I learned a great deal about the golf swing simply by listening to Lee Trevino explain how he “traps” the golf ball at impact. The “Merry Mex” as he is affectionately known is a self taught golfer and understands the golf swing like no other.
Lee certainly has a great understanding of the golf swing. His golf swing is far from classic as he reroutes his golf club on the way down…not a conventional golf swing to say the least. One thing Lee Trevino understands very well is how the golf ball responds to the club face at impact….which is the only thing the golf ball cares about. Do you think the golf ball cares about how your swing looks? The only thing the golf ball cares about is the position and speed of the club face at impact.
When I finally figured out what Lee Trevino was talking about it made a tremendous impact on how solidly I began to strike the ball. I know this is a cliché and you probably have heard it a million times, you must hit down on the golf ball to make it go up! Do you know what is really happening when a golf ball is well struck at impact? It took me 8 years before I figured this out…and it was Lee who finally explained it to me.
For some reason most recreational golfers feel they need to help the golf ball go up by flipping their hands at impact…if there ever was a move in the golf swing that robs you of power, this is it. Lee Trevino says the key to making solid contact with the golf ball is to visualize the club face as being the back of your left hand as you swing the club. Lee visualizes he is “trapping” the golf ball at impact with the back of his left hand…an incredibly powerful move that keeps the golf club at a right angle with the left arm deep into the downswing. “Hit the back of the ball with the back of the left hand” is Lee’s mantra. World famous golf swing guru Butch Harmon says he likes to feel like he has Bethlehem Steel in his left wrist at impact.
So what happens to the golf ball at impact when it is struck correctly? When you swing down on the ball at impact the golf ball actually spins up the club face to the top grooves. This is what the grooves in the club face are for…this is what gives the golf ball spin. How do you think pro golfers stop the ball on a dime on the green? They are using more of the grooves on the club face than amateurs. Golfers who flip the club face at impact are only utilizing the bottom grooves on the club face…the result; a weak, flat trajectory with little spin…Their left wrist has completely broken down at impact.
Watch the golf pros left wrist at impact…most of them have a bowed left wrist at impact…the opposite of the golfers who flip at the ball where the left wrist has broken down. This bowed left wrist allows a late powerful release into the golf ball…the secret to tremendous power off the tee. Next time you go to the range, think “Back of Left Wrist Into Back of Ball” as you start your downswing. This mental image forces you to swing from the inside and retain the release deep into the downswing. You will notice your golf ball has a much more penetrating ball flight. Your golf ball will have a higher trajectory and it will go a lot further.
Try it…it works!
Hit ’em Long and Straight!