I don’t often get star struck. That said, I was pretty excited when I saw Lee Trevino on the driving range this week.
After four back surgeries and 45 years of competitive golf, Lee can still stripe it. He was at my home facility—the Boulders Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz.—for a corporate outing and the taping of a Golf Channel skills-challenge. I had just finished giving a lesson to two lady resort guests who were new to the game, and Lee arrived after lunch to warm up for the skills show. I went from grass roots to the pinnacle!
Lee called me over to have me watch him hit a few. I told him how I watched him win two British Opens in my native land when I was a boy. He responded by showing me how to hit it low through the wind, a must-have shot on the British links—and in his native Texas. Lee could hit it high, too: fade, draw, basically anything and everything. I wouldn’t have been surprised if he could make it stop in midair.
When I asked Lee about his go-to pressure shot, he replied, "I just aim it at the left edge of the green, move the ball back and turn through as hard as I can.” He added that when he does that now, everything in his body hurts!
On camera, Lee shared some different ways to play a greenside-bunker shot, among many other pearls of wisdom. He was accompanied by the raw young talents from a completely different generation or two.
There was Bubba Watson, the monster-hitting southpaw who like Trevino is self-taught. Bubba is also funny. Aaron Baddeley showed up at the end of the day to see his pal Bubba. Badds is one of my favorites and will be seen in the winner’s circle for many years. The gorgeous ladies as counterparts for the skills challenge were “Miss Pink,” Paula Creamer, and long-hitter Suzann Pettersen.
Get out and watch any Tour players whenever you can, but don't just watch their drives (except for Bubba -- it is ridiculous how far he can launch it). Pay attention to their creativity from 100 yards and in.
What a treat to meet Lee. Some days I do feel like I have the best job in the world. Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher Donald Crawley is director of instruction at the Boulders Golf Academy in Scottsdale, Ariz.(Photo: Grant Halverson/WireImage.com)