6 Steps To Stack & Tilt
A crash course in golf's new swing
1. Weight Forward
Setting more weight on your front foot at address helps you accomplish two things: You'll hit the ground after you hit the ball, and you won't cut across the ball from out to in. Not only should you favor your front foot at the start, but you should keep your weight forward throughout the swing. The more forward your weight is at impact, the farther forward the low point of the swing will tend to be. This is the most important factor for ensuring solid contact with the ball.
Another reason for keeping your weight on your front foot is that you'll be more likely to hit the ball from in to out. The more your weight stays forward, the longer the club swings outward and the better your chances of starting the ball to the right and hitting a draw.
2. Left Shoulder Down
Turning your left shoulder downward instead of level helps to keep the center of your shoulders in place, which is a key move of Stack & Tilt. With the shoulder center fixed, the precision with which the club hits the ground increases. Aside from promoting good contact, a stable axis for the shoulder turn helps keep the path of the hands and arms traveling on a circular arc around the body.
Imagine a spike running through the top of your spine and planted in the ground in front of you so all you could do is turn around a fixed axis. Stabilizing the shoulder center like this means the swing will tend to bottom out wherever you set your weight at address. If the weight is forward, as we prescribe, the club will hit the ground after striking the ball.
3. Hands In
Swinging your hands inward going back (see examples below left) allows you to access a physics principle called angular momentum, which says you store more power swinging on an arc than in a straight line. (Think of field-goal kickers approaching the ball on an angle.) Keeping your hands in also prevents cutting across the ball, because the club swings outward into impact.
4. Back Leg Straight
Straightening your back leg on the backswing frees your hips to turn more, which allows your shoulders to turn more. Just as your left shoulder should turn downward, so should your left hip. This leads to a greater hip rotation going back, which increases the potential for more acceleration coming down. Your goal is to maximize body rotation on the backswing to set up a powerful downswing.
Another benefit of your back leg straightening is that it helps you maintain your relationship to the ball. To understand this, consider what happens when players turn their hips and shoulders on a level plane: The body tends to pull off the ball, shifting away from the target. Turning in place greatly simplifies the task of returning the club to the ball at impact.