Stack and Tilt Golf Swing – Everything You Should Know

If you’re a golfer or are interested in golf, you’ve probably heard about the Stack and Tilt golf swing. This golf teaching method is also known as the New Tour Swing. It became well-liked and in demand in the 2000s. 

Stack and Tilt is a great method because it can improve your ball striking, resulting in significant distance control. It’s for such reasons that this method continues to be used by many golfers. This is especially the case with new golfers. Most golf instructors have used it as part of their lessons to aspiring golfers; even many well-known golfers use this technique. 

Stack & Tilt Golf Swing

Some of the well-known people to have used this method include PGA Tour players Aaron Baddeley and Mike Weir. For golfers who haven’t used Stack and Tilt but are interested, this review will explain the method. We’ll discuss what Stack and Tilt is, how it works, who should use it, and whether it’s effective or not.  

What Is Stack and Tilt?

Due to their obsession with simplifying the golf swing, Andy Plummer and Michael Bennett invented Stack and Tilt. This swing construction allows golfers to control their low point, power, and overall control. The ability to control the low point when you swing improves the quality and consistency of your strike. Then, the power that comes out in a controllable manner ensures more efficient ball delivery. Finally, you can have control of the direction of the golf ball when it flies off.




Unlike most golf swings, the Stack and Tilt golf swing is designed to put the weight on your lead side. In traditional golf swings, the weight is moved to the opposite of the lead side一making it difficult to mesh everything in the downswing. Moreover, as you may have figured out, this method puts more stress on the swing basics. Thus, keeping your weight forward with your arms straight improves ball striking, increased distance, and better control.

Stack and Tilt is convenient for golfers who want to improve their ball striking and reach even further spots in their clubs. Aaron Baddeley is living proof that it works. 

He commented on how much the technique helped him improve his game in a feature article with Golf Digest. After this publication in 2005, an increasing number of golfers adopted Plummer and Bennett’s swing method.

To simplify the definition of Stack and Tilt, we’ve broken it down to three key elements below:

  1. The Stack is set up when the player prepares to hit the ball. The golfer has to imagine two swing centers: one midway between the shoulder and the other between the hips. The two points should be on a hypothetical vertical line and plumb to the ground. 
  1. The Tilt appears during the backswing as more weight is kept on the lead foot. Then, the spine becomes a bit tilted towards your aim, which results in a sharp shoulder rotation. The right hip also moves up and backward to help reverse your axis at the top of your backswing.
  1. The downswing is where you aim to get the swing centers further from the ball at collision. The lead foot must be pressed on the ground to release the remaining weight. The upward thrust of the hip allows a powerful hit of the ball.

How the Stack and Tilt Golf Swing Works

There are numerous best players in the game of golf who have come across Stack and Tilt. You probably wonder how they have gotten there and how the Stack and Tilt golf swing technique works. Below is a step-by-step guide on how Plummer and Bennett’s method works.

Step 1: Be able to make consistent contact

When the weight is kept more on your back foot, you can’t make good contact consistently because you’ll lack balance. This is the reason it’s important to keep your weight forward. Keeping your weight forward allows you to hit the ideal spot in front of the golf ball.

Making consistent contact is one thing you’ll notice professional golf players have in common. They hit the ground nearly at the same spot on each swing.  

Step 2: Tilt your left shoulder down

Tilting your left shoulder downwards increases your power and distance without extra head movements. This helps you avoid hitting the ground first but hit straight to the ball.

Step 3: Control the curve of your shots

To avoid your swing leading to a draw or fade but rather the fairway, you must learn to control the curvaceousness of your shots. Stack and Tilt is designed to bring the hands in during the backswing. This results in a pleasant, inside-out golf swing.

Step 4: Pay attention to your knee position

Knee position constantly changes during a swing. It changes during the downswing, the backswing, and throughout the whole swing. The right knee straightens when you’re back swinging, while the left one bends slightly. This helps your hips and shoulders easily turn.

Step 5: Keep arms straight

Keeping your arms straight during a downswing helps you avoid banana slices and increases your chance of scoring a draw. We can’t help that the left arm slightly bends during a backswing; however, both arms must be straight during a downswing. 

Your shots will follow a curving path when you bend your arms a lot. This also messes with your ball radius. 

Ideas Behind the Stack and Tilt Golf Swing

There are five major principles that Plummer and Bennett highlight. These principles help maximize the three fundamentals of Stack and Tilt golf swing




  1. Weight Forward

Keeping your weight forward maximizes the opportunity of hitting the same spot every time and allows you to hit the ball without hitting the ground first—too much shifting off of the ball results in inconsistency. 

  1. Shoulder Down

When your shoulders are too flat, weight shifting can be faulty. Therefore, keeping your left shoulder down is important to maximize your chances of staying on the ball and centered on the swing. 

  1. Hands In

When your hands are in, the circular motion of your swing starts accurately一maximizing your chances of a correct circular swing path.

  1. Arms Straight

Keeping your arms straight helps with the consistency of the swing and ball striking.

  1. Hips Tucked

Then, by keeping your hips tucked, you bring about the extra force that will maximize your ball distance. 

Is It an Effective Technique?

Stack and Tilt golf swing is an effective technique because it has been around for a long time and instructors still use it today. It has assisted many golfers with improving their ball-striking ability. 

