Travelers Championship

TPC River Highlands

The Loop

Instructor Critiques S&T Part Two

August 19, 2007

Robert S. Scott, a "long-time golf instructor in west central Florida" adds his voice to the other instructors in Stack & Tilt Part Two in the September issue. He agrees, he says, with Andy Plummer's assertion that "The main thing that's different about Stack & Tilt is the 'explanation of the swing'....not necesarily mechanics."

I think that 90 per cent of S & T is far more 'conventional' than most people seem to realize, including the top teachers you asked to comment...

Then Scott takes us through the Stack & Tilt teaching point by point, from address to downswing. I'm excerpting here, but it's carefully observed:

ADDRESS: a body weight distribution of 55/45 front foot to back is directly out of the era of most of golf's great "Greatest of All time"--Jones, Snead, Hogan (who was mentioned), Palmer, Nicklaus, Player, Watson...So, 55/45 at address is not really "unconventional" at all..

Maybe, Robert, but I've had a number of teachers tell me (or write in our magazine) that it should be more like 65/35, at least on the driver.

BACKSWING: One of the statements made in the article I don't believe is true--that, "Most golfers are taught to make a BIG shift to the (back) foot on the backswing." I have NEVER taught that, and I don't know of ANY instructors who have. Good teaching touts a "Slwo-feeling, very smooth, low-ish takeway...simply a TURN back...NO 'conscious weight-shift."

All caps or no, I'm not buying, Robert. One of the best instructors in the world, the late Davis Love Jr., used a drill to give students the proper feeling of weight shift: Make swings while completely picking up the front foot on the backswing and the back foot on the downswing. Pretty much a complete weight shift, I'd say.


Scott also that the target-ward spine tilt taught by Mike Bennett and Plummer is "conventional." He objects to the claim that the back leg "straightens" on the backswing: every single one of the photos shown with the player at the top of his backswing, his back knee is quite visible protruding outward against the front pant leg, definitely indicating some flex....again, quite conventional.

From Peter Morrice, who did the story with Plummer and Bennett: Might be a matter of interpretation here. Plummer and Bennett are arguing for the leg getting straighter, while some teachers don't want any of that. But, no, the leg doesn't not get regidly straight.

Now Scott on the DOWNSWING: Almost every great player I have ever interviewed agrees that, in most all the best golf swings, there is definitely some "lateral" shift forward of the hips "along with" an unwinding...So Andy and Mike's "sliding (and turning) the hips forward" until 80-90 per cent of body weight is on the forward leg and foot is "very conventional..."And the "thrusting upward" through impact has been around for a long time...letting yourself "come up" (but not too early) right after impact, as opposed to the "slightly older school" of the reverse-C, keeping you in your posture (and really straining you lower back!). Again, all quite "conventional".

Interesting points all, Robert. You obviously know your stuff. Let me only say that somehow the Plummer/Bennett presentation, conventional or not, has connected with tons of golfers and--their word, not mine--made big differences in their games.

For more discussion of this controversial method, see our own forums, our forums at GolfWrx and those on Geoff Schackelford's blog.

--Bob Carney

(Photo: Chris Stanford)