Stack and Tilt Golf Swing: Everything You Need To Know
If you’re like most golfers, chances are you want to improve your ball striking skills. The better and more consistent you hit the ball, the easier it is to shoot lower scores and beat your buddies.
But changing your golf swing to reach these goals is always a risky endeavor. Because as I’m sure you know, there is literally an endless amount of information out there about the golf swing. Sometimes, it’s very overwhelming as you don’t know where to start or what to work on first.
Every method promises to be “the best” – whether it’s a single plane swing, a conventional method, or the stack and tilt golf swing. In this post, I want to break down the components of a stack and tilt method to see if this might be just what your game needs.
Stack and Tilt Golf Swing
First off, this swing method was created by Andy Plummer and Michael Bennett. They are two instructors who wanted to help average golfers improve their ball striking in a simple, straightforward manner.
This method is all about starting your swing in the position that you want to have at impact.
Meaning, you should pre-set the impact position at your normal address position. This is a big change from conventional swing methods in many ways.
Teachers of this method claim that more weight forward leads to better contact and swinging the club in to out, which produces a draw ball flight.
Let’s think about impact position first.
When you hit the golf ball, you want the majority of your weight on your lead leg to hit down and through it. This helps maximize distance and use your weight effectively to generate maximum distance.
Normal golf coaches prefer 50-50 weight at address so this setup adjustment alone is a big change for most golfers. Here’s the kicker, this includes woods too – about 60% of your weight should be on the front foot even with a wood or driver.
As a stack and tilt player swings, it might look like a reverse pivot to the naked eye but it’s actually not. Even though you start with the majority of your weight on your front leg, you still make an effective weight transfer to your right side.
The result is a swing that doesn’t allow a player to get stuck with their weight on the back foot. Effectively, it should help create a better weight transfer and ultimately, better ball striking.
Fundamentals of the Stack and Tilt
As I mentioned before, the biggest change is the weight at address position. With irons, you want about 55% of your weight on your lead leg. With driver and other fairway woods, you want about 60%.
But it’s more than just adjusting your weight at setup. Instead, there are some other adjustments to make for this system to work properly.
Here are some of the biggest components to the stack and tilt method:
- Left shoulder going down. The next part of the swing involves the left shoulder going down in the backswing, not inward. This allows the head to remain still and allows the arms to rotate around the body. As the head remains still, this should lead to better and more consistent contact at impact.
- Take the hands inside on the backswing. The founding instructors claim that this helps create an arc in the swing and should help minimize or eliminate a slice.
- Back leg straightens at the top of the swing. This method encourages you to flex the left knee and straighten the right knee to allow additional hip and shoulder turn on the downswing.
- Arm straight after impact. The final checkpoint for the stack and tilt is straight arms for better contact. Additionally, this can help you from swinging across the golf ball which can lead to a pull cut.
Want more information?
If you want to learn more about the differences between the stack and tilt vs. a traditional swing, check out the below video:
Do Any Pros Use Stack and Tilt?
Not so much but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. Pros are pros because they’re highly skilled athletes and have already mastered the swing.
Once they reach the top and get their card, they’re not likely to completely overhaul their swing. Unless, they want to risk losing their card and falling back to lower ranking tours.
Is the Stack and Tilt a One Plane Swing?
No, the one plane swing is very different from this method. The one plane swing focuses on different setup adjustments with your arms, ball position, and more.
When trying out one method or the other, it’s important to not mix the two as both have very different fundamentals.
Does the Stack and Tilt Work With a Driver?
Yes, you don’t need to change much when you use a driver vs. irons. But there are some adjustments as the ball is teed up. Make sure to watch the below video to learn more about driver adjustments.
Stack and Tilt Golf Swing Grip
When it comes to the grip, the first thing you need to do is make sure it’s in your fingers, not the palm of your hand. This will ensure that you get the proper amount of wrist hinge in your swing. The thumb of your left hand should be just past your forefinger.
