Four Moves To Stack & Tilt

What you don’t know about our system will change the way you look at the golf swing

This Article Features Photo Zoom


Andy’s legs straighten and his spine extends. This pushes him off the ground. Mike demonstrates the result: a perfect finish.
2. EXTEND TO TURN
Bennett: These pictures illustrate how the body must extend to turn. It’s that extension that also functions as a power source.

Plummer: Notice above how Mike sets up in flexion and I end up in extension. This is uniformly demonstrated by the game’s best players and uniformly not demonstrated by the game’s worst players.

Bennett: Most golfers think that they need to maintain their spine angle at impact. But we say you’re supposed to maintain your inclination. Your spine angle constantly changes its flex during the swing so that you can have thrust and keep turning. Andy often tells students in clinics to “tuck your hips underneath you when you finish,” or rather to raise your hips up when you finish.

Plummer: All athletes make this motion. Think of volleyball players spiking it over the net, or a gymnast doing a back flip, or Kobe dunking a basketball.

Bennett: The discus thrower, the high jumper.

Plummer: A shot-putter goes from flexion into extension. All these athletes extend. The same motion is demonstrated in a variety of sports where your body generates any sort of thrust.


Andy shows the extension and left tilt; Mike shows how it looks in the swing.
3. EXTEND, TILT & TURN
Bennett: The above pictures illustrate how, in the backswing, the spine angle changes. The spine goes into extension so that it can turn. The spine keeps tilting to the left the longer your backswing gets so that your head doesn’t raise up from the ground.

Plummer: Golfers don’t stay bent over when they swing back—they extend. But if they only extended, their head would raise up. At the same time they extend, they also must left tilt and turn. Coordinating those three pieces (extension, left tilt and turning) keeps their head still. Doing one piece more than the other, makes one’s head move.

There are two things in these pictures that illustrate major differentiators between the game’s best players and its worst. The first is the degree the left shoulder goes downward. A poor golfer’s left shoulder doesn’t go down enough, long enough. He or she levels out and, as a result, raises his or her head. The second thing is that the player’s left arm can’t orbit the body long enough. It won’t go back far enough, and if he or she tries to go back farther, the head starts bobbing all over the place. The function of the extension is to allow the golfer to turn longer on the backswing, propelling the left arm. That “fault” has been written off to lack of core strength—and more—and it causes a very poor definition of how the body needs to continually keep left-tilting. On the other hand, one’s extension allows his or her shoulder to turn. That permits the left arm to orbit all the way around the body, which permits the player to hit the ball far.

Bennett: It’s your body turn that allows you to keep your arms straight. If you try to stay in flexion, your arms start to flex to help move the club back. You just can’t stay bent over and keep your arms straight, whether in the backswing or followthrough.


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