Experiences with TheStack System - How (well) it works and what we have learned so far
We were one of the very first to get our hands on TheStack in Europe in 2021 and immediately thought the concept was extremely exciting. Before TheStack hit the market, the offer of so-called "speed sticks" was limited and manageable. The market leaders only offered different sticks with different weights or a stick with an exchangeable head. Thereby "training plans" were given, which were relatively simple. For example, one should alternate sets with too heavy and too light weights. The basic idea is of course correct and all these devices have their justification. And yet none of them can be compared to TheStack system.
Dr. Sasho MacKenzie should be a household name to anyone who studies the "mechanics" of the golf swing a little more closely. He is probably the most renowned scientist in this field and co-founder of TheStack. When we researched further, it was clear to us that we had to try TheStack and that there was definitely great potential for a functioning and intelligently controlled club head speed training. We have always believed - and the data now proves us right - that more distance off the tee correlates with clearly better scores. Something we deal with in our daily fitting practice. Except that with TheStack, we optimize the player's distance potential and find the right driver to match it in the fitting.
To make a long story short: We got in contact with the team of TheStack and took over the EU-wide distribution so that all golfers in Europe can get TheStack without unnecessary taxes, customs and high shipping costs. However, we are absolute nerds when it comes to golf clubs and equipment. We put everything we sell through its paces, gaining experience in fittings and with a wide variety of player types on a daily basis. With TheStack we made no exception and that's why Florian started immediately with the training.
Initial training without radar
Due to Covid related supply issues we had to wait longer for a simple radar (fortunately times have changed again). And so Florian did not train "smart" via the app at first, but "stupidly" without any feedback. We can't recommend this kind of training. It's neither really fun, nor does it bring actual progress. At the very least, however, you simply train blindly and cannot expect any real improvements. In short: TheStack makes no sense without a suitable radar!
First step: Baseline
TheStack has to determine the baseline before the training starts in order to be able to base the training on it. For this you need your current driver, TheStack and a radar (preferably the same radar under the same conditions that you will use later in training). The baseline gives the rough direction and the app still makes adjustments during the training. Please also note that each individual session is dependent on the form of the day and the club head speed always varies 1-3mph.
The starting point: In Florian's case, he actually started training in January 2022. The current club head speed with the driver at that time was about 114mph club head speed and about 162mph ball speed.
Second Step: The Foundation
By far the most popular training program is the Foundation, which extends over 6 weeks and covers a type base of players, so to speak. Florian also started with the Foundation and completed it with a high Grit Score - this means that he followed the recommended training plan as closely as possible. TheStack now collects data from over 10,000 active users and knows exactly that a high Grit Score correlates with an increase in club head speed.
The interim result: Florian was already able to make good progress during and after the Foundation, increasing his club head speed to around 116mph and 165mph ball speed.
Third step: Heavy Hitter
The Heavy Hitter program is a special program with extremely heavy weights. It is designed to not only help with speed but also improve control in the swing. Since the latter is rather one of Florian's weaknesses, he continued with this program. Unfortunately, he had to interrupt this training program due to Covid and trained with Heavy Hitter for a total of 4 weeks before TheStack was no longer used.
The result after 10 weeks
The main reason why Florian stopped training with TheStack after his recovery was that he was absolutely satisfied with the results and achieved exactly what he wanted.
At the end of the 10 weeks he had a club head speed of about 117-118mph and a ball speed of 170mph - the latter was his declared goal. So it was possible to increase the club head speed from 114mph to 118mph only with TheStack training, without strength training or the like.
Admittedly, that's not the impressive part. Because the surprising effects became apparent the weeks and months after.
The positive long-term effects of TheStack
Because training with TheStack had very positive effects for Florian far beyond the aforementioned snapshot. The club head speed did not decrease after the end of the training - on the contrary. It continued to increase and Florian reached 121mph club head speed and 173mph ball speed in the meantime.
This trend was also noticeable with the iron (6). While Florian started out swinging around 92mph with a swingweight of D2 and a 120g shaft, he now easily reached 96-97mph with 130g shafts and a swingweight of D4-D5. He thus swings the stiffest X-Stiff shafts like Project X 7.0 or Dynamic Gold X7 very comfortably and can even reach 100mph if needed.
The fact that it seems relatively easy for him to achieve these swing speeds means he can swing in the 93-94mph range with less effort and therefore more control - a speed that would be sufficient for any scratch or even tour player with a 6 iron.
And that brings us to (possibly) the most interesting part of TheStack: it also helps throughout the game, not just to hit longer drives. Thanks to TheStack, it's possible to manage your training so that you can produce the same speeds with more control and less (perceived) effort. And you still have a lot more "left in the tank".
Season break and starting to train again
During the season, besides playing golf, a full time job, family and other hobbies, there is little time for Florian to really train with TheStack and therefore TheStack was not touched at all in the period from April to December.
The club head speed decreased slightly during the last weeks and months of the season and settled at around 116-117mph. In December Florian decided to start again with the heavy hitter program to recover from this "low point". The impressive thing was that within 2 weeks of training he was able to peak again and set a new personal record with 122mph club head speed and 175mph ball speed. Such a leap is of course not possible permanently, but it is impressive that after such a long break you can get back to your best performance in such a short time with the right TheStack training.
Our personal recommendations with TheStack
As a takeaway, we would like to share the following with you, which we can definitely say from our own personal experiences:
- Please use TheStack system only with the appropriate radar
- Take the app and training programs seriously - that is, feed the app with as accurate data as possible and let the AI do the work for you
- It's best to start with Foundation and then move on to a program that works best for you and addresses your weaknesses
- Don't expect the training effect to last for years. Continue training either irregularly during the season (for which there are now special programs)
- Repeat intensive training (at least for short periods of 2-3 weeks) every now and then to maintain your progress
- Don't think of TheStack as just "long drive training" - it will improve your overall swing and lower your scores
We hope this review has been helpful to you and you can now get a better idea of what training with TheStack is like. Please be aware that these are very personal experiences and speak only for one person (Florian). However, TheStack itself has collected enough data in the meantime to be able to confirm these experiences. However, training progress is certainly very individual and depends on many factors. It is important, for example, that you accept the ups and downs during training and understand that progress is never linear.