As icon of the global golf scene, Lee Trevino rose to prominence as one of the foremost Mexican-American professional golfers in the 20th century. Born in Dallas to international parents, Trevino earned a stellar reputation for his performances on the course as well as his professionalism in supporting causes.
After turning professional at the age of 21, Trevino went on to win over 80 professional events, including six major championships and a total of 29 PGA tour events. As a result, he is considered one of the best players of his era and continues to be active on the Champions Tour. Golf fans today look to Trevino's life story as a symbol of the prospect for blue collar players to rise to the game's greatest heights. The Early Years Starting as an amateur golfer in Texas, Trevino learned the game as a caddy at the Dallas Athletic Club where he soon rose to prominence.
As a teenager, he earned a reputation for his diligence on the practice course, often playing after his shift to master his short game. Trevino opted to join the Marines in lieu of playing collegiate golf, but continued to hone his skill set in the