Stack & Tilt Critics Speak Out

Teachers Weigh In On Stack & Tilt

September 2007
Mike Bennett and Andy Plummer started teaching Stack & Tilt on the PGA Tour in 2005. Dean Wilson was their first student, and now they have more than 20 players, including Aaron Baddeley, Mike Weir, Will MacKenzie and Eric Axley. Currently they don't have a teaching base, but finding them is easy: Follow the tour.

> It's Not for Everyone

"Stack & Tilt has been presented as a new theory, but a lot of it is what Mac O'Grady has been teaching for years. Personally, I don't teach a system. I don't believe there's one set of fundamentals for everyone. And I don't think Stack & Tilt is for everyone."

-- BUTCH HARMON, No. 1 on Golf Digest's 50 Greatest Teachers in America

PLUMMER / The explanation of the swing is what's different about Stack & Tilt, not necessarily the actual swing mechanics. Players for generations have demonstrated some of these principles. Yes, Mac O'Grady has taught some of the pieces we include in Stack & Tilt, as have many other teachers. Golf instruction has lost sight of what has made the best swings in history work: Hogan's reverse tilt at the top, Nicklaus' steady head, Snead's straight right leg on the backswing.

As to fundamentals, there should be a comprehensive system of measuring the variables of a swing. If a way of measuring everyone objectively is a system, then this is definitely a system.

> It Makes the Swing Too Steep

"For most amateurs, the No. 1 problem they have is coming down into the ball too steeply. When they lean left like that, it's only going to make them steeper unless they dramatically tilt their spine away from the target on the downswing. It's very difficult to make that compensating move in the 250 milliseconds it takes the club to swing down. I would only recommend it for someone who swings too much inside out, which is very few."

-- MIKE BENDER, No. 10

PLUMMER / Most amateurs come into the ball with too shallow of a descent and too often hit the ball with an ascending blow. Most of the golfers who come to me are shifting to their back foot and then getting stuck there. As a result, their descent is shallow, with the low point behind the ball. This problem prevents them from taking divots at or in front of the ball. The main reason this happens is the center is behind the ball at impact. Stacking the tilt is the first step to getting the descent steep enough.

> Are the Positions Accurate?

"The head is not a stationary post, and there is definitely weight shift in the golf swing. Anything can be overdone, certainly lateral motion, but there is lateral motion in great golf swings, and you can take that to the bank."

-- JIM McLEAN, No. 4

PLUMMER / Yes, there should be lateral motion in the swing, but not away from the target. The lateral shift of the hips on the downswing should be fast and full. However, lateral motion away from the target limits the player's ability to get to the front side at impact.

As for the head not being a stationary post, look at some of the best golfers of all time, such as Hogan, Snead and Nicklaus--their heads never moved off the ball on the backswing. You're trying to hit a stationary object, and moving your head is like moving the ball. Plus, it's not necessary. Here's a quote from Nicklaus in a recent article in Golf World: "I don't believe in a lateral shift. I believe in staying on the ball."

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