If you are an avid golf, I am sure you have heard of the stack and tilt golf swing. You may have experimented with it yourself or someone in your foursome has talked about it and tried it. The golf swing known as the “Stack and Tilt” first became popular in the early 2000’s with a Golf Digest article that featured an overview by Mike Bennett and Andy Plummer and their number one student at the time Aaron Baddley. One of the questions thousands of golfers have asked is if it was right for their game.
I spent 10 year playing with the Stack and Tilt golf swing and will share my experience after answering 10 questions many people ask about the Stack and Tilt Golf Swing
So to start us off, can the Stack and Tilt golf swing help my game.? Yes, it can. The Stack and Tilt approach has great potential to help you increase the crispness of your ball striking, resulting in greater distance and more accurate distance control. Also, the ability to hit a draw shaped shot will increase due to the main principles that Mike Bennett and Andy Plummer teach.
1 – Who Should Use The Stack and Tilt
Anyone looking to improve their game and currently struggles with hitting a draw or making clean contact on every shot. The Stack and Tilt approach focuses on three fundamentals: 1) hitting the ground in the same place every time; 2) having enough power to play the course; and 30 matching the club face to the swing path to control shot direction. The old fundamentals that many instructors taught includes: posture, stance, grip, tempo and alignment.
Through the research over the years Mike Bennett and Andy Plummer discovered that some greatest golfers to ever play the game had strong grips and weak grips, some interlocked their groups, while others overlapped their grip, some aimed right while others aimed left. Some golfers played the ball in a set position in their golf swing and others moved it way back or way forward. They quickly dismissed these as the fundamentals of golf and placed the focus on their new three fundamentals and set out to create swing to maximize these three fundamentals.
2 – So What are the Main Ideas Behind the Stack and Tilt Golf Swing?
There are some major principles that the Stack and Tilt swing approach highly recommends to maximize the new 3 fundamentals that Mike and Andy highlighted.
The first major concept is to keep the weight forward. This will maximize your opportunity to hit the ground in the same spot every time. Too many golfers shift off the ball and have difficulty getting back to the proper spot, thus reducing their ability to hit the ball clean.
The second key word is shoulder down. By moving the shoulder down you are creating the ability to stay on the ball and centered on the golf swing. Too many golfers move their shoulders too flat, which can cause a faulty weight shift.
The third area to focus on is the idea of hands in. This starts the circular motion of the the swing. Think how a field kicker use to kick straight on, but now 100% of NFL kickers come in from the side to increase the power through centrifugal force.
The fourth focus is keeping the arms straight. Too many golfers flex the arms or bend them too much hurting the overall consistency of their swing and consistent ball striking.
The last set of words to focus on are hips tucked. This gets your hips forward enough, but then allows them to tuck to create extra force in your swing. The stack and tilt golf swing can be reduced to these ten words:
- Weight Forward
- Shoulder Down
- Hands In
- Arms Straight
- Hips Tucked
Mike and Andy Explain,
“The swing we teach looks different because the body never moves off the ball–we call it the Stack & Tilt Swing. Keeping your weight on your front foot is the simplest way to control where the club hits the ground, which is the first fundamental of hitting the ball. Golfers who shift to the right on the backswing have to make precisely the same shift back to the left by impact. That complicated maneuver is the biggest source of frustration in the game today.”Golf Digest Online Article
3 – Can I Just Use Certain Elements of the Stack and Tilt Golf Swing
You can use all of the stack and tilt approach or just pick and choose what elements are best for your game. Mike and Andy struggled for years as professional golfers trying to find the keys to the swing and to find consistency. They struggled to start the ball on a similar line every time and often messed up a round of golf from the shot that unexpectedly went to the left.
Transitioning and trying to put one element in at a time could help. I would recommend starting with the weight forward. Go ahead and hit some half to three quarter shots and see if your ball striking improves. Many people tell stories that they once played golf with their weight more forward, but then the conventional teaching through the 80’s and 90’s focused so much on getting a weight shift, which is just unnecessary.