Once your left hand is secure, there are two main pressure points to evaluate with your right hand. The first is the right-hand pad, which should be on top of your left thumb. How you connect your hands is up to you; you can choose to interlock your fingers (like Tiger Woods), use a conventional overlap, or even a 10-finger baseball grip (although, this method isn’t recommended).
The final grip pressure point to think about is your right index finger. The right side of the finger should be on the right side of your grip and allow you to hinge your wrists perfectly. Just make sure that both hands have the grip in the fingers, not the palm.
If you have more questions about the grip and hand position in this method, check out the below tutorial video on YouTube.
Stack and Tilt Golf Swing For Seniors
One set of players who can benefit from this type of golf swing is seniors. Since there is less overall movement, it’s great for players who have lost some flexibility but still love swinging the club.
As Jess Frank pointed out in this YouTube video, a lot of golfers tend to get a flat shoulder turn. When the shoulders are flat on the backswing, this leads to all kinds of issues including swaying, and moving your head position.
When the body sways vs. rotates on the backswing, this kills your overall power and makes it hard to hit anything off the turf. You won’t notice it as much off the tee but certainly will when you need to take a divot.
Plus, when the head moves laterally in the swing, your chest will stay down which will affect your arm position in the swing. Both of these moves on the backswing make consistent ball striking nearly impossible.
Creating Power on the Downswing
Luckily, the stack and tilt is a great alternative and ideal for seniors and will help with power and distance. Since you’re turning the left shoulder down and under your chin, you will eliminate the swaying motion that hurts so many players.
Additionally, it will help keep your chest up (not facing down toward the ground) on the backswing. When your chest is in this position, it will allow you to get proper rotation and plenty of extension as you approach the top of your swing.
Extension is needed with senior golfers because it helps create tons of extra power. Enough width and extension leads to a full shoulder turn and the hips to turn fully.
Finally, this will help keep your arms extended throughout the swing. One of the main reasons high handicappers top the ball is because the arms don’t stay fully extended in the swing. By shortening the arms, it leads to hitting up on the ball which leads to the shot no golfer likes.
But this method will help transfer power, keep your arms extended, and avoid that costly (and embarrassing) miss.
What are the 10-words that make up the stack and tilt swing?
The stack and tilt might feel complicated when you’re first learning it. As my old golf coach would tell me, “If it doesn’t feel awkward, you aren’t doing it right.” Anytime you’re making swing changes, it’s going to feel uncomfortable at first.
The 10-word method is there to act as a guide and help you in this transition. The 10 words are:
Weight forward – shoulder down – hands in – arms straight – tuck hips.
- Weight forward: This ensures you set up properly with the majority of your weight on the lead leg.
- Shoulder down: This will help you move your shoulder down (not rotate laterally) to stack your upper body on the backswing.
- Hands in: This will help keep your hands close to the body and also develop the move to hit a draw.
- Arms straight: Connection is an important part of the golf swing. By keeping your arms straight, it will make sure you avoid thin misses that plague so many golfers.
- Tuck hips: The final component is tucking your hips through the finish to create a consistent move toward the golf ball.
This statement is pretty helpful especially when you’re practicing by yourself. A traditional golf swing can feel overwhelming at times since there are so many moving parts and things to think about. But a 10-word statement like the one above is a great checkpoint anytime you’re on the driving range.
The stack and tilt can help your golf game but it’s not for everyone.
If things are going well and you’re happy with your ball striking, don’t try this method. The old saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” rings true with golf.
But if you feel like you’re struggling with your swing and constantly get stuck with your weight on the back foot, this method could help. The good thing about the stack and tilt is that it’s not an all or nothing. You can even test out different parts of it with your current swing and see how it affects your ball striking.
For example, while PGA Tour pros don’t use this method, some players like Justin Rose have some of the characteristics in his swing. Like any swing change, you will never know if it works until you test it out on the range.
To learn more about this unique swing method, make sure to check out the book “The Stack and Tilt Swing” on Amazon. It’s full of helpful information so you can learn and implement this system quickly.
Have you ever tried the stack and tilt method? If so, what have been your results using it?
Let us know in the comments below!