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The New Tour Swing

How it works

We love it when a tour player comes up to us and says, "Hey, you're working with so-and-so. I saw him on the range doing this," and he mimics a backswing with the spine tilting way left. We love it because that's exactly what a good backswing should feel like.

The swing we teach looks different because the body never moves off the ball—we call it the Stack & Tilt Swing. Keeping your weight on your front foot is the simplest way to control where the club hits the ground, which is the first fundamental of hitting the ball. Golfers who shift to the right on the backswing have to make precisely the same shift back to the left by impact. That complicated maneuver is the biggest source of frustration in the game today.

Let's go through our swing with Aaron, who has been stacked since last year. We isolate a feel at each position, then compare our swing to the conventional method. You'll see why Stack & Tilt is right for you.

Setup

Centers over the ball

Picture two points, one midway between the shoulders and one midway between the hips. These are the swing centers, and they should be stacked, setting the spine vertical. The grip is neutral, the weight 60-40 on the front foot.

Here Aaron is hitting a 5-iron, so his ball position is just ahead of the middle of his stance, directly below the centers. This over-the-ball posture pre-sets a rotary swing with no shift to the back foot.

Halfway Back

Hands move inward

The spine tilts toward the ball at address, and when the player swings back, that tilt moves to the right. So to keep the spine over the ball, which is the goal, the player has to tilt to the left during the backswing. The first move going back is this tilting action. It causes the shoulders and hips to turn on a steep downward angle, the right leg straightening and the left knee flexing forward.

As the left shoulder turns down, pointing almost to the ball, the hands move on a circular arc around the body, not up and away, and the arms stay on the rib cage. When the left arm reaches parallel to the ground, it should be angled 40 degrees inside the stance line. To golfers who've been told to swing back along the target line, this will feel way too far inside.

What It Feels Like

The hips are level at address, but because the spine tilts toward the target going back, the right hip turns much higher than the left. It should feel as if the right hip is moving up and behind the body.

At the Top

Body stays centered

The spine should be vertical at the top, which makes the player feel tipped over the front leg. This tilting toward the target happens continuously during the backswing. At the top, the weight on the front foot has increased slightly.

The upper body is now full of torque but remains straight up and down—picture the twisted double helix of DNA from high school biology. Here Aaron is tilted a few degrees to his left, which is the feeling a player should get. The arms stay low and inside, because they're moved by the rotary motion of the body; no lifting off the rib cage. The head stays in place, so the ball remains centered in the player's vision. If the head shifts, it has the same effect as the ball moving and inhibits solid contact.

What It Feels Like

Imagine you're making a left-handed follow-through. Grip the club like a lefty and swing through, feeling how the right side stretches and the spine tilts back. Then take your normal grip and feel that same stretch on a right-handed backswing.

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