Golf Instruction: Swing Sequences

Lee Trevino and Son

March 2013
Swing Sequence: Lee and his son Daniel

Now 73, Trevino won six major championships and 29 PGA Tour events. He won another 29 times on the Champions Tour and still competes a little. Living in Dallas with his wife, Claudia, he plays at three clubs there and at Bighorn Golf Club in Palm Desert, Calif.

A 20-year-old sophomore and business major at the University of Southern California, Daniel aspires to make his college golf team. His ultimate goal: playing on tour. "I have a long way to go," he says.

• Slow-motion video: Lee and son Daniel

Lee Trevino has always said that his self-taught swing was an accident of nature, and warned that those who tried to imitate him could wind up in a world of hurt. So when Trevino's youngest son, Daniel, took up the game seriously three years ago, he taught him sparingly and sought help from teacher Randy Smith in Dallas. The result: Daniel the golfer is developing a sound, modern swing, one that bears no resemblance to that of his famous father. The apple is falling far from the tree.

No player in history hit the ball more solidly than Lee Trevino—so said Ben Hogan—and few were as accurate. So why the reluctance to pass along the best lessons from his swing to his son, who is eager to learn the game? "I was good, a pretty big gun," Lee says, "but my swing had a couple of drawbacks. I couldn't hit the ball high, which you have to do on courses today. My swing was hard on my body. I wasn't much of a long-iron player. If Daniel's going to play with the big boys, he can't have the limitations I had.

"Daniel's swing is the opposite of mine," Lee says. "I fade it, he hooks it. He nails it high, I still hit it low. His swing is pretty long, mine is short—and getting shorter. Daniel's has adequate power; he blasts it 290 even though he's only 5-foot-6. I can only carry it 235. His irons are exceptional. But his best trait is something you can't see: passion. You can't teach that."

For his part, Daniel, a plus-2 handicapper with little competitive experience except for a few amateur events in Dallas, knows his dad's swing well. "We played 52 days straight once. I beat him about half the time, and it would be more if he didn't chip in so much. He'll get after me for not listening. If he tells me something and I ignore it, he says I have to polish his trophies when we get home. That's a lot of trophies.

"Dad's control is amazing, especially with wedges. He's as good as the young tour players when it comes to creating shots and managing distances. He hits it so solid, and holds the angle beautifully through impact, even with the driver. I can see why Dad's in the Hall of Fame."—Guy Yocom

Swing Sequence: Lee and Daniel Trevino
LEE: See how lightly he's holding the club with his right hand? That's his feel hand.

Analysis by Lee Trevino (Daniel's swing) and Daniel Trevino (Lee's swing).
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