Through this swing method, instructors have an impressive track record of helping over nine PGA Tour winners. Moreover, Stack and Tilt has fixed some of the flaws in conventional golf swing methods. Below are some of the fixes you will find in Plummer and Bennett’s book.

  • From weight balanced between two legs to weight forward.
    • Traditional swing methods instruct you to balance your weight between the two legs when doing a full turn. Then most of your weight will move to the back leg, transferring to the lead leg during the downswing. The problem with this technique mainly occurs when instructing new golfers. They tend to move weight together with the upper body to the right, which ends your backswing in a sway. 
    • Stack and Tilt advises golfers to put around 55% or more of their weight on the lead leg as they begin, then increase the weight to 60% or more during the backswing. This way, you can get rid of the sway and keep your body centered over the ball.
  • From shoulders out to shoulders down.
    • Many golfers focus on bringing about a full turn in their backswing. However, they don’t realize that the turn needs to be made with the shoulders down, not out. When shoulders are out, you will need to raise and lift your arms to bring about height on the backswing. This causes unpredictable curvaceous shots and unpredictable swings.
    • According to Plummer and Bennett, turning your left shoulder down allows the head to be steady and the club to move vertically without lifting your arms. This eliminates fat shots and allows you to strike the ball first. 
  • From moving the club straight back to hands in.
    • Moving the club straight back is something that instructors usually teach. It moves the club off the plane instantly; however, it causes the player’s arms to disconnect from the body. This makes it very hard to repeat this move consistently.
    • Plummer and Bennett advise golfers to move their hands in. This way, the club moves on a curve, and the arms stay connected to the body一making it easier to repeat the same takeaways.
  • From bending both knees to the straight leg.
    • To maintain the same amount of knee bending during the backswing and simultaneously turn your hips, you need to change the amount of bending each leg. Bending both legs to the same degree makes it extremely hard to maintain the position during your backswing.
    • Straightening your back leg a little more allows your hips to turn. The more you do the former, the better its effects on the latter. This results in an increased ball travel distance.
  • From bending of arms to arms straight.
    • Many golf amateurs misunderstand bending the wrist for bending an arm. It’s important to maintain length and extension in the golf swing. That’s the reason the Stack and Tilt technique emphasizes maintaining extension. The extension should be maintained on the backswing, at impact, and when finishing. This helps make the most consistent ball striking and brings about clubhead speed.
  • From the inability to maintain balance to tucking the hips.
    • Many golfers find it hard to finish their swings and maintain their balance after impact.
    • Since there may be a lot of reasons behind this, Plummer and Bennett made things simpler by saying, “Raise the belt and tuck the hips.” Raising the belt helps the player clear their hips fully. Tucking the hips assists golfers to place their core directly over the lead leg in a manner that’s stable and balanced.

Who Should Use the Stack and Tilt?

The Stack and Tilt golf swing is great for any player who wants to improve their game. Whether you’re struggling to hit a draw or make clean contact on every shot, you can check out the Stack and Tilt instructions and see what you can do. Below are some types of golfers we believe would benefit the most from this method:

  1. Habitual slicers can’t solve mean slices like the banana slice. The hands, in principle, will help eliminate that slice for you.
  2. If you have a hard time making consistent contact一meaning, you catch the ball too thin or hitting the ground often before hitting the ball—the weight-forward principle will enable you to hit the ball first.
  3. A conventional golf swing can swamp you very fast if you’re a new golfer. They have too many elements such as tempo, stance, grip, posture, alignment, and more. This can lead to overthinking and, therefore, impact your performance negatively. For this reason, Stack and Tilt makes the swing simpler by breaking it down into three key elements: the Stack, the Tilt, and the Downswing.
  4. It’s also a great option for senior golfers and those with back problems or any joint pain. During the method, your toes should be pointed out. This can take a while to get used to, but it’s very comfortable. It also results in a huge amount of stress being taken off your joints, which means you’ll be complaining less about back, hip, and knee problems.

Problems With Stack and Tilt

The Stack and Tilt technique has worked well for leading tour players but may have significant challenges for the average player. These challenges include:

  • Low ball flights

They aren’t an issue with shorter irons; it’s hard to get the ball sufficiently winging with longer clubs. This is due to the steep angle of the clubhead required by Stack and Tilt. In addition to this, the weight-forward principle is mainly for experienced athletics. If you think about it, it’s common to throw sports such as baseball, cricket, and discus throw, to name a few.

  • Power loss

Stack and Tilt has little or no weight transferred to the back leg and glutes during the backswing. This cheats the player off of the power that they can provide through their larger muscles. Also, if you keep forgetting the toe-out rule, the movement required by the method can put more stress on your muscles and joints.

Conclusion

The Stack and Tilt golf swing has been proven to be a valuable method, mostly by successful golfers. These include some PGA Tour golf players. Its guidelines are arguably easier to follow than conventional golf swings, as they’ve been broken down into fewer elements. Its three key elements are the Stack, the Tilt, and the Downswing—while conventional swings usually have a long list. 

This makes sense because Plummer and Bennett’s aim has been to simplify the golf swing. However, some critics state that this method is for an experienced golfer, specifically those looking to make a career in golf. This is due to some of the method’s principles, including the weight forward. This principle focuses on the leading foot in a way that it seems to forget about the trail leg and glutes一resulting in the player not using some of their greatest power sources. 

Other than that, Plummer and Bennett’s technique is one of the most effective golf swing methods. After all, it has birthed a good track record of more than nine different PGA Tour winners.

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