The importence of tilt a impact.

I said I didn’t want to make any excuses about why I didn’t do better last week, but it is important to me that I relay as much good information as I can about the golf swing.

I have gone on and on about tilt at impact…and getting it the proper way. Well, my winners bracket round and losers bracket round on last Tuesday demonstrated two concepts that I have promoted.

1. Proper tilt protects your back

2. Proper tilt helps you generate more speed.

When I compete in a long drive contest, I try and tilt as much as possible at impact.

On my very first ball Tuesday, my back foot slipped on the turf. That didn’t allow my lower body to get far enough forward and I tilted by dropping my upper body back. That tweaked my lower back a bit.

So I created tilt the wrong way.

In the next round, my lower back was a little tender and I couldn’t tilt as much as I had all week and probably lost 5-8 mph of speed.

I know, I know, terrible excuse.

The point of all this is not to say I would have done better had I not slipped and tweaked my back. I may not have.

The point is that learning the feel and sequence of shifting with your lower body while keeping your upper body back, is the best way to protect your lower back, while creating your maximum efficiency in your swing.

I knew this to be true before, but what transpired a The Remax told me it was even more important than I had previously thought.




  1. woody

    You realize, of course, that this puts the lie to “preserve the spine angle.”

    Instead, as you demonstrate, and as Mike Bennet said on Youtube, “your spine is moving all over the place.”

    Unlike the lines that Kostis always draws, here is one honest attempt to trace the orientation of the spine:

    “Reverse-C” is an illusion that comes from a “face-on” two-dimensional view. A real reverse-C could only come from trying to create one, which is bad because the finish should not be the result of any new movements after impact.

    Don’t just take my word for it. Maybe Hogan told this to his co-writers: “The follow-through is not the result of any specific new actions. (p. 114 of my Five Lessons paperback)

    Here’s a nice reverse-C–but it’s really not if you look at it with more of a 3-dimensional view–and it looks like not staying back would be hard on the left knee. (1:49) Nicklaus

  2. Robert Johansson

    as long the pelvis and spine dont twist and turn at the bottom in seperation to one another which however is common in modern swings aka Rory Mcilroy you are likely to be fine. If you dont then pulling a disc is easy. I know kids below 30 years old having surgery due to such twisting aka modern swing.

    • woody

      Maybe they’re just twisting the wrong thing…or, trying to twist the right thing the wrong way.

      Bob Toski, ex Tour winner and Hall of Fame instructor, wrote a book entitled “The Touch System for Better Golf.” Essentially, his advice was to Turn, Slide, and Twist.

      Heh-heh…but he didn’t tell what to Twist …or how, when, or why to do it–even though he could do it himself. Hmmm…maybe there was overlap with the Slide and the Twist, with a Thrust tossed in for good measure.

      I’m thinking that a (good) Modern Swing is just a Classic swing with over-use of the left leg toned-down to a functional but usable move.

      How did those Classic guys ever get down from way up on that left toe? Unnecessary complication? 1:11 (Casper & Brewer)

      But, with the Modern idea of resisting hip-turn, the use of the left leg got lost by instructors–though not by good players.

      • Robert Johansson

        Theory vs athletic motion, the player will adapt to do things right even when the instruction is flawed. Left foot and heel lifted creates proper angles to use for an athletic motion. Its actually needed to avoid lower back tension. classic players also used balata balls and heavier clubs which is easier to swing with. Once the lighter clubs with new technology came the modern swing could get a toe into the instruction due to you can hit it long enough with a restricted motion.

  3. meateater

    Great post and video Monte. Woody also has it nailed.

    As Kelvin Miyahira has demonstrated, the great ball strikers almost all have a bent right arm into impact with their right elbow in front of their right hip. You yourself are a great example of that. You can’t get to that position without significant tilt.

  4. woody

    Random Comment:

    I went to a skiing website. Skiing has long been affected with the same bad instruction that has plagued golf. The latest: turn your femurs in your hip sockets…sheesh, that must be their equivalent of spine angle. Anyway, here are comments from some good skiiers on that forum, with (golf) substituted for skiing.

    **Sorry about my skepticism of (golf) instructors I’ve just met so many who did a lot of talking about (golf) and not a lot of actual (golfing).

    **It’s not so much the details as the basics that are helpful.

    **For most people it is enough to know the input-output relation. Do this movement and you will have this output…

    **A lot of students need a convincing physical model to get the analytical part of their personality to shut up and let the body (golf). It is not that important that the model be accurate. However, being convincing is very important.

    **Models are created so a larger audience can use and apply the findings, even if they dont understand all the detail behind it.

    **Physics is only helpful for understanding (golf) to those who understand physics.

    **Physics is only useful if we abstract it on a suitable level. If we oversimplify, misuse or make it too complex, we risk having something that is not useful or even misleading.

    **Work and on how to move…or think…or what exactly to do (in a particular aspect) with only a brief time spent on why–just long enough so the student buys in.

    **I am always interested in how people interpret what they are doing, and how what they think they are doing influences what they do.


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