It’s incredible how many things you can think about in the time it takes between starting your downswing and making contact with the ball. In reality, it’s only a fraction of a second, but you can notice the stretching of a golf cart’s tires two holes away, see subtle movement of a shadow near your ball and suddenly remember a tip you overhead in the clubhouse about swinging up on drives to get more distance. Before you finish your follow-through and spot the ball, you know it’s gone, sliced into the woods like three other brain-dead shots you’ve hit off the tee that day.
With the release of the Mindset pattern on its new Tour B family of golf balls for 2024, Bridgestone is trying to help golfers — both recreational players and elite competitors — adopt a system that can help them develop a routine to turn their brain off when overthinking can get in the way of hitting good shots.
Developed with the help of Jason Day and his mental-game coach, Jason Goldsmith, the Mindset pattern is comprised of three circles and a series of three small arrows, with each part of the pattern representing a step in the pre-shot process.
The large red circle represents the time before the shot when you consider things like the hole location, hazards, the wind direction and where you want to hit your next shots. Inside that circle is a smaller yellow circle, which represents the time when you want to envision what that shot will look like. If you have ever seen Jason Day on television closing his eyes for a few seconds before hitting, this is what he’s doing, imagining what hitting his desired shot will feel like and how it will look.
The Bridgestone Tour B Mindset ball is designed to help golfers improve their pre-shot process and quiet their thoughts as they play shots. (David Dusek/Golfweek)
After going through those steps, golfers should focus on the green dot in the pattern, the smallest circle, and stop thinking. The idea is you want to consider all of the analytical things that will go into an intelligent shot, allow your body and mind to think about what hitting that shot will be like, and then mentally get out of the way and let it happen.
“What Mindset is actually doing is trying to get the amateur prepared to hit the best possible shot they can hit,” Day said. “You’re setting up these steps for an amateur golfer to be able to perform from tee to green so much better.”
The arrows in the Mindset logo allow players to line up the ball on the greens before putts and use the logo as an alignment aid while also lining up the ball when they tee off.
Aside from the mindset side stamp, the Mindset golf balls are identical to the other just-released Bridgestone Tour B X, Tour B XS, Tour B RX and Tour B RXS balls, and if all of this feels a little too Kumbaya-inner-peace-zen for your taste, consider this: In testing with accomplished golfers, Bridgestone reports that golfers who were told about the Mindset process and used Mindset balls in a study averaged over 4 mph more ball speed and 12 yards more carry distance than when they used all-white golf balls. On the greens, golfers made five percent more putts using a Mindset ball than a black, all-white ball from 10 feet. The improved performance is attributed to golfers trusting the preparation process and then being more relaxed and free when they swing.
Bridgestone Tour B Mindset golf balls should be in stores starting February 16 for $49.99 per dozen.