ATTENTION, READERS in the 28 EUROPEAN VAT COUNTRIES: Because of the new VAT law, you probably can't order books direct from my site now. But that's okay -- just go to my Smashwords author page.
You can order PDFs (as well as all the other ebook formats) from there.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sean Foley on Reducing Back Pain

Some of you may have heard rumors that Sean Foley is a proponent of the "Stack and Tilt" swing; Charlie Wi indicated as much in some of his comments this week, while others have said he has merely been influenced by a wide variety of different teachers. (I'm sure Foley would at least agree with that last statement, since you can learn something from almost everybody.) Perhaps this post will give you some idea how this debate got started.

I found this article by Sean Foley on reducing back pain that was posted on the Golf Digest web site back in March, and it may be the basis for some of the "Stack and Tilt" rumors. I think the article has some really good thoughts about reducing back pain caused by your golf swing, and I advise you to take a few moments to check it out. But I wanted to point out a couple of things he recommends to reduce back pain that might just as easily be taken as "Stack and Tilt" positions.

Picture from the Sean Foley article at Golf Digest

The position labeled "1" clearly shows the left shoulder being rotated downward instead of level during the backswing. Foley says this focuses the rotation in the upper back, which is better designed for rotation, rather than the lower back. This is one of the moves that "Stack and Tilt" recommends to keep the shoulders centered over the ball. Foley also points out that the back knee should remain slightly bent, which is NOT what "Stack and Tilt" has traditionally taught. (You can use this article on key "Stack and Tilt" teachings for reference. It's possible Bennett and Plummer have changed this, as Charlie Wi does flex his knees on the backswing. See the video later in this post.)

The position labeled "2" is a squat move that looks somewhat similar to the forward weight position of the "Stack and Tilt" downswing. (Compare it to the #5 position in the "Stack and Tilt" article.) Foley is definitely trying to maintain a more vertical spine during the downswing and is also recommending a great deal more knee flex than the "Stack and Tilt" article does. Again, I should point out that Charlie Wi does flex his knees more on the downswing, as this video shows:

You can see from these pictures why some believe Foley is a "Stack and Tilt" man. I can't say one way or the other, although it may also indicate that Bennett and Plummer have made some changes to "Stack and Tilt" in order to combat some of the accusations that the swing caused back problems.

But I think it does indicate one very clear fact: Good swings don't have to cause back problems. It appears both Wi and Foley are using some of the same methods to prevent back problems, so it might not hurt for you to consider them as well. Again, take some time and check out the Foley article I linked to earlier; and if you're interested in the "Stack and Tilt" swing, make sure you incorporate these changes into it (as Charlie Wi apparently has).

Golf should be fun, not painful.


  1. Other golf players claim improvement in their back condition after switching to the stack and tilt because a thoracic extension, moves as it was naturally designed to move and is better for the back.

    chiropractor melbourne

  2. Alright, all you chiropractors out there. Listen up:

    If you want to put a comment on this post to get a link to your practice, you have to say something worthwhile. Just saying that back pain is bad for your golf swing is going to get your link deleted.

    For example, I left the Francis Tony comment because he added useful information to the post.

    If you do the same, I'll leave your comment... and your link. Otherwise, don't bother.

  3. if you have lower left back pain, get the lengths of your legs checked. The treatment for this condition is usually orthotics. back pain is brutal