I was surprised to learn that Mike Weir has joined Aaron Baddeley as a disciple of the “stack and tilt” method that’s been working its way through the golf magazines.
The central idea of Plummer and Bennett’s teaching is, well, that the golfer shouldn’t move his or her centre, thereby staying “stacked” over the ball and even tilted toward the target. Weir said in a telephone conference call last Monday that there’s no weight transfer to the back foot during the swing. The swing, he said, takes place in a tight circle, which should generate less room for error and more power and efficiency.
“As you stand there, the club’s on an incline, and you swing the club on an incline, looking down,” Bennett said last spring, a binder full of photos of top golfers from the past 100 years at various positions opened in front of him on a table. “It’s really moving on a circle. If you maintain a central axis, and move the club in a circle, the first thing is that the club hits the circle in the same spot every time.”
Therein, he said, lies the consistency of the strike. Move the centre of the circle, anywhere, and trouble ensues. Weir couldn’t prevent himself from what he called “drifting” off the ball, which he’s now managed to limit.
Its an interesting theory, and creators Andy Plummer and Mike Bennett say that they’ve got the photos to prove that it’s the method used by every great ball striker.
But I don’t believe it. If Jack Nicklaus, Sam Snead, Ben Hogan and others really were using the stack and tilt, I’d think that at least one of them would have realized it and written about it. And I think that particularly true about Nicklaus, who I think was as aware of his own swing as anyone who ever played.