What is the One Trick Pony's Trick!

One Trick Pony, is a song and a movie by Paul Simon, released in 1980. Until I heard that song I believed the term was a disparaging comment aimed at someone with limited talents and abilities. This song made me think otherwise. Perhaps it is better to have one trick that you can do very well than to have a multitude of ordinary lackluster abilities.

What could this possibly have to do with golf?

Let's look at the lyrics from the song: https://www.paulsimon.com/music/one-trick-pony/

Lyrics:

He’s a one-trick pony
One trick is all that horse can do
He does one trick only
It’s the principle source of his revenue
And when he steps into the spotlight
You can feel the heat of his heart
Come rising through
See how he dances
See how he loops from side to side
See how he prances
The way his hooves just seem to glide
He’s just a one-trick pony, that’s all he is
But he turns that trick with pride
He makes it look so easy
He looks so clean
He moves like God’s
Immaculate machine
He makes me think about
All of these extra moves I make
And all this herky-jerky motion
And the bag of tricks it takes
To get me through my working day
One-trick pony
He’s a one-trick pony
He either fails or he succeeds
He gives his testimony
Then he relaxes in the weeds
He’s got one trick to last a lifetime
But that’s all a pony needs, that’s all he needs
He looks so easy
He looks so clean
He moves like God’s
Immaculate machine
He makes me think about
All of these extra moves I make
And all this herky-jerky motion
And the bag of tricks it takes
To get me through my working day,
One-trick pony
One-trick pony
One-trick pony, one-trick pony
One-trick pony, take me for a ride
One-trick pony
© 1980 Words and Music by Paul Simon
Whenever I watch a really good golfer, whether pro or amateur, I see one trick they all can do with grace. Oddly that trick is not hitting the golf ball! That golfer either fails or succeeds because of that one great trick and more importantly they accept that truth. They make it look so easy, they make it look so clean. They leave out all the extra moves that other golfers make, all that herky-jerky motion that is just not needed for that one great trick. I see that great golfer move from side to side, how their hands and feet just seem to glide. I can see their passion for that trick and the pride in their performance. 

For the past several years I have tried to learn that trick and teach it to my students. It is very hard to learn and even harder to teach. Do more with less, think simple, be natural, understand nature's laws. I have successfully performed the trick on occasion, and have witnessed a student feel that wonderful moment when the trick worked. I still do not fully own the ability to perform the trick every time and probably never will. Moe Norman called it the "Moment of Greatness". I ask myself and my students to evaluate each swing not by what the ball did but rather how well was the trick performed. For me 'staying in the moment' means staying focused on performing that one trick and nothing else.

That one trick that all golfers need is motion. A simple graceful balanced motion from side to side. A motion that begins from a quiet stationary balanced place and ends in a different quiet stationary balanced place. A smooth rhythmical rotating motion around the torso. A movement that starts from the feet and moves throughout the whole body. A movement that shifts the weight from both feet to one foot and then to the other foot. 





















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