The Shiftless Swing

August 03, 2007

Hogan, Hardy, O'Grady, Boomer,'ve suggested plenty of potential progenitors of the Stack & Tilt, New Tour Swing, taught by Andy Plummer and Mike Bennett. Here's another, surprising one from Chris Cejka of Scottsdale:

You guys are going to love this. Several months ago when your article about the "radical" new swing that tour pro's are experimenting with surfaced I read the article with great interest as I was really struggling trying to find my form and thought what the heck, I'll give it a shot.  With issue in hand, I took the copy right out to the practice tee and started getting instant, positive results.  While pounding balls on the range, my ever inquisitive father and self proclaimed golf nut, told me that he remembered reading about "something similar" to stack & tilt in a Golf Digest article "many years ago".  You must note, my father has an extensive, archived series of Golf Digest copies going back almost five decades. Sure enough, several weeks later, he produced an article of the April, 1958 Golf Digest monthly (which I now have in hand) that had a article written by Jerry Barber titled "The Shiftless Swing".  The article shows frame by frame pictures of Barber's swing and how he stays firmly planted on his left side while swinging....further reinforcement that what you feel is not always what is really going on in the swing and somewhat contrary to what most modern teachers are articulating to their students today.  It proves to me, at least, that most swing ideas are recycled and that it's the interpretation, proper articulation and success of these ideas that make us view it (the idea) as "new".  Either way, thanks for article, I'm getting success with it and that's what counts!

Thanks, Chris, and thanks to your father. For our readers, here is an excerpt from that 1958 Barber piece, which begins with a quote from Jerry:

"In teaching or playing, I have to disagree with the moving the weight onto the right foot during the backswing." ...Players who do move their weight almost entirely to the right leg on the backswing do not have enough time to re-position the body on the downswing, Barber points out.

He mentions that a common fault of the average golfer who does shift his weight to the right left is that he will first hit the ball, then let his weight come over on the left side.

This, as Barber says, does not give the left side a chance to lead the shot, and the player is robbed of both power and accuracy. Many players do not improve because they shift their weight to the right leg too much in the backswing, thereby not letting the left side lengthen the downswing....

What's more, Barber's swing seemed also to encompass the "pelvic thrust" that Plummer and Bennett advocate, though he did not talk about that in the article. Great stuff, Chris.

--Bob Carney