Lee Trevino says this is the secret to hitting the ball solidly

lee trevino laughs while wearing a pink shirt

In today's edition of Play Smart, we celebrate Lee Trevino's birthday by looking back at one of his most popular ball-striking tips.

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Welcome to Play Smart, a regular game-improvement column that will help you play smarter, better golf.

As one of golf’s all-time greats, Lee Trevino should be celebrated every day. However, today is a little more special for The Merry Mex — it’s his 84th birthday.

With 84 years of experience on this Earth, Trevino has amassed plenty of knowledge. And his expertise — golf — is something he’s always willing to talk about.

Two years ago, caught up with Trevino on the range at Gary Player‘s annual pro-am. And when the subject of ball-striking came up, he was more than happy to impart his knowledge.

How to hit the ball more solidly

A golf swing is the sum of its parts, but with so many variables in play, it can be difficult to get everything moving in harmony. Proper sequencing is key to a good swing, but doing that is easier said than done.

To get the sequencing correct, you need your entire body working together, and your arms are some of the most important elements.

“Your arms are only so long,” Trevino said. “You have to understand that your arms are like the limbs attached to the trunk of a tree. My body is the trunk, and my arms are the limbs. They swing back and forth.”

With your arms straightening as you swing, determining the low point is crucial. In order to hit the ball solidly, you need to hit the ball at the bottom of the swing radius.

That’s where ball position comes in. You want the ball to be at the bottom of your swing arc to produce the best contact. For many players, though, ball position is something they struggle with.

“The secret to hitting the ball solidly, if you’re not hitting the ball solidly, is keep moving the ball back [in your stance],” Trevino said. “If you get the ball too far forward and the limbs come up, [you hit it thin].”

Trevino explained that he always tried to hit the ball on the inside of it — right around 7 on a clock. To do that, he’d move the ball a little bit back in his stance.

“These limbs are only going to go so far before they release, they rotate or open,” he said.

Next time you find yourself struggling to make solid contact with your irons, heed Trevino’s advice. The problem might just be that you have the ball a little too far forward in your stance.

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