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For along time Chip Beck was one of the best players in the world. He was a regular on the Ryder Cup time and one
of the best ball strikers in the game. I loved to watch him swing because his action was one of the most complete,
biomechanically, in the game. Even so, he had a few features that needed to be improved to fit his body type ball
Chip Beck employed a wonderful Front Anchor technique and became the second man to complete 18 holes of golf
in 59 strokes while playing in a tournament on the PGA Tour. The one thing I remember most about that round of
golf is that Chip's swing seemed to possess the best rhythm I had ever seen in his case. The way he walked the
course, the mannerisms he employed, and the flow of his swing were much less mechanical than normal.
Even so, Chip's swing mechanics were excellent, even when his rhythm was a little more deliberate. Though I
believe Chip could have used a more flowing rhythm on a regular basis, I believe even more so that he could have
continued to be a dominate player if he simply completed his biomechanical package.
For many years Chip's used a Front Anchor Swinging action, and it is that action I believe was the closet he ever got
to mastering his biomechanics. Throughout that period he had worked extensively with Mac O'Grady and doing so I
believe got very close to perfecting his swing. However, along the way his Swinging action began to evolve into a
Throwing action. That occurred when he started employing extra lateral motion into the action as compared to
rotary action. I believe this was influenced by Mac O'Grady's research that evolved into a system he now instructs,
which is the basis for the Stack & Tilt system. As it turns out, Plummer and Bennett have reportedly attended many
of Mac O'Grady's workshops, and from their experiences with Mac I believe they derived their Stack & Tilt system. I
believe they took Mac's basic principles and tweeked them with their own research to come up with what we now
know as Stack & Tilt.
I have some experience in this department myself, because in the 1980's I had developed my own understanding of
how pivot points work in the body and came up with a system I called Swing Anchor Techniques. In my studies I
came to understand that there are 3 pivot points available in the hip girdle, the Left Hip Joint, Right Hip Joint and
Center of Gravity (as it is traditionally viewed as being located on the centerline of the body - when studied in
traditional postural ways). Golfers that loaded the right side during the backstroke were using Right Anchor
Techniques (Rear Anchor for right handed golfers), those that rotated around the left side were using Left Anchor
Techniques and those that rotated around the Centerline of their body's were using Center Anchor Techniques.
I began understanding these principles when I was very young. I was a gymnast and martial artists, as well as
played many other sports growing up. While studying those sports it became clear to me that many great coaches
studied how their athletes bodies were built and adapted the techniques to make their performances better. When I
was thirteen I remember thinking, "Why would golf be any different?"
By the time I was in college I had already developed my Swing Anchor concepts and was finding was to apply them
readily. After college I turned professional and while playing in the Queen Mary Open one year met Mac O'Grady. I
was training on the range when he walked and saw me swinging. He went to sit down on a bench behind me when
my wife tried to stop him because the bench was wet, it was too late and he soaked his pants. She offered him my
towel and he continued to watch me swing as he waited for his caddie to show up. They discussed how he liked my
swing as I continued to train. I was unaware of Mac's interest in my swing until after the second round of the
tournament. It turned out we had played in back to back groups for the first two days. As my wife and I were
heading out to the parking lot Mac jogged over and stopped us. What ensued was a conversation for over 2 hours.
In that conversation Mac told me he had watched every swing I had made for two rounds and was interested in
talking to me. During that conversation I was able to share my Swing Anchor Concepts. I distinctly remember telling
Mac that, "Ben Hogan rotated around his left side, Sam Snead his Center of Gravity, and as you know many players
rotate around the right side." He told me that it was a very interesting observation and wanted to know more about
my thoughts on my swing.
While working with other touring professionals many years later I was told that Mac was coaching a Front Anchor
Hogan model, a Center Anchor Snead model and a Right Anchor Trevino model. Of Course the Anchoring term is
mine. When Mac played on Tour he employed a Center Anchor model that had a lot of Sam Snead's features. I
believe his employing that system was influenced by Gideon Arielle's biomechanical research. One of my best
friends had married Gideon's daughter and I was priveleged to be able to view some of his research, and in it Sam
Snead was shown as rotating more precisely around the center of gravity than any other golfer in the system.
Fast forward to the present and Mac is employing a Front Anchor Throwing action. And it is this action that I believe
the Stack & Tilt system evolved from. I actually view the Stack & Tilt system as a Swing-Throw action. This is
because it strives to be rotary during the backstroke and a lateral action during delivery. Those of you that have
studied the New Horizons Golf Approach in detail will know that I believe there are 3 categories of golf actions
available to the golfer. And those actions are Swinging, Hitting, and Throwing. You can study them in more detail in
my books and elsewhere in this website. I primarily encourage Swinging actions, and my Swing Anchor Techniques
are generally introduced with Swinging in mind. However, whether Swinging, Hitting or Throwing, Swing Anchor
Techniques are involved in the process.
