People are always looking for ways to build a better mouse trap, and the sport of golf is no different. The basics of the conventional golf swing have remained unchanged for quite some time --- until Mike Bennett and Andy Plummer began teaching the Stack and Tilt golf swing in 2005. A relatively unorthodox method of swinging the club has arisen, and it goes against the grain of almost everything teachers and students of the game have believed and practiced. It's called the Stack and Tilt.
The Stack and Tilt is the brainchild of Mike Bennett and Andy Plummer. Both aspiring tour players who made it as far as the PGA Tour qualifying school, these architects of the methodology are commonly referred to as the Swing Whisperers.
Players Using Stack and Tilt
Bennett and Plummer began teaching the Stack and Tilt successfully in 2005. Their stable of tour players employing the technique include early advocates Steve Elkington and Aaron Baddeley. Others include Tommy Armour III and most recently 2003 Masters champion Mike Weir. In 2006, Baddeley was one of the first to win using the method, giving it credence and bringing it to the forefront of innovation in swing instruction. There are more than 20 players on tour that claim to be followers of the discipline.
Stack and Tilt Vs. the Conventional Golf Swing
The Stack and Tilt breaks from the conventional golf swing beginning with the setup. For years, instructors have taught that a 50/50 weight distribution is ideal and that the head should be behind the ball. The Stack and Tilt preaches a more upright address position with more of the weight resting on the front foot.
From here, the methods really veer off in opposing directions. Where the conventional swing teaches a lateral move away from the ball and loading up on the right side, the Stack and Tilt promotes a shift of weight to the front foot and stacking of the shoulders over the hips.
The swing is void of any lateral movement and focuses predominantly on rotation. The head and shoulders remain in front of the ball throughout the swing. This technique produces a downward blow at impact, trapping the ball between the club head and ground. The swing ends with the completion of weight transfer, ending with 90 percent on the front foot.
Pros and Cons of the Stack and Tilt
The abundance of lateral movement is the death of many golf shots, and the mechanics of the Stack and Tilt method will promote more consistency through impact.
The Stack and Tilt will also produce a flatter ball flight that will be beneficial, especially in windy conditions.
The Achilles heel of the method is the transfer of weight from the front to the back foot through impact, or reverse pivot. This is a common occurrence when too much weight is shifted to the front of the swing and will produce a fat shot. Also, critics argue that the method requires an enormous amount of flexibility and physical prowess. Unfortunately, these are two traits that the average golfer does not possess.
Golf instructors agree that there is no one way to swing the club. One could attempt to utilize the technique and if unsuccessful, integrate some aspects of the swing into her own. After all, the game is about building a better mouse trap.