Earlier this month, I wrote that I would be attempting to change to the "Stack and Tilt" swing method in 2009. Although I had read many posts,articles, and comments about the S&T, to my knowledge no one had chronicled their attempts to use this swing "method" to improve their game. I thought this represented a unique opportunity here at Bushwood to share my experiences - so saddle up your ponies folks, the rodeo has begun.
In preparation for this "project", I read and re-read both of the "Stack and Tilt" articles. ordered the DVD set, which I've watched twice (the first DVD,anyway... ).
The weather here in Alabama was pretty mild in January, so I was able to get out and play a few times. My general observations after these few rounds:
- Employing ALL of the facets of the S&T swing will take quite a bit of time, effort, practice, and re-reading and re-watching the DVDs.
- Having said that, I found certain elements of it fairly easy to perform and can be readily incorporated into your game.
- One of the key premises of the "method" is to start with 55 percent of your weight on the front foot, and continually increase that throughout the swing - always moving forward. I found this easier to do than it sounds, and it quickly helped my ball striking.
- Another central element is a very steep takeaway which is very much "around the body", and abandons the idea of taking the club back along the target line. I also found this quite easy to perform.
- Unquestionably, the S&T has resulted in an immediate improvement in my iron shots. My distance improvement was a full club, my trajectory has improved (flatter), and my accuracy is much better.
- Here are some stats: I am a 10 handicapper, and last year averaged 5 GIR per round (yes, I scramble pretty well...). Thus far, using the S&T, I have had 10,6, and 8 GIR in the 3 rounds I played. Using S&T, 90% of the misses are to the left. Definite improvement here.
- The S&T changes will require some modifications to your driver swing, which is where the biggest weight shift typically occurs. I am working through these, and the progress has been quite rapid- so I would not let this discourage you. The biggest challenge with the driver is the pace at which you shift the weight to your front foot - if you are a bit too aggressive in this move, you will pull your tee shots left.
As I mentioned, I obtained all information that was available before I undertook this project. The articles are great, and if I had to choose only one between the articles and the DVD, I would pick the articles. The DVDs are full of information - however, it is a little difficult to follow. It's not that Plummer and Bennett are not smart guys - they are; it is that whoever scripted and produced the DVD did a poor job in making it user friendly. Most instructional DVD's come with an intro, walk you thru an outline of what you will cover, and then go chapter by chapter. Not this one - its more like getting you your skateboard and grabbing onto a Porsche. Before you think I am too harsh, let me say this - If you are just curious, read the articles...but if you really want to give S&T a try, buy the instructional DVDs as well. Your likelihood of success will be greatly increased if you have both resources.
Anyway, that's it for the first update, but as Ben Crenshaw once said, "I have a good feeling about tomorrow. That's all I'm gonna say."...