Back to Chip Beck. I believe there were a couple of things that influenced Chip Beck to change his Technique from
a Front Anchor action to a Rear Anchor action. And some of my beliefs are based on an experience I had watching
him play 9-holes during a practice round at Kapalua. This in the mid 1990's. He was working with Mac O'Grady and
I was living on Oahu. I made a trip over to Kapalua to meet up with Peter Jacobsen to work with him on his putting. I
had patented a Putting Training Aid and he was starting to use it. While there I met up with Roger Fredricks who
wanted to go watch Mac and Chip because he grow up playing with Mac and wanted to catch up with him. We
caught up with Mac and Chip on the 10th hole and had the pleasure of walking with them and chatting throughout
the back nine.
It became clear to me that they were in the process of tweeking Chip's swing and that Chip had had some questions
about what he was working on. He asked me at one point what I thought about what Mac was coaching. It seemed
to me that he was starting to move away from his rotary action and was beginning to add in lateral motion. I
commented on what I thought was good and kept quiet as to what I thought might be problematic - after all I was just
a visitor in the situation.
Some years later I watched Chip Beck on the Golf Channel, with his new coach, talking about how his old swing was
flawed because he rotated around his left side and it was more correct to rotated around the right side. During that
show it was made clear that Chip had thought the Front Anchor action was hurting his back. I found that interesting
because I remember Mac saying that Chip was like Gumby and had the best conditioning program in golf.
Front Anchor Techniques, like Stack & Tilt and Mac's Load & Lean, are often criticized for being bad on the back.
Simply criticized a technique because it uses Front Anchor principles if a faulty analysis. What is bad on the back is
arching and twisting at the same time. If the lower back rotates while remaining flat, and if the postural angles are
released properly and at the proper time, then the stroke will be executed without undue stress on the lower back.
The simply story is that most golfers are encourage to stay in posture too long. All golfers need to release their
postures and only 33% of the population can rotate in posture until the chest is facing the target. Some golfers
need to release the postural angles as delivery begins and some of them once the front leg has completed its
posting action. You can study this more in the biomechanics section of this website.
In Chip's case he was encourage to rotate in posture all the way to the full follow-through. However, I believe his
body is built to have what I call a Post-Up Postural release action. And if he had employed it he would have been
able to maintain his ball striking prowess. I also believe it would have helped him get that much closer to Owning His
Swing, and may have saved his playing career from the struggles he's been enduring.
It is interesting to me that, just as what happened to David Duval, since changing his technique to a Right Anchor
action Chip Beck has struggled as a tournament golfer. In fact, he has struggle to make cuts and even qualify for
events since he has employed a Right Anchor technique and I believe he would be wise to return to Front Anchor
play and simply learn to release his posture better as well as improve his postural angles at set-up so that he can
rotate in posture without putting undue stress on his body.
Since David Duval has returned to working with is old coach and has began the process of regaining his Front
Anchor Form we have seen him enjoy some world class play, most notably finishing 2nd at last years US Open. I
believe Chip Beck can return to form as well. He simply needs to understand how his Body Mechanics are built and
then learn to employ those biomechanical feature/options that fit his machine.
I believe that in many respects the body is a machine, and being a machine is organized to be used in very specific
ways. Though it may be simply to believe that we are all built the same, the fact is, there are significant differences
between each and every one of us. And I believe we are all best served by understanding how the best stroke for
us is determined by how our bodies are built.
While developing our biomechanics it is important to understand that there are 3 features that make up your basic
biomechanical package. And it is important to adhere to those feature/options. If you fail to use them you will
struggle, even if you are a great professional golfers. This is why I believe both Chip Beck and David Duval
struggled with their play once they switched away from their Front Anchor techniques.
We can also see that Justin Leonard had a wonderful Front Anchor technique and he began struggling when he
switched to a Rear Anchor technique. Conversely, I believe Mike Weir is built to use a Rear Anchor technique and
that would explain why his career stats, while using the Rear Anchor technique, were much better than the 3 years
he employed a Front Anchor technique.
I would love to see Chip Beck regain his ball striking prowess and I believe the answers he are looking for are
explained within the New Horizons Golf Approach and Power-of-3-Golf Biomechanics. With the first and foremost of
those features being the Front Anchor option.
Founder of the New Horizons Golf Approach
The following observations about Chip Beck's Swing are written By EA Tischler. Copyright 2010, all
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