‘Never kill a fly when you play golf,’ says Lee Trevino. Here’s what he means

Talking to the Short Game Chef, Parker McLachlin, Lee Trevino shares an important tip to remember when determining your angle of attack

The legendary Lee Trevino shares an important tip when it comes to determining your club path.

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Welcome to Shaving Strokes, a GOLF.com series in which we’re sharing improvements, learnings and takeaways from amateur golfers just like you — including some of the speed bumps and challenges they faced along the way.

There’s so much golf instruction out there from so many different people, all of whom have helpful tips to share, but one of my all-time favorite people to listen to about golf is Lee Trevino.

Not only is the 84-year-old Trevino a six-time major champ — so he knows what the hell he’s talking about — but he’s also so entertaining and easy to understand when he gives tips to amateur golfers.

While talking to the Short Game Chef, Parker McLachlin, Lee Trevino shares a fun tip that's important to remember when addressing the ball
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Sure, there are some people who learn best by talking technical and feeling the difference between a club path at 32 degrees versus 28 degrees, but that sure isn’t me. I need to visualize something in order to put it into practice — and then can be pretty successful quite quickly upon doing so.

So the fact that a golf lifer like Trevino keeps things so relaxed with his golf instruction is always a welcome sight.

And it doesn’t get much simpler or casual than Trevino comparing the angle of attack to swatting flies — which is what Trevino provides in today’s lesson.

This Lee Trevino tip will help determine your attack angle

In the video above, which comes from GOLF Teacher to Watch (and Short Game Chef) Parker McLachlin, Trevino talks about how the attack angle should look in the short game, and how he prefers to control the club path.

In true Trevino fashion, he compares swinging the golf club with swatting at flies on a table.

“Say you had two flies on the table, and you had a fly swatter in your hand and you’re going to kill one,” Trevino tells McLachlin.

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Both Trevino and McLachlin then demonstrate how they’d attempt to kill the fly, coming straight down with their hand — but that’s not the attack angle Trevino suggests using, and says sweeping instead of coming in steep is the best way to hit wedge shots.

“Say, for instance, that fly was there and I tried to tell you to swing at that fly, but I want you to hit it and knock it into the wall,” Trevino adds.

“I wouldn’t hit down, I would sweep it” McLachlin replies.

“Never kill a fly when you play golf,” Trevino exclaims. “Never kill a fly!”

While there’s been a lot of debate about being steep versus shallow in the short game, using this visual from Trevino should help players of all levels hit crispy wedge shots that sit near the pin.

It might seem like a simple piece of advice, but by following Trevino’s tip here, it provides you a new way to think about your attack angle.

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Nick Dimengo

Golf.com Editor