can really do this is if your hips slide well away from the target on the backswing. Think Sergio Garcia (do what you can to ignore the horrible camera angle):

 

sergio_tilts.jpg

 

As for the article, Andy Plummer was upset at how inaccurate it was. Journalists should do better or stay out of discussing instruction if they're going to screw up basic things like that.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeph View Post

The reason why S&T are talking so much about side tilt is to prevent the upper body from translating to the right on the backswing, moving weight to the back foot. By tilting sideways, you keep the head and upper body centered, keeping the weight more centered.

 

Not quite, no.

 

The backswing is three things that affect the orientation and 3D position of the spine, your head, etc. It's standing up (releasing the flexion from the right hip, primarily - the Sergio image shows this pretty well above). It's turning the shoulders (and hips), of course. And it's tilting to the left which, at P4, is straight towards the golf ball.

 

If you did nothing but stand up and turn your head would stay perfectly centered, but your head has moved up six inches and you've completely lost your "inclination." You need to put some forward flexion back into your left hip (technically forward and to the outside of the hip, since the hips have turned and then you need to add more side tilting of the spine, primarily in the upper spine area (your lumbar spine, try as you might, really isn't great at tilting).

 

In round numbers, the hips are responsible for about 25 degrees of the inclination and the spine is responsible for another 10 degrees or so. You'll see this in images below.

 

But the left tilt, at P4, is simply responsible for maintaining height of the head and inclination to the ground. It has nothing to do with the head going backwards. That's purely a "stand up from the right hip" sort of thing.

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeph View Post

S&T use the slightly left tilt at address to get the sensation of the weight staying more on the left foot, also making it easier to keep it there. It is to achieve a 55-45% ratio, hardly possible to measure on a video.

 

There's no slight tilt left at address. Spine should be pretty straight, shoulders should be 5-10 degrees off level, and frankly we can get to 55/45 by moving our upper and lower swing centers forward by about half an inch, along with our hands. In reality if we see someone who is 50/50 we probably don't say much because 55/45 is almost a feel thing. If they do the other pieces well enough, we wouldn't care about 50/50 in the slightest.

 

Some images...

 

In this first image I roughly trace the spine. This shows that the "side tilt is minimal. If you look you'll notice I exaggerated the side tilt in this image - it's 10 degrees off from the blue line at both points. So ignore that if you can and take it as a loose illustration of the "side tilting."

side_tilt_1.jpg

 

This image shows how we see side tilting. We are square to the shoulders in both images.

 

In the P1/FO view, you can see that the spine is not tilted one way or the other. The upper and lower swing centers pretty well "stack" on top of each other.

 

In the P4/DL view, we can see that the USC and LSC are no longer stacked on top of each other. Where does this "tilt" come from? Two sources. First, the hip tilt (approximated as 27 degrees - ideally we'd be square to the hips to measure this most accurately) makes up for a lot of it. It sets our lumbar spine at an angle. Then we add a little bit tilting the spine left - left shoulder down, towards the ball - and that's what accounts for the USC not being "stacked" from the DL view.

 

From FO, of course it'll still look stacked, because the golfer stood up (released right hip flex) and turned, and done well those moves will keep the head centered. The left tilt of the hips and the spine help to maintain the inclination.

side_tilt_2.jpg

 

 

 

post #5 of 6


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

 

There's no slight tilt left at address. Spine should be pretty straight, shoulders should be 5-10 degrees off level, and frankly we can get to 55/45 by moving our upper and lower swing centers forward by about half an inch, along with our hands. In reality if we see someone who is 50/50 we probably don't say much because 55/45 is almost a feel thing. If they do the other pieces well enough, we wouldn't care about 50/50 in the slightest.


I somehow mixed up a slight hip push forward and left tilt at address, don't ask me how. Think I'll leave the geometry to you swing geeks, all these angles and flexions make my head spin. grin.gif

post #6 of 6

Even when you have more of a old school move off the ball and someone who does not extend much, they still extend.

 

I grabbed this photo of a cool camera angle in yesterdays LPGA telecast

 

Some extension

a491c1e9.jpg

 

Lots of extension

769a6131.jpg

 

 

Sorry for the crap quality, just grabbed them with the camera off the tv

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