One of the oldest players at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club on Friday put a ball onto a tee and told one of the youngest to practice what he was about to teach. One of the most famous players listened in too.
“Hey, Charlie, you got to practice this,” Lee Trevino, 82, said to Charlie Woods, 12. “Now your dad can do this. I know your dad can do this. You see this — you see this flag?” Trevino pointed into the range.
“OK, this is a wedge shot,” he continued, then took a wedge swing with his driver. “A little wedge shot that is. This is — he does all that. I’m telling him, the greatest ball-striker there is right there.”
“Oh come on,” Tiger Woods said.
“He had power,” Trevino said.
“You’re the best I’ve ever seen,” Woods said.
On and on it went. Some teaching. Some complimenting. Some joking. One of the best parts of this PNC Championship is the pool of knowledge up and down the tee sheet of the parent-child event, and even 15-time major winners try to tap into it. And so, a little while after he had finished his pro-am round in his first competitive event since his car crash in late February, Woods and his son walked over to the far end of the range at the Ritz-Carlton, where Trevino and his son, Daniel, had set up shop.
For some 15 minutes, they talked, hit and doubled over laughing. A few weeks ago, in his first press conference since the accident, Woods talked of how he missed the camaraderie of these sorts of things. And in a two-minute video tweeted out by the Champions Tour on Friday night, we got to listen in to some of it, which you can watch below.
The best part? Trevino dished on what he called the shot that causes him the most fear — and how he hit it.
“The most fear, the most fear ever, on a par-5, was a 50-yard shot with the pin on the right, with water, with water, with water right there,” Trevino said.
“Coming around the water,” Woods said, as his son hit balls in the background.
“With water right there,” Trevino. “I said the greatest way of doing this, to avoid the water, is play with your hands way forward. That way you can’t shove them in it. Watch it, though, you put your hands there and then you hold it.”
“See you’re never going to go to the right,” he said. “You’ll never go to the right. Because the first thing in your mind when you want to hit a fade is you’re going to do this. [Makes demonstration with arms shoving forward.] If your hands are back, and you do this, then it won’t fade.”
Wood grabbed a club.
“My hands are coming out,” he said.
“Come out, come in,” Trevino said. “Come in to avoid the …”
“So I take the right out by having my hands here,” Woods said, demonstrating with one arm.
“See, I don’t do that because I’m already out here,” Trevino said.
“I know, because of your normal takeaway,” Woods said. “My takeaway is slightly different.”
“But I’ll always put the hand right there,” Trevino said.
“Yeah, yeah, yeah,” Woods said.
Trevino swung again.
“See, and then I can pull it,” he said. “Then I can pull that trigger from there.”
And on and on the session went some more.
“Like I said, my favorite event this week so far is I was practicing late on Monday night, and Lee came over and started practicing behind me and Larry Rinker, the club pro here, went over and started talking about — I’m hitting shots like 15 yards away from them, and all I’m doing is listening to what Lee Trevino is saying,” Padraig Harrington said on the Golf Channel broadcast of Friday’s pro-am. Harrington, a three-time major champion, is one of the 20 pros in the event.
“I know everybody is going to come here, and yes, you want to watch Charlie and you want to watch Tiger — you want to watch golf, go watch Lee Trevino. He’s hitting 40-yard pitches that are like one-stop spin. The sheer ball-striking and talent — I’d send my kid to watch Lee Trevino.”