4 – Can I Still Hit the Ball As Far
My experience is that you will not lose distance if you apply the principles of the swing correctly. There are multiple sources of power in the Stack and Tilt golf swing. You may even hit the ball further and your ball flight with your irons will more than likely become more penetrating and have a slight draw to it.
In their online instructional guides they highlight many of the golfers that they work with and utilize a Trackman to measure the swing speed and distances of the pro golfers that they work with.
5 – What Shape Shots Can I Hit With the Stack and Tilt Golf Swing?
The stock shot that Mike and Andy teach is a shot that draws, so for the right golfer your go to shot will be a right to left shot and for the lefty a left to right shot. However, you will still have the ability to fade the ball as needed based on the placement of the ball position that you utilize. They encourage you to strike the ball on an in to out path and have the clubface be slightly closed to the path, thus creating a draw shot that doesn’t overdraw.
6 – What Tour Players Use Stack and Tilt?
This is an interesting question. Some of the big names originally were Aaron Baddeley, Grant Waite and Mike Weir. Another golfer that most resembled the model of the ideal stack and tilt swing was Charlie Wi. Many golfers have worked with Mike and Andy and have taken elements of the stack and tilt and have applied to their swing.
At first, the approach was criticized, but now you see a great deal of instruction focusing on staying centered in the swing and even keeping some of the weight forward or at least centered on the back swing. Also, currently Sean Foley, who has many of the similar approaches i his teaching has students such as Justin Rose and Sean O’Hair who have similar movements in their swing to the Stack and Tilt. The overall influence and impact that Mike and Andy have had on the tour players is hard to quantify, but you see many swings that resemble in some manner elements of the Stack and Tilt.
7 – Will I Struggle With My Driver? Isn’t That a Reverse Pivot?
Many people have the idea that they must hit down on their driver with the stack and tilt. This isn’t the truth and you will create an upward strike in the setup of the stack and tilt. Also, it is not a reverse pivot as the weight starts at around 60/40 front to back and then progresses to 95/5 in the finish position.
At no time is the weight moving towards the back foot on the swing causing a reverse pivot. Understanding what you are doing with the Stack and Tilt and following the teaching of Mike and Andy can actually help you improve your driver, especially if you hit a big slice or are inconsistent with the strike of the ball.
8 – Who are Mike Bennett and Andy Plummer
Two revolutionaries in the game of golf who challenged the traditional teachings at a time when it was unpopular to do so. They have changed the way golf is instructed. That is not to say that everyone teaches Stack and Tilt, but is caused people to stop and think about the traditional messages being sent to the person paying $75 for the lesson that was never going to get better no matter how many lessons he or she attended.
The traditional teaching made golf difficult to replicate. However, if one puts the weight forward, stays center and keeps the concept of hitting on the circle as it goes out, one cannot help to improve the quality of the strike. Golf has been made to be seem really difficult and it doesn’t have to be that way. They continue to work with many tour players and help simplify a game that has many confused, even tour pros.
9 – Should I switch to Stack and Tilt
I would recommend reading the book of Mike and Andy and better understand the approach they are promoting. Understanding what causes a draw or a fade could help around 90% of the golfing population. The ball flight laws have greater clarity more than ever and Mike and Andy do a great job walking you through these concepts and sharing what movements in the swing either increase your chances of hitting a draw and what negative movements increase the likelihood that you will slice the ball.
Mike and Andy are intelligent men who communicate all of the details and provide some great insight into the golf swing. Apply to your game what can be helpful, but before dismissing them, at least give their book a quick read and see where it can help your game! Order on Amazon.
10 – What Are Some of the Myths of Stack and Tilt?
People will attack the Stack and Tilt because it is non traditional and have either taught a traditional swing method for years and have made a good living or have invested a lot fo money into their own game from a traditional standpoint. However, one must stop and take notice of some of the major benefits of the stack and tilt. The following are myths that I have heard throughout the years:
- You will lose distance with your driver.
