Trevino Tips

Lee Trevino's pendulum tip is simple ball-striking brilliance

December 14, 2023
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ORLANDO — Watching Lee Trevino hold court on the driving range is one of golf's great treats. And it’s happening this week at the PNC Championship.

Ahead of this year's contest, Golf Digest had a quick chat with Trevino on the range. Lively as ever, it didn’t disappoint.

You can watch the full video below, but the 84-year-old Trevino says he still goes to the range almost every day, usually for about an hour. But recently, the iconic ball striker fell into a rut: He started hitting hooks.

Check out more Lee Trevino content in the Golf Digest Archive!

Trevino said Scottie Scheffler's coach, Randy Smith, noticed that his stance had become too narrow. He widened it slightly, which Trevino said prevented his lower body from moving too far off the ball, which helped him square his clubface and straighten out his ball flight.

"My stance was too narrow," he said. "My arms were moving left too soon."

And that, he says, is a lesson the rest of us should learn.

Trevino: 'The Golf Swing is a Pendulum'

Trevino says to think of the golf swing as really more of a pendulum:

  • The center of your upper body is the top of the pendulum.
  • The clubhead is the bottom of the pendulum.
  • For most shots you want to hit the ball when the club is at the bottom of its pendulum arc.

Trevino says he ran into trouble because his upper body—the top of his pendulum—was moving back. That was causing the clubface to swing too closed by the time it got to the ball, and he hit hooks because of it.

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Trevino Pendulum Tip No. 1

Which brings us to Trevino's tip for the rest of us: As you swing, keep your upper body centered, and stable. When your upper body sways back-and-forth, you're in trouble.

"Golf is like a pendulum, a three-part pendulum. The center of the body is the string of the pendulum. You want you start moving [your upper body] off of it, this is when you start having trouble."

Trevino Pendulum Tip No. 2

Stance width is an important part of all this, he says. Not only will it help you keep your upper body stable, but it'll affect your ball position. With the center of your pendulum (your upper body) stable, match a stance width and ball position that allows your hands to naturally square the clubface.

If it's too far forward, Trevino says you'll probably top the ball or start hitting it to the left. If you're chunking it or hitting the ball to the right, it may be too far back."

"It's a very simple game," Trevino says. "The golf ball will tell you exactly what you need to know."

You can watch the full video right here: