How the Stack and Tilt Golf Swing Works

Stack and Tilt Golf Swing Basics

As with nearly any sport, the goal of golf is to get the ball somewhere useful. And that means developing a technique that will breed consistency. Golfers are at a disadvantage in this pursuit because golf's fundamental movement, the swing, requires taming numerous instabilities in human body movement. In short, it plays to our physical disadvantages.

Over the years, numerous approaches to developing consistency, stability and power have been advanced and refined, ultimately giving rise to the idea of "golf fundamentals" -- particulars of grip, stance, posture, ball position and alignment taught to every novice. Yet, as PGA Tour instructors Michael Bennett and Andy Plummer watched the most successful golfers in the world, they noted little commonality among them with respect to any of these elements [source: Plummer].

This realization inspired them to look at what the golfers did share in common. They realized that it boiled down to two things: an ability to consistently control where the club hit the ground and the ability to hit the ball far enough downrange to score low. Beyond that were idiosyncrasies unique to each golfer -- how he or she holds the club, where he or she aims the club face, how he or she positions the ball, where he or she aimed [source: Golf Life Television].

With this in mind, Bennett and Plummer developed a swing that would increase consistency for the golfer and make the ball fly straight and far. With the stack and tilt swing, the golfer's weight remains "stacked" on the front foot throughout the swing while his or her back "tilts" forward to keep the spine and shoulders over the ball [source: Logan]. This differs from the traditional swing, in which a golfer's weight shifts from front to back during the backswing, and then forward on the downswing. The traditional swing also has much more lateral movement in the hips and shoulders. And whereas most magazines, books and television shows instruct golfers to maintain the same spine angle throughout their swings, Bennett and Plummer argue that the key is to maintain a consistent inclination. In the stack and tilt, the spine actually adjusts its tilt during the swing. It must rotate while remaining at a constant inclination [source: Golf Life Television].

In the next section, we'll break down the stance and swing in more detail.