The Stack & Tilt swing has been a popular new swing method as of late on tour. The stack & tilt swing’s identifying feature can be seen in the weight-shift. Stack & tilt swingers, don’t shift their weight back and forth on their backswing and downswing as much as a conventional swing. By keeping their weight centered or favouring their front leg throughout their swing, they can better control their impact position. With this in mind, here are five steps to a solid stack & tilt swing.
Step One: Centered Address
First – we need to get you stacked over the ball. To do this properly, you need align your spine so it is straight and upright. Imagine two points, one in the middle of both your shoulders, and the other between your hips. Align these points with your grip – and then your spine should be straight. Your body weight should be close to 50/50, if anything leaning slightly on your front leg (I apologize for the slightly off-center picture).
Step Two: Backswing: Lead Shoulder Down, Trailing Hip Back
The main goal is to keep your spine over the ball throughout the swing. This becomes difficult on the backswing, but there is a simple mental thought that will help: lead shoulder down, trailing hip back. When you swing back, your lead shoulder needs to drop down and point towards the ball – while doing this, your trailing hip must rotate back to create some torque. These two moves, will force your lead knee to bend, and your swing path to move (when compared to the conventional swing) quite inside. At the top your spine should be leaning slightly forward.
Step Three: Remain centered at the top
At the top your body and spine should be stacked over the ball. If you were to draw a line from your spine down (as shown) it should point towards the ball. Your shoulders at this point should be fully rotated – with your lead shoulder pointing down towards the ball. Your body weight should be resting on your front leg with a 60/40 split. Your lead knee should be bent, your trailing knee quite straight – this should give you the appearence of leaning slightly forward at the top.
Step Four: Downswing:Weight shifts forward, Legs switch roles
Much like a conventional swing, you’re body weight should start shifting even more to your front leg on the downswing. However, in this case, you’re also ensuring your body/hip centers are also moving towards your lead foot. You’ll notice that as you come into impact you’re centered or ahead of the ball. As this happens, your legs alternate roles, your lead leg begins to straighten as your trailing leg bends. You do this to help encourage the clearing of your hips – this is where we see the lower body “lifting up” as we approach impact. This lifting up is a large contributor to the power this style of swing can create – it gives the club room to swing down so it can attack the ball from inside the target line. The classic sign of a stack & tilt swing.
The weight shift through impact will force your spine angle to change slightly and starting leaning back away from the target – this is needed to create our finished position.
Step Five: Face the Target with a Reverse C
After impact, your stomach and chest should be facing the target – your body weight should be 90/10 on your front foot. As your swing through, your back will begin to arch back into a near perfect “Reverse C” position, with a shortened follow-through. Your belly is bowed, and facing the target – this is the first time in the entire swing that your spine leans away from the target. To give you a visual, it’s very similar to the PGA Tour logo swing symbol.
This swing can work well, but be warned totally re-vamping your swing takes a lot of dedication, practice and commitment. I’d highly suggest that you work with the swing you have, rather than start from scratch with the stack & tilt swing. For more information on the stack & tilt swing I’d also consult some of the many articles and books on this swing style – but these 5 steps will start you on your way!
Edited: December 1st, 2009