- Nobody on tour uses that swing anymore.
- It is a reverse pivot.
- The Stack and Tilt golf swing will hurt your back.
- There are no Stack and Teachers around to help you learn it.
Overall, all of these are fals and I would recommend reading the book and being your own judge, you just might improve your game and learn something that will help.
Stack and Tilt Review – My Experience – 10 Years
So many people can write a review or criticize the Stack and Tilt golf swing, but I have 10 years of experience starting in 2007 of playing the swing with a 100 percent commitment to it. I first purchased the DVD from the infomercial back in 2007 and then in 2015 signed up for their online members and have also read their book. My scores remained in the 70’s, but during a time where I was also playing less golf.
I will never forget my first swing with the Stack and Tilt. I happen to be playing a four man scramble and we were struggling as a team. I had read the article in Golf Digest the night before and on the 12 hole took our a 3 wood for a Tee Shot and split the fairway right down the middle with a rather impressive penetrating ball flight. At the time, I was struggling with crisp contact and was hitting the ball too high. From there the journey began and I am thankful for the information that Mike and Andy have put out there for amateur golfers.
My irons improved greatly during this time. I went from hitting a high soft ball flight to a penetrating draw shot that flew high enough, but not too high where I lost distance or was greatly impacted by the wind. Having a system to follow was a major plus.
During a time in my life where I was playing less golf due to having children, I was still able to go out and shoot quality rounds due to having a system to rely on. A simple range session where I was able to focus on the 10 keywords became essential to be able to play enjoyable and competitive golf with friends. Also, the ability to hit a draw on demand and rely on that draw was a relief and benefitted the game.
What Parts Do you Still Use?
I still start with my weight forward and remain with the hands in portion of the swing. This allows me to strike the ball solid and play a slight draw. I prefer the slight draw with all of my clubs and it is easiest to control. On days when I am struggling with timing or tempo, I can play more weight forward and focus on catching the ball in the right place in the arc.
I used to spend too much time focusing on moving my shoulders or hips in certain movements, now I rely on the setup and try to swing naturally with a focus on the target. If I start to struggle with contact or accuracy I have a system to go back to and can identify where the tweaks are needed. If I can strike the ball solid and no where my misses are going to be, I am confident I can shoot in the 70’s just about every time I play golf.
What Are Their Resources Like?
I think their book is absolutely fantastic and the best resource that they provide. Check out Amazon for Current Price. With their online members they do provide in great detail every element of the swing and you are able to see the measurements from trackman and the different technology they utilized in their Stack and Tilt 2.0 video. Overall, they spent a great deal of time and money providing great resources for the amateur golfer that we might not have access to elsewhere. They take great pride in their system, from the golf digest website,
“We love it when a tour player comes up to us and says, “Hey, you’re working with so-and-so. I saw him on the range doing this,” and he mimics a backswing with the spine tilting way left. We love it because that’s exactly what a good backswing should feel like.”Golf Digest Online Article
While not for everyone, Stack and Tilt can help your game if you start with an open mind. Many golfers are willing to try anything to improve their game. This is one options that is out there and one that I have had experience with. Maintaining the elements or weight forward and inside arc, where the right leg strengthens has helped change my game from both an accuracy standpoint and with distance. Ultimately, the game is about having fun and the lower scores you shoot, the more fun you will have. Give it the book a chance and see what elements just might help you shoot lower scores.
There are many great opportunities for golfers to improve with online golf instructors. We now have access to the best instructors in the world online. 20 years ago, the access to the newest and latest teachings struggled to reach the average golf. Now the key is taking the information you have and being able to filter and see what works for you. I feel fortunate to be able to play golf 365 days a year through building a golf simulator in my garage and playing traditional golf in the spring, summer and fall when the opportunity arises. To learn more about golf simulators read our posts about golf simulators.