S&T supporter Wi rips Weir, Badds and Foley

Talk about taking on the triumverate — PGA Tour player Charlie Wi, a big support of the stack and tilt swing theory espoused by Andy Plummer and Mike Bennett, rips into Mike Weir and Aaron Baddeley, and then suggests Sean Foley, new swing coach to Tiger Woods, is a plagarist of sorts.

Wi said:

“Aaron Baddeley was the worst ball-striker on the PGA Tour,” Wi said after shooting a 69 at Cog Hill on Friday. “He won three times with Andy and Mike, and they also took him to inside top 20 in the world. And if that’s not good enough for Aaron, well, it is what it is.

“And also Mike Weir — he was also one of the worst ball-strikers on tour, and he won two times with Andy and Mike and made $6 million in two seasons, and he thought that wasn’t good enough. If you look at it, they’re not here this week. So maybe they should be working with Andy and Mike. And they’re friends of mine, too.”

 But he wasn’t finished — he then went after Foley as well:

Wi also took a shot at Canadian swing instructor Sean Foley without referring to him by name — saying “whoever Tiger is working with,” when he said Foley has the DVD and instruction book written by Plummer and Bennett.

“And he always calls them asking questions,” Wi said. “They definitely know what they’re talking about.”

A couple of points here — Foley did call Plummer and Bennett all the time. I recall a noted golf teacher telling me he was having dinner with Plummer and Bennett when Foley called to pick their brains. Foley spoke for a while and when the conversation ended, one of the two stack and tilters turned to their dinner companion and said, “How did he get to where he’s at?”

A second anecdote. While playing with Jessica Shepley last year, I noticed how much she set up on her left side with her driver. Was she a stack and tilt student, I asked.

“Nope, I work with Sean Foley,” she said. It immediately made sense.

Truth be told, does it matter where Foley takes his teaching from? The way he name drops Harmon, Leadbetter, Plummer and Bennett would seem to indicate he’s a pragmatist. I’m not sure he’s ever claimed to be completely original — and does one even need an original thought to be a good instructor? Shouldn’t the best teachers be generalists? If something from stack and tilt works — wouldn’t a good teacher embrace those elements?

The shot at Weir is interesting. I’ve heard Weir is in discussions with David Leadbetter to work with him once his elbow injury is healed. Weir had one win under Plummer and Bennett, and seven with Mike Wilson. That said, it is clear Wilson isn’t working for Weir.

As for Baddeley, I wondered if he was finished with S&T after his game fell apart under the pressure of the final round of the U.S. Open at Oakmont.

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  • That’s probably what happened with Baddeley, but I also heard that he was tired of being the name behind the swing concept and was fed up with having to respond to questions about it and defending it. Why it should matter if you are getting results is another question.

    Teachers learn all the time and you may pull something from one book, and another from a different book. If Foley was teaching something completely brand new I doubt anyone would give him a second of their time. Mike and Andy learned from others as well and pieced together what they felt is important…nice to see Charlie playing so well though!

  • Funny how comments like this come back to haunt those who make them.

    Way to “Stack” it into the trees on #18 today Charlie, and then “Tilt” your straight uphill 8 footer way left that would gotten you to East Lake.

  • Wi blasting Foley is absurd. Since the start of the profession, teaching professionals have learned through observation and from those that came before them. What differentiates great instructors is their ability to convey swing thoughts and moves to their students. Why stop at criticizing Foley from taking from Plummer and Bennett’s Stack and Tilt? You might as well criticize him from borrowing from Hogan, Harvey Penick, Leadbetter, Harmon, and a multitude of others who have helped to shape swing theory and instruction. Plummer and Bennett are just mad and jealous that Tiger went to Foley, because let’s face it, Tiger would have brought huge attention from the masses to S&T.

    • Mr. Bourdeau….your commentary is bang right on! (It’s refreshing to read a note from someone who actually “gets it!”). I am a Canadian golf instructor on a part-time basis (part-time because eating is somewhat of a necessity!). I have gleaned information over the years from many, many places…Hogan, “Harpoon”, “Bedwetter”, Maclean, Toski, Nicklaus, Redmond, etc. etc. I have to tell you that my two favourite sources of late are A.J. Bonar and the book..”Swing like a Pro” (a definite MUST READ if you missed it!). You may think that these two “methods” are diametrically opposed, but I blended the mechanical truths from “Swing..” and the common sense thinking of “A.J.” and have come up with a darned effective method of teaching. Golf is a SPORT, similar to baseball (both pitching and hitting) in many ways. The cool part is that you don’t have to face a 95 m.p.h. fastball….the ball is STILL and you can hit it from the same set-up every time! (It’s like stealing candy from a baby!). Talk about EASY! If you get engrossed in mechanics, beyond the basics, you WILL ultimately fail. Also, we have to be so careful in the choice of words when teaching. I remember a couple of items in Hogan’s 5 lessons that had me wondering how many golfers could get “screwed up”. Ben (my childhood hero) certainly knew what he wanted to say, but when the ideas were converted into words, incorrect “paths” were, I’m fairly sure, taken by some. One of the things that comes to mind from his book was the comment, ” I wish I had 3 right hands!”. That comment alone does have merit, BUT is enough to ruin golfers, unless they talk it over with a very competent instructor who actually knows what it means! I hope I did not overheat my keyboard, Mr. Bourdeau, but, like a good chef, we try different “flavours” and combinations until we are satisfied. Some ideas we adopt, others go on the trash heap. The really good stuff, when all is said and done, we present to our students. Nothing makes me feel better, as a teacher, than to get my ideas across to the student, have them suddenly “smoke a drive” etc. and then turn to me with a big smile. Simply exhilarating! Happy autumn golf!…nothing better, in my humble opinion. Most golfers in Florida or California are hopelessly ignorant of this awesome experience! In early spring, I’ve even hit “splash shots” from snow in April! Steve Cooper (Brighton, Ontario).

  • […] college scholarship for Evans Scholar (Sandbox8) I Wish Corey Had Chosen Charlie (Golf Dash Blog) S&T supporter Wi rips Weir, Badds and Foley (Canadian Golfer) Hard ’8′ or Easy ’7′ (The Wedge Guy) Peter Oosterhuis: […]

  • I have a hard time believing that a bad ball striker has won twice at Riviera and at Augusta.

    What is important is not how you strike the ball on the range tuesday morning… but how you strike it at 5:30 pm in the final group on sunday afternoon…

    at that time Mr Wi, you’re normally having a sandwich in the clubhouse.

  • The reason Wi spoke up was in response to Tiger saying that what he is working on is very much like stack and tilt. But he said parts are not. TIGER has no idea if it is or is not. Not one clue.

    Second Sean goes on the record for saying he is on a level playing field when he talks about how the spine works in the swing. That was tought to him by Andy.

    However its very very true as the statements ; Wier and badds don’t control the ball as well as when they were being taught the system. In fact now Wier has a bum arm.

    As stated, there is a sharing of information is a load of rubbish. Its a one way deal.

    If somebody feels its not right than fine Charlie spoke up, good for him.

    This system has been around from Mac O Grady to Andy to Sean. He needs to stop saying he did his research on any of it. He did zero!!!!!!

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