In 1963 the True Temper shaft company hired mechanical engineer George Manning to create a machine to test their products. Mr. Manning set out to create a machine that would produce the most efficient, repeatable swing with a minimum amount of energy for the maximum strike. Named after Byron Nelson, the “Iron Byron” machine is still widely used today for all product testing. Iron Byron incorporates 3 very important swing concepts; it swings on a circle, it maintains a stable axis and the club’s face does not roll. These 3 vital components can be found in the Stack & Tilt swing. Here are 3 key elements that any player should incorporate into their swing to be the most efficient golfer they can be.
The first principal Mr. Manning used in his machine was angular momentum. This produces more force and speed in a golf swing. Think of a modern-day field goal kicker. He arcs his leg. Years ago the kicker stood straight on to kick the ball. Today’s kickers are more accurate, longer and never slice. As the hand path moves inside, it sets up the golfer to return the club back on an inside path.
The Iron Byron was not built on wheels; it does not shift from left to right. This would have made its movements chaotic even by robots standards. The machine was built with a stable axis. The best ball hitters demonstrate this same principal. In the Stack & Tilt swing, for a right handed golfer, the left shoulder turns down and in. This will create a chain of important movements in the swing. The left shoulder tuning downward will allow the hands and club to move in on a circle. This shoulder motion also begins the formation of the golfer’s spine tilting to the left. This tilting keeps the shoulders at a right angle to the golfer’s spine. And finally this allows the golfer’s head to stay centered with their central vision on the ball. This in its self makes it infinitely easier to strike the ball and be more consistent.
“Square” Club Face
The Iron Byron has been designed to have the sweet spot of the club stay square to the circle it is set to swing on. Therefore the golf club never “releases” in the traditional sense where the golfer rolls their wrists and forearms through the swing. Science has determined that start of the golf ball’s flight path is overwhelmingly determined by the direction of the clubface. This means the club path is providing much of the curve. There is zero reason to have the club’s face deviate from the circle you are swinging on. Allowing or forcing the clubface to roll results in hitting across the ball and mishits.
The 3 key components that have been laid out here are rarely seen in club golfers yet they are all demonstrated to varying degrees by the world’s best players. The concept of the Stack & Tilt swing pattern is to not make a golfer into a robot, but to accelerate the golfer’s learning, understanding and ability to employ a more efficient motion to strike the ball better and in turn lower scores.