Adding spine tilt through impact

People look at Rory Sabbatini and say he hangs back on it.

He does not. What he is doing is adding lots of spine tilt through impact.

That creates a tremendous amount of room for your arms.

Now I am not saying you should all contort your bodies and break your backs, but adding a small amount of spine tilt at impact will create more room for your arms to swing. That creates more speed and less need for hand manipulations.

I have seen Jamie Sadlowski do this as well.

It is easy to distinguish between hanging back and adding a small amount of tilt at impact. If the downswing is initiated by the lower body shifting the weight left…this can add tilt if the upper body stays behind the ball.

If you add tilt without shifting to the left side…it’s hanging back and what every bad golfer does because it is done by dropping the right shoulder.

So there is the difference.

Lead hip toward target and shifting weight=tilt.

Rear shoulder dropping=hanging back.




  1. Calvin

    Needless complications.

    • meateater

      The stack and tilt guys and the Leadbetterites agree with you. “covering the ball” is the exact opposite of what Monte is suggesting. Some of the shortest hitters around do it that way, the world’s longest hitters do it like Monte says. Hmmm, which would I want to emulate?

      • Calvin

        No S&T’r here. Tilt is important. Exaggeration or manipulation is not. You can even swing over the top from a tilted position. Just get a natural tilt and swing correctly. If you can swing freely without the clubhead straying outside your eye line when the shaft hits parallel coming down you probably have enough tilt. If the clubhead wanders outside your eyeline you are ott.

      • Monte Scheinblum

        Calvin. All I am trying to explain is the difference between adding a little tilt and hanging back. I have seen people get in front of the ball because they think tilting is hanging back.

      • Calvin

        🙂 I know. I was just envisioning people exaggerating the tilt and swinging with their left foot airborne. 🙂

        Funny but I have seen people score decently doing just that. I mean decently from a hack’s point of view.

  2. bobs34

    Chicken or the egg question? Does the body move the head or does the head move the body? For me, it’s the latter. I’ve been away for a few months now. Got away from all golf instruction and just tried to figure out why it is that no matter how I move my body and in what sequence what causes me to standup through the shot. Bear in mind that it’s been ingrained in me from day one to have a steady head. Finally I said screw it and just started moving my head back and down in transition. I’m not conscious of what really happens after I start to move my head back & down from the top but on camera it looks like a fine golf swing. It looks like my left leg and hip start the transition by moving a little laterally then my right shoulder fires under and then everything comes through and around. If I want to change the path of the club, I move my head more back, down, and inside the target line to go in to out and vice versa to go out to in. It’s a wonderful feeling to have my body and the swing just kinda take care of itself. Oh yeah, I do other thing diferently, My hands get way higher and not nearly as deep at the top so I have a lot more seperation between my right elbow and right side than I had in my lesson with you. Those two things have allowed me to generate A LOT more clubhead speed without as much effort.

    • Monte Scheinblum

      You are talking about feels and that will be different for each of us. Whatever works.

      • bobs34

        Absolutely Monte and I applaud you for trying to get across ‘feels’. I’m not sure anyone could’ve taught me that and I’ve never had anyone tell me to move my head on purpose. Even though I feel like my head goes back and down, on film and when practising in front of a mirror it actually goes very slightly forward first and then goes back and down just before impact, settles through impact and then goes back up and forward afterwards. Having said all that, my head doesn’t actually move around a whole lot but I feel very free to swing the club naturally (no active manipulation of the club or my body) and I’m not standing up through the shot anymore….

      • Monte Scheinblum

        Bob, this is what golf instruction should be. Someone like me discusses the issue and some possible feels as a guide.

        It is then the students job to figure out what feel produces the intended results.

        That works much better than manipulating into positions.

  3. spanky

    For a long time I suffered with a swing that had no natural (non-manipulated) extension and release, and I was a part time flipper.

    I discovered that a flat left wrist, soft arms, weight shift & spine tilt all complement each other and only when I had all present could I achieve complete release and proper extension. I now have a much greater understanding of how they fit together. If one is missing the others either aren’t possible or won’t function correctly.

    Without all of the above I can’t extend/release properly (pretty sure I would have to flip it in order to hit the ball).

    So spine tilt is a requirement, adding spine tilt? well I guess it depends on each individual and how much they start with, and of course it has to be with weight shifted to the lead side!

  4. Brian

    Would you say that increasing spine tilt during the downswing contributes to that reverse-C finish that most of us love to see? And is adding more spine tilt during the downswing less prominent with better players now than say 25 years ago?


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