Looking for a new way to focus your thoughts on the course? Don’t look to the sky – look to your feet, with Shoe Tips.
The most recently famous story of mind over matter in golf was Louis Oosthuizen’s red dot on his glove in the 2010 British Open.
The dot was there at the suggestion of sports psychologist Karl Morris who had been working with Oosthuizen to help him improve his concentration before starting his swing. With the red spot as a reminder, Oosthuizen was able to focus his thought process a little better, and it was that edge that helped him win the tournament.
We all need the equivalent of the red spot when we play golf. Even the top players need it. Sometimes we hear caddies give professional golfers a key word before a shot, like Michael Greller when he says target or posture to Jordan Spieth as Spieth takes his stance. Paula Creamer writes her reminders on sticky notes and puts them inside her scorecard holder.
Each golfer has something they are working on at a particular point in time, and getting the reminder of what to focus on during the swing gets the brain and the body headed in the right direction. Maybe your golf instructor says you need to think about tempo or visualizing the shot, but between the time you get the advice and picking the club out of your bag and standing over the ball, that thought’s gone. How do you keep what you are supposed to remember uppermost in your brain, closer to the time you hit the shot?
Well that’s what Steve Lewis, founder of Shoe Tips, wondered. Like most of us, he decided he needed a prompter, you know, the person who stands off to the side of the stage and whispers the next line to the actor who has forgotten it. So, he came up with a way to prompt himself and others. He called it Shoe Tips.
Crazy as it sounds, your shoes really are one of the last things you see before you get ready to hit the ball. So why not put a swing key reminder there? You can’t take Paula Creamer’s sticky note and put it there and have it stay for more than 20 seconds if it’s windy. Plus it’s a sticky note. People would really laugh. And that would be another distraction.
So, Lewis made Shoe Tips out of something durable. They are reminders that attach to your golf shoes, slipping on like a ball marker holder slips on your visor or cap. And you can change the tip or thought any time you want.
The tips are in three categories: Focus, feel and technique.
Focus tips are: Back and Through, Stay Down, Breathe Focus, Commit Trust, Impact and Visualize.
Feel tips are: Soft Hands, Tempo, Balance, Smooth, Posture and Feel.
Technique tips are: Turn, Finish, Ball Position, Alignment, Hit Down and Swing Plane.
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If those tips aren’t all-encompassing enough for you, the back side of each tip is blank, leaving you a space to write your own swing tip from your pro or coach with a Sharpie marker.
And guess what. According to a company spokeswoman, at the International Network of Golf Conference, they conform for use under the Rules of Golf.
If having the tips on your shoes is too much of a distraction, Shoe Tips also includes a bag tag that you can clip the swing thoughts to. So, if you don’t want it on your shoe, but you still want the reminder, it’s there when you reach for your club.
You could also go for the double whammy, use two tips when you reach for your club, kind of an extra pre-shot routine, and then two more when you stand over you ball. Of course, that could be really confusing. Reasonably priced at just under $20 per set, these won’t break the bank for any golfer looking for that extra level of confidence.
Finally, after the round, you can use the Swing Tips to make up a funny assortment of tip phrases. Focus during the round and fun after – never a bad combination.