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“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect”
Mark Twain

If you view the swing like I did a few years ago, you’ll see the golf swing as a shift in weight from one foot to the other. Keeping the trail leg flexed is an absolute necessity when you are stuck in this system as it promotes a turn (and nothing but a turn) of the upper body (shoulders) against the lower body (hips). In essence, trying to turn the upper body and resist with the lower body.

This leads to all kinds of problems, most commonly a movement to the right of the Thorax (center of shoulders) and the pelvis. Once this happens say goodnight to controlling your low point, which is mainly dictated by having the majority of the weight on the front leg.

Stack and Tilt®

Mike and Andy explaining the ‘grid’

I recently spent a morning with Mike Bennett and Andy Plummer, the guys behind Stack & Tilt®. I’ve followed what these guys have been saying for a few years now and decided I needed some face time. I’m glad I did.

I spent all Saturday morning with them down in San Antonio, and then drove back down the following Tuesday to attend a days worth of Stack & Tilt® instructor training.

Andy opened by talking about his early life as a wannabe player (I instantly related) and went on to talk about how he found Homer Kelleys’ book ‘The Golfing Machine’ and started to see success in his game.

He also spoke about his relationship with Mac O Grady. Which started as a simple question (by way of introduction) about Mr Kelleys’ book at an event (I think he said it was US Open final qualifying). What followed was a conversation that lasted until past midnight, sitting in his car in the car park watching the lights go out in the clubhouse.

Explaining the radius and circumference of the swing, as well as the flying wedge

Mac said he would call Andy, and a few months later he did just that. Asking him to fly out to Palm Springs and help him run his MORAD clinics.

I could go on about his stories (which I found entertaining) but I’ll cut to the chase. Here’s the main reason why golf instruction is so confusing, with so many conflicting views and Pros, instructors and commentators verbally abusing each other.

 

 

 

 

 

Some are teaching a resistance based model and some are teaching a NON resistance based model.

Ben Hogan – Right leg straighter, left leg flexed

Jack Nicklaus – Right leg straightened, left leg flexed

We all know who the big four instructors are in the golf instructional world, I don’t need to name names. But the clear evidence from a spectrum of the best players ever – prove they did not resist with their lower body. They clearly straightened their back knee and flexed their front knee during the backswing.

arnold-palmer-sequence

Arnold Palmer – Right leg straightened, left leg flexed

 

This clearly introduces a conflict of interest to the model these pros are teaching, and I think in part, is why you find the likes of ‘first name rhymes with shank’ promoting his latest instructional videos on how to play rather than teach the golf swing – and I quote “The only instruction I see out there is about the swing, and it drives me nuts” – Commercial on ‘The Golf Channel’.

A NON-Resistance Based Model

This model teaches a change in knee flex on the backswing. This is essential to allow the hips to turn on a tilted angle.

The center of the swing (the left shoulder) moves around a central hub (center of the shoulders). To allow the center of the shoulders (thorax) to stay in the same position, there has to be a three dimensional movement involved – tilting, turning and extending.

If the spine simply turns while bent over in flexion, this moves the center of the hub (thorax). The left shoulder doesn’t move down enough during the takeaway and the head moves to the right. So tilting, turning and extending is an accurate description that defines the function of the spine.

The lower body ‘hub’ (center of the pelvis) starts slightly forward. This then creates a slight side tilt with the upper body while making it easier to hit the ground past the ball, because the weight is slightly forward.

The upper body center (buttons on shirt) should always be in line with the center of the stance. This keeps the head in a central position.

What Mike and Andy (and there S&T® model) have done, is define the model down to a few words for ease of learning.

The first few words being:
Weight Forward & Shoulder down!

This makes complete sense when you look at the swing as a non-resistance movement and understand the functionality needed.

The System

There are systems everywhere we look in life. But when it comes to conventional golf instruction and the thoughts of some well known golf channel commentators – introducing a science based system into golf instruction in lunacy. It’s about feel after all, right?.. wrong! We learn feel from the correct mechanics.

What Homer Kelley did in 1969 when he published his book ‘The Golfing Machine’ was introduce a system for measuring positions in space. P1 – P10 (P = Position) is a way of measuring a good golf swing from a bad one. A Tour Pro to a 20 handicapper. A much needed system in the game of golf that has been used by the likes of Mac O Grady, Mike Bennett, Andy Plummer and a whole host of other teachers and pros around the world.

Conclusion

To quote Martin Hall on the golf channel “You shouldn’t be running away from Stack & Tilt®, you should be running towards it”

Check out my latest analysis of Masters Champion Jordan Spieth. His non-resistant swing produces some pretty impressive moves, especially through impact and post impact.

Please feel free to share this with your golfing friends, and leave a comment below.

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