Welcome to Play Smart, a regular GOLF.com game-improvement column that will help you play smarter, better golf.
Lee Trevino is best known for his prowess on the golf course, but his aphorisms are a close second.
If you are caught on a golf course during a storm and are afraid of lightning, hold up a 1-iron. Not even God can hit a 1-iron.
Pressure is when you play for five dollars a hole with only two in your pocket.
You can talk to a fade but a hook won’t listen.
Like golf’s version of Yogi Berra, Trevino has always explained things in a way that others just can’t. Every time he opens his mouth, something profound (and sometimes unorthodox) comes out of his mouth.
At the age of 83, Trevino isn’t showing any signs of slowing down in passing on his wisdom to the next generation. In a recent chat with short-game expert Parker McLachlin, Trevino imparted his best advice on how to properly use your body for a solid wedge shot. And, in classic Trevino fashion, he had quite a unique way of explaining it.
“It’s like a jacka– and a wagon,” Trevino says. “The jacka– pulls the wagon. If the jacka– stops, the wagon runs over his a–.”
Now, you might be wondering how exactly a donkey and a wagon have anything in common with swinging a golf club, but there is much truth in Trevino’s simile.
When you’re hitting a pitch with a wedge, you want to engage your body in the swing. It might be a smaller backswing and follow through than a full shot, but that doesn’t mean you should abandon those fundamentals when hitting a shorter distance.
In this comparison, the donkey is your body, and the wagon is the club. If you stop moving your body when you get to impact, the club will “run over his a–.” I.e. the club will pass your body and you will get out of sync.
“It has to go around,” Trevino says. “That’s how you play wedge shots.”
The explanation is a bit unorthodox, but the logic is sound. You must engage your body and turn through the shot if you want to hit a solid wedge.