Today we take a look at the golf swing release of a true legend of the game, Lee Trevino.
Trevino’s release is amazing and seems almost unreal. Few players in today’s game swing this way. But there are still a lot of useful things for the Occasional Golfer to glean from this golfing legend.
Trevino’s Homemade Swing Features a Massive Golf Swing Release
Trevino, the winner of six major championships, had a home-made swing that looks a bit odd and awkward at first. Don’t let this deceive you.
Lee was, and is, regarded as one of the games all-time great ball strikers. So obviously he did a lot of things right and could do them right under extreme pressure.
Most importantly, he had a golf swing that the Occasional Golfer can emulate successfully. Let’s have a look at Lee hit a few balls:
Indeed, it looks as if he is literally hurling himself down the target line, chasing after the ball. This is the key to his consistent ball striking — he is able to keep the clubface square to the target line for an incredibly long time with this unique golf swing release motion.
Hence, he can hit the ball with a very shallow descending blow, another key for consistency.
Trevino’s Centered Head Enables a Freakishly Huge Golf Swing Release
To study his release a bit further, study the swing sequence from (0:38) to (0:42). I’ve stopped the action at a few key points, and drawn horizontal and vertical reference lines below:
Note how much Lee drops his head on the downswing and release (nearly a foot!, more even than another great ball striker, Tom Lehman) as he chases his clubhead down the line.
Despite this “bear down” move on the downswing, his head does not move laterally. It remains lined up with the green dashed line, and he remains focused on the golf ball. So, strictly speaking, Lee does not keep his head still at all during the swing.
But he does not move it laterally either, and keeps his eyes focused on where the ball was well through impact, so he can still deliver a consistent, downward strike to the ball. This is the essence of what it means to keep your head still. And it is what enables him to chase down the line so well, and that is what makes him the great ball striker that he is.
Channel Your Inner Trevino at Your Next Driving Range Session
Now, I’m not suggesting you drop your head on the downswing as much as Lee Trevino. You may well end up at the chiropractor. But, if your back can handle it (be sure to warm up first), try hitting some easy shots like Lee.
Keep your head centered over the ball, clear your hips, fire through the ball, extend the clubface down the line after impact — do it like Lee. You will find that you are striking down on the ball, releasing the clubhead down the line, and enjoying a new consistency to your ball striking that you’ve not seen before.
Think of Trevino’s golf swing release as a caricature of what your release could be. A model to emulate, an ideal to strive for. The mental image can help you out the next time you are on the driving range.
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