Secrets of The Stack – the system that made Matt Fitzpatrick a great champion

Matt Fitzpatrick – David Cannon / Getty Images

Everything changed for Sasho MacKenzie within hours of Matt Fitzpatrick’s first big win at the US Open on Sunday night.

A university professor and top industrial golf engineer, MacKenzie is the mastermind behind The Stack, the product that Fitzpatrick made him a global winner. “I will be honest, he did miracles,” said the Englishman.

In an instant, a niche product became global. “We did well and very happy to sell 20 to 25 units a day,” MacKenzie told the Telegraph Sport. “Now we’ve done a few months of overnight discounts.”

One of the highlights of Fitzpatrick’s triumph was the significantly improved driving distance – a development that contributed to MacKenzie’s creation.

A speed training system that uses a physical club with different weight components to increase the speed of the club head, The Stack is available to both amateurs and professionals from February 2021.

If the science behind this is complicated, the logic is quite simple. By requiring a golfer to repeatedly swing a bat of different weights – overload and underload optimal weight – at maximum pace in a rigorous repetition routine and set, he aims to build strength and speed through custom programs.

“I did it religiously every week and every week,” Fitzpatrick said of his three weekly sessions using the device. “It’s like going to the gym, basically. “It’s like a training program.”

The results were convincing last week, with Fitzpatrick usually surpassing his partner Dustin Johnson, one of the longest-serving drivers in the golf world. It marked a reversal for a player whose game was not traditionally about distance.

The beginning of something special

Less than two years ago and having a share of the halfway lead in the BMW PGA Championship, Fitzpatrick was in a good mood, only to be asked by a reporter about Bryson DeChambeau, the recent US Open champion and the man many fought over. . he destroyed the sport with his swollen physique and the consequent great driving.

“I’m tired of seeing everyone talk about him,” Fitzpatrick said. “I know I’m not the longest on the T-shirt and so biased, but I drove it perfectly on the Winged Foot [the venue for the 2020 US Open]he played quite well overall and yet he finished miles behind.

“I really hope R&D does something about their work on distance information. For me it is not an ability to put on 40 pounds and hit the ball 40 yards away as a result. Anyone could do it. The ability is to hit the ball directly, but it takes away the ability from it, in my opinion. ”

With Fitzpatrick finishing just seventh in the tournament, a few days later his coach Mike Walker contacted McKenzie to see what help he could offer.

Matt Fitzpatrick - Instagram

Matt Fitzpatrick – Instagram

“Matt would be successful in some places, but he wanted to get a great education,” MacKenzie said. “He would go to some classes and he would have to use hybrids and four-wheelers where other guys used wedges.”

Having worked on his work for the past six years, MacKenzie was ready to seize the opportunity.

“Fitzpatrick actually had the first Stack we made,” he said. “At that time I did everything on an Excel spreadsheet, so he completed the weights of his workout and did some calculations to figure out his workout for the next day. At one point he really lost the only Stack he had when he left it in Abu Dhabi.

“We did it for six months and then the application was developed and the original turned into a real club.”

Speed ​​is a skill

The results were remarkable even before Fitzpatrick’s success at the US Open. From an average driving distance of 287.9 ​​yards on the PGA Tour in 2019, it has increased to 298 this calendar year.

Despite standing at a relatively mediocre – by modern standards of elite golf – 5 feet 10 inches, he has also climbed from 119th place in the strokes the T-shirt won on the PGA Tour in 2018, to 59th in 2020 and 10th place in 2022.

By the time he left Brooklyn on Sunday night, he had achieved an average driving distance of 309.2 yards for 16th place on the field, fifth place for driving accuracy and second place for strokes won by the T-shirt in all four. US Open rounds.

At the heart of his transformation was the increase in the speed of the club over 5 miles / hour from 2019 until now.

“If I was in that position four years ago and I was playing with Will [Zalatoris] in the final team, I would be worried I would be 15, 20 [yards] behind him, “said Fitzpatrick. “And I felt comfortable all day that I would get over him, something that gives me confidence to get into the next shot knowing that you have less clubs.

“There is a bit of a mentality, that when you pass people, it’s very nice.”

MacKenzie believes that such a benefit is not limited to the best in the world.

“Speed ​​is a skill and every golfer has a window of about 20 miles per hour at any given age, among which his speed with his driver can vary,” he said.

“If you swing at 80 mph and have not done speed training and are unfit, you have the option to increase it to 100 mph. Plus, it’s the most fun part of the game, hitting the ball away. It makes golf so much more enjoyable. ”

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