Editors' BlogJuly 21, 2007

Stack & Tilt at Carnoustie

__"I feel like it's more efficient. It's a heavier strike of the ball. It's a little bit longer."  Mike Weir on his swing changes.

__

For the second consecutive major, you can bet teachers Andy Plummer and Mike Bennett will be watching a lot of Open coverage over the weekend, as a Stack & Tilt advocate, Mike Weir, contends. Their other star pupil, Aaron Baddeley, who contended at the Open, is off this weekend, but Weir's a serious challenger. Lorne Rubenstein does a thorough job tracking the former Masters Champ's climb back to contention.

Tourswing

Meanwhile, the raves from readers about Plummer and Bennett's  New Tour Swing continue. I hear teachers privately dismiss Stack & Tilt, but it has a lot of converts among amateur golfers.

The latest, from Phil Burnett, at Thermal, California:

I read and reread the Stack and Tilt method of hitting discussed in the July issue. After six trips to the range and about 700 fades and draws with irons and woods, I can easily say that this method works and it works well. There is absolutely no loss in distance, in fact, there was a definite gain of 5-10 yds on my irons. Rather than change my club selection for a distance, I just swing at 3/4's pace to achieve the distance with greater accuracy.

Learning the swing was easy though the weirdness of the uneven weight distribution at the start of the swing takes longer to accept. My swing thoughts are "60-40" and "buckle" to remind me of the face forward finish with the lifting of the hips. I may lose a little momentum without shifting to my right side, but the more consistent contact with higher compression onto the turf gives my shots better length and control.  My number one problem of hitting fat is completely gone. Physically, there is greater stretching on both shoulders which caused soreness for a couple of weeks. I have also found that I play the ball closer to me with my arms more relaxed teeing most irons off my left heel a la Jack Nicklaus. On the driver, since my legs need to move quicker to get to the open-lifting position at contact, I 've had to break my wrists a shade quicker to square up the face which has given me some extra head speed.  If you look back at the August issue of Golf Digest showing Brett Wetterich slugging the ball you'll see that he is doing a classic Stack and Tilt swing. The shadow between his leg stays completely centered throughout the backswing showing that he never shifted to inside right.

I was surprised to read the comments about the Stack and Tilt by> your top teaching professionals. They were luke warm at best with one being downright negative. I would venture a guess that none of them have spent enough time to get past the uncomfortable set up.  Any technique that simplifies a complex maneuver should be given fair consideration as another way for people to swing.>

--Bob Carney

(Photo: J. D. Cuban)

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