A couple months back I was contacted by a book publicist asking me if I was interested in receiving a copy of The Stack and Tilt Swing: The Definitive Guide to the Swing that is Remaking Golf, and write a review about it on my blog, Front9Back9.com. At first I was hesitant. I was already quite familiar with The Stack and Tilt concept and had read numerous articles about the swing before. I just had never read the book and I had never had any interest in changing my swing.
In the end, I accepted the offer and agreed to write a review. I emailed the publicist back and a couple days later I received the book. When I received the book and began to read it, I became a little more interested in the concept and I began to think more about the swing. I decided I really wanted to take it seriously and actually try the swing out before writing a complete review. I really wanted to give it a fair shot. I Googled “ Stack and Tilt Swing San Antonio” and “Stack and Tilt Swing Texas” to see if I could find any instructors in my area who teach the swing. I found one guy in Houston but that was about it. I had a hard time trying to track him down and it seemed the couple email addresses I found were already abandoned.
After figuring I would never get in touch with anyone locally who taught The Stack and Tilt Swing, I went back to trying to learn the swing on my own through the book. The book touted itself as an easy way for anyone from a beginner to a seasoned player to learn The Stack and Tilt. I took it to the driving range and attempted to use the drills. My first 10 swings of actually attempting The Stack and Tilt swing seemed to be pretty solid. I really don’t know if I was doing the swing correctly or maybe I just stopped thinking about my other swing thoughts, and therefore hit the ball solid. Never-the-less, the next 20 swings were polar opposites. I dead shanked every shot. I mean, I hit every ball off the hosel and they basically went straight right. I didn’t want to completely blame it on the new swing ideas because again I didn’t know if was doing the swing correctly. I have to admit I got pretty frustrated after those shanks and went to the putting green. I was still pretty motivated to learn more about the swing but I really didn’t know how the thoughts would affect my current swing. I went back and tried to read more of the book before trying it anymore. Unfortunately, two days later, I was jogging and turned my ankle, and had a little ankle issue over the next six weeks, which prevented me from doing anything other than putting.
I continued to read the book and eventually finished it. The two authors/creators of The Stack and Tilt, Michael Bennett and Andy Plummer, combine for over 40 years of teaching the golf swing. These two men have spent the last decade using physiology and physics to come up with The Stack and Tilt golf swing. Now I am not going to get into the physics or physiology that is discussed throughout the book, but the basics of the swing go like this: You keep your body centered and your weight “stacked” over the ball. All your weight stays on your front foot without shifting any weight to your back foot. This way you are controlling where your weight is throughout the entire swing, and if your weight stays in one place, the swing is mechanically simpler.
As we all know, a lot about the traditional golf swing is timing. Watch the pros play on the PGA Tour, you will see timing issues all the time. Those guys have such a fundamentally solid swing and if their timing gets off at all, they will start spraying the ball all over the course. You will hear the announcers say “he got stuck a little behind” or “he got a little ahead.” They are all referring to the timing of the back and forth of the golf swing. The premise behind The Stack and Tilt is you are now taking the guesswork in timing out because you will always know where the club is going to be at impact since it doesn’t require precise timing. And again, as we all know, if your club face is square at impact, then you will hit the ball solid and straight every time.
But back to the book. The book is very well written. It has many pictures and examples of what you should do and should not do. Torwards the back of the book it has a section for common faults and how to fix them. I seemed to shank the ball every time. There was nothing in the Fixing Common Faults chapter about shanking the ball. So I don’t know what I was doing wrong. It really felt like I was getting stuck behind the ball and I could never get my hands through the ball and it just felt like the clubface was not getting to the ball. Again, I could have been doing the entire swing wrong. I don’t know. I felt I was doing it correct based on the pictures and swing description in the book.
Bottom line… The Stack and Tilt Swing has gained some traction recently. With pros like Mike Weir, Eric Axley, Tommy Armour III, and Aaron Baddeley all using the swing, it has got to make you think it works. Three things come into play for me:
1.) You have to be a patient person and willing to accept completely different swing mechanics. It really is a different feeling when you start out.
2.) It’s easy to get through the book and the many pictures are very helpful. Me personally, I need someone watching my swing and telling me what I am doing wrong. I would really want to try and learn the new swing with someone watching me first and then using the book as a fill-in reference.
3.) Learning this swing will take some time. So you have to have the dedicated time to teaching yourself the swing if you are going to do it on your own. Golf pros have the time to work on it all day. I don’t. And that makes it that much tougher when I can’t get to the driving range more than 2-3 times per week.
If you feel confident in answering the three things above, I think reading the book is a good place to start. If you are a good self-teacher, the book is great for you.
I will continue to follow the swing on the PGA Tour and track the pros who play it. If there are any other updates, I hope I am able to bring it to you.
If you are have your own product you would like me to review, please contact me here and I will do my best to write a honest and detailed story.