If you could take them individually, the voices inside your head when you stand over a golf ball might be saying all the right things.
You might even think they meant well, all of them, if they weren’t shouting over each other and jostling for attention and managing to agree, once your swing is over, only in unanimous insult:
There’s a better way. There has to be.
1 Swing Thought (www.1swingthought.com) wants to point you down the path to spiritual enlightenment, one golf swing at a time. It’s Zen, but better than that it’s practical.
“I know that I have three swing keys,” says Bryon K. Smith, the entrepreneur behind 1 Swing Thought. “My mind can’t handle three. If I ingrain one, I can deal with it.”
1 Swing Thought, in product form, is a sticker that is applied to the top of the clubhead on a driver, fairway wood or hybrid with one of several sayings or visuals that help you think good thoughts on the course.
The stickers are waterproof, easy to apply and remove, and not easily dislodged by a headcover sliding on and off. They work on your choice of dark-colored clubheads or white.
In fact, for Smith, 53, a marketing consultant by trade, the new white driver heads hitting the market looked like nothing so much as miniature blank billboards … that golfers see as much as 14 times a round.
The first sticker Smith produced was “Swing Eaasssyy,” and it’s still the most popular. As momentum slowly builds for his concept, he says, other ideas for sticker phrases are flowing in.
My golf teacher says he could tinker with my swing mechanics forever and it wouldn’t mean anything until I learn to keep my head still over the ball, ‘til I stop swaying side to side, ‘til I maintain my spine angle through the swing.
For me to get there, then, the best sticker is the simplest. It might be the purest and most common sports mantra of all: Keep your eyes on the ball.
You, Zen Master, might be past all that. For you, if accuracy is the goal, 1 Swing Thought offers “Commit to the target” and “Turn and trust it.” For better tempo, one sticker reads “Tic Toc.”
For golfer brains that process pictures better than text, 1 Swing Thought offers stickers depicting proper swing path, or alignment to the target, or keeping the head trained on the ball through impact.
“It just makes so much sense,” Smith says. “You can immediately translate the thought into a benefit.”
I haven’t played much with the “Eyes on the ball” stickers on my driver and hybrids, but I like them already. I did keep my head on the ball more often through impact, and stood up out of my posture a few less times. Most of all, it helped me think less in general, which is never a bad thing.
Writings about the mental/mystical/spiritual side of golf all seem to focus on a mind uncluttered by too much synaptic activity. It maybe doesn’t even matter what’s in your brain, just that the number of conscious thoughts is a low number … like maybe one.