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To Stack or Not to Stack

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I recently watched a golf swing analysis by Peter Kostis at the Memorial Golf Tournament comparing two of the greatest Power Hitters of their particular generations, Bubba Watson, and the greatest player of all time, Jack Nicklaus. This caught my attention…

DIFFERENT BODIES – SAME FLEXIBILITY!

I recently watched a golf swing analysis by Peter Kostis at the Memorial Golf Tournament comparing two of the greatest Power Hitters of their particular generations, Bubba Watson, and the greatest player of all time, Jack Nicklaus. This caught my attention so I thought I'd go into my V1 library and dig up each of their swings. (As you can see, I flipped Jack's swing so that he was left handed – to get a more vivid image.

As you know, there's been a very strong movement over the last several years led by Stack and Tilt, that wants one to keep their weight primarily on their lead foot and 'keep it stacked there'. This has been very controversial and actually defies the natural movement patterns of the body. I like virtually every other teacher has been asked what I think it about it, and my reply is that "I think it has some good qualities but definitely lacks others". To me, the good quality is that it eliminates a lot of excess movement that most high handicappers make and makes it easier to get to the front foot. The negative aspects are that it doesn't allow the golfer to maximally load their rear hip and store up maximum power – plus it makes it difficult for the shaft to come in at a shallower angle. It also inhibits a golfer from generating what's called, 'Segmental Velocity' which is the rhythmic motion of energy being transferred from foot to foot – hip to hip. A normal weight transfer makes it easier to generate rhythm, balance, and timing – not to mention Power! (Imagine a wave building up it's energy as it gets closer to shore. That's a perfect example of Segmental Velocity! – which Stack and Tilt doesn't do as effectively as a fundamental weight transfer and movement pattern).

You can also see the two golfers are VERY similar in that they've REALLY LOADED their rear foot and hip (just like a baseball pitcher, batter, etc.) and both lift their front heel very high off the ground. I don't mind that as long as the rear foot and leg are balanced and LOADED. However, many golfers who are inflexible will sometimes 'drift away' and 'come out' of their swing when they lift up the front foot.

The bottom line is this: As long as a golfer is balanced and loads their rear foot and hip, I don't care where the heel goes. I've attached one of the drills from my 'Secrets to a Fundamental Golf Swing' DVD called the Baseball Drill which will teach you to LOAD into your back foot which will help you develop consistent Segmental Velocity and a smooth kinematic change.

The bottom line is that if a person possesses ample flexibility, they'll be able to move their bodies much more efficiently, without the jerky fluctuations!

And, that's no stretch.

Roger