The Little One began with a Big idea. Dan Bonomo wasn’t the first golfer ever to become frustrated with his apparent inability to make a simple golf swing. Something similar caused Karsten Solheim to create Ping and Gary Adams to conceive Metal Woods, which became Taylor-Made. Dan’s objective was a little simpler—”Find A Way” because “Just Do It” was already taken. Verbal or written advice will only help you so much. Sooner or later you have to develop, feel and train yourself to master a functional swing to enjoy golf, and Dan’s constant “over the top” swing was driving him crazy. Dan’s baseball background brought back memories of a training aid for batting: a thin heavy rod that helped hitters “groove” a swing and strike the ball more solidly. Why wouldn’t that work in golf? The Little Club was born in the year 2000. The concept of the baseball rod, the Thunder Stick, helps create a focus on a smaller impact area. The Little Club’s head is just large enough for a golf ball, but otherwise is the normal 7-iron length, loft and weight. “It’s a paperweight,” said Kendall Thomas, head professional at the PGA Superstore in Scottsdale, when he saw the head. An hour later he was hitting balls into a net with the paperweight laughing like everyone else when they realize how easy it is to hit the ball. Obviously a small-headed club would demand greater focus on swing path and timing, leading the player to a more careful swing than they would have with a normal club. That’s the key, according to Tour Professional Gary Birch, who also happens to be an amateur psychologist. “You’re in an unknown environment hitting this club, so you have no unrealistic expectations; you don’t feel you should hit a ball solidly.” But, you do, time after time. You’re essentially swinging the sweet spot, learning through feedback to improve your impact position. Training aids abound, but only a few help you coordinate the whole of the swing. The Little One does that, and amazingly well. When you graduate to your own clubs after a 15-ball warm up with Little One you’ll find your swing a little slower and more controlled, but, like Gary, you will likely add a half club to your usual iron distances. Your club appears so much easier to hit that you’ll swing without any tension. Try the Little One, it may make you a lot better! Or at least, it will win you a few bets while others are laughing.
You can find one for yourself at azgolf.org, or directly from Dan at [email protected]