If you’ve watched more than one or two of the videos I’ve done on the swings of the great players of the past and present you may have noticed the huge variations in technique they use to hit the golf ball. That said, you may also have noticed that there are a few themes that run through most of them, themes that I make sure to highlight. Two of the most important are the use of the ground to power the pivot motion, a movement I have called “compression”, and also the ability to “sustain” the alignment of the shaft with the left arm past impact, a position produced in part as a result of the huge amount of lateral and rotational movement of the lower body in the forward swing, a move Trevino himself described as a “slide-turn”. Watching Trevino hit the golf ball we see one of the most obvious and extreme examples of both of these highly desirable traits.
Trevino controlled the ball as well as anyone ever, preferring a low fade with the longer clubs, and was a master with the wedge. What jumps out about his swing, other than his idiosyncratic alignment, is the massive bend he produces in his posture as he swings, which should have long ago put to rest the conventional notion that it is a good idea to “maintain posture” during the swing. The truth is, it is a far better idea to “add” posture, or to bend more from the waist by compressing into the ground, as Trevino does. Trevino’s swing was entirely homemade, sculpted by hitting thousands upon thousands of balls off the hardpan of a Texas driving range. He grew up poor and had to fight and scratch for anything and everything, then ended up beating Nicklaus in a playoff for the U.S. Open for one of his six major championships. He is truly one of the all-time greats, and a great story as well.