U.S. Open

Pinehurst Resort & Country Club (Course No. 2)

The Loop

A Stack & Tilt Back

August 18, 2007

The conversation about the Stack & Tilt swing continues unabated. I don't think I've read this many letters about one subject since....featherlights. Most of the letters we get are testimonials. Once in a while, they go the other way. Gregory Bell of Itasca, Illinois found that the "shiftless swing" with the "pelvic thrust" drove his back nuts.


In September piece on Stack & Tilt, physical therapist Ralph Simpson, commenting on the swing, says:

Stack & Tilt requires a tremendous amount of flexibility. Without that flexibility, which is mainly coming from the mid-back, the swing will seemingly develop a tremendous amount of sheer force...at the lumbar spine. And sheering is the most destructive force the lumbar spine has to deal with.>

Mike Bennett replies:

Not a single player has complained to us about back pain. A lot of times their backs feel better after they switch. We've been told by orthopedics and physical therapists that the hips pushing forward reduces the amount of stress created by rotation and lead-knee stress.....

Here's reader Bell's take on all that.

I was... startled by Mike Bennett's claim that "Not a single player has complained to us about back pain." Well, maybe that's true, I thought, although of course because a player hasn't complained to them doesn't mean they don't have back pain. But what I was flabbergasted by was Bennett's claim that Stack and Tilt is actually better for the back than a conventional swing.Mr. Bennett, you're dreaming. >

       I am a fit 51 year-old golfer who has been playing golf all his life. I decided to give stack and tilt a shot. I only lasted three rounds before excruciating lower back pain ended my experiment with it.


Let's face it, there are three realitis here: what's taught, what we hear and what we actually do, all of which may be different. Sounds like it's a good idea to have one's back in decent, flexible shape before going all stack, all tilt, all the time.

--Bob Carney

(Photo: Chris Stanford)