February 21 — Aaron Baddeley’s two-stroke win at Riviera Sunday has reignited talk about the Stack & Tilt golf swing when really it should have shut the book on the much-criticized method. Baddeley, after all, ditched the controversial approach to swinging a golf club two years ago when he went back to his first golf coach for help.
Forget everything. The difference-maker for Baddeley at last week’s Northern Trust Open was his ability to rely on himself rather than worry about the mechanics of a particular school of swing thought. “Just being able to forget everything, and being able to hit that shot, that’s part of the plan,” Baddeley told reporters after his final round. “Just to be able to let it go and hit shots. So it was great.”
The 29-year-old from Australia made a flashy entry to the golf scene when, at 18 and as an amateur, he beat Greg Norman and Colin Montgomery in the 1998 Australian open. He turned pro, took up the Stack & Tilt approach, and had nominal success on the PGA Tour. Until Sunday, however, Baddeley had been winless for four years.
Going home. Baddeley believes his return to high school coach Dale Lynch was key to his well-being on the golf course. “He had such an impact on my golfing career growing up,” he said. “He was very much like a mentor, the way I thought, the way I practiced, the way I went about everything. To be able to come home — come back to Dale — felt like coming home because it felt like I was becoming a kid again.”
Baddeley was Stack & Tilt’s best-known proponent, as Paul Mahoney noted in a 2007 Guardian article. Mahoney explained how it was supposed to work and noted that Mike Weir, Brad Faxon, and Tommy Armour were among early adopters of the method. The Stack & Tilt website lists Armour and a few other journeymen golfers as pros still employing the technique.
Rumors that Sean Foley lifted the Stack & Tilt method from Andy Plummer and Mike Bennett may keep talk of the methodology alive beyond its shelf life –especially if golf whisperer John Cook is right and Woods has finally tuned in to Foley’s swing overhaul.
Not a fan. But don’t tell that to Lee Westwood. When Denis Pugh, a Sky Sports commentator and former golf pro, tweeted monday that Baddeley’s win made for interesting chatter on the web, the world’s No. 1 was having none of it.
“there is no place for stack and tilt Denis,” Westwood immediately tweeted back. “Apart from tescos!” (Tescos is a grocery stork in the U.K.)
Meanwhile, on the LPGA Tour, read how Yani Tseng is the new rock star of women’s golf.