Spirit of the Recreation: Lee Trevino
August 19, 2021
All golfers are self-made, however the man who made probably the most out of what he began with must be Lee Trevino.
Trevino rose from a three-room shack with no plumbing in east Dallas to turn out to be arguably probably the most constant shotmaker the sport has ever seen. By way of an agile thoughts, an incredible work ethic and a way of second that belongs to the pure performer, Trevino carved a option to the highest that’s in contrast to some other in golf historical past.
Beginning as a caddy and arising via the ranks of driving ranges, army golf and hustling, Trevino first burst into big-time skilled golf full blown. He was a squat 5-foot-7, 180-pound ball of fireside whose speedy wit made gamers and galleries snort, however whose recreation commanded their respect
Trevino was born on Dec. 1, 1939, in Garland, Texas. Reared by his mom and maternal grandfather, a gravedigger, he by no means knew his father. As a boy, Trevino was within the cotton fields working by the point he was 5. “I believed exhausting work was simply how life was,” he stated. His household’s dwelling was 100 yards from the seventh fairway of the Dallas Athletic Membership, and by the point Trevino was eight, he was caddying. “That’s the place I discovered my killer intuition, enjoying video games with the caddies and betting every little thing I had earned that day,” he wrote. He give up faculty in eighth grade to work at a driving vary, the place he would hit tons of of balls a day.
Considered one of many biggest gamers in skilled golf historical past, and the best Hispanic golfer of all time, Trevino additionally is thought for his distinctive golf swing, huge persona and successful angle. On the age of 27, Trevino captured the primary of his two U.S. Open Championships in 1968 at Oak Hill Nation Membership in Rochester, New York the primary of 4 instances when legendary Jack Nicklaus completed second to him in a serious. Trevino went on to win 29 instances, together with six majors – the 1968 and 1971 U.S. Open; the 1974 and ’84 PGA Championship; and the 1971 and ’72 Open Championship. He competed on six U.S. Ryder Cup Groups in three separate many years (1969, ’71, ’73, ’75, ’79, ’81), posting a 17-7-6 document, and went on to function U.S. Captain in 1985. He was the 1971 PGA of America Participant of the 12 months and received 5 Vardon Trophies for season scoring excellence (1970, ’71, ’72,’74, and ’80). Throughout an unprecedented four-week interval in 1971, Trevino received in succession – the U.S. Open, Canadian Open and the British Open Championship.
A turning level in his profession got here when he performed at Shady Oaks in Fort Price and noticed Ben Hogan on the apply vary. From that day on, Trevino honed a fade that may make him some of the correct gamers the sport has ever seen. Typically he would yell, “Don’t transfer, gap!” when he’d hit an iron on the pin.
On June 27, 1975 and throughout the top of Trevino’s profession, he was one among three gamers struck by lightning, on the Western Open. He underwent a number of surgical procedures and battled again to win 29 extra titles on the Champions Tour, a run that included the 1992 and 1994 Senior PGA Championships.
However Trevino known as on the resiliency born of his beginnings. In 1980, he had one among his finest years, successful the Vardon Trophy for the fifth time. His PGA victory at Shoal Creek was his crowning achievement. In all, he received 29 instances on the common tour. Later, he would equal that whole on the Champions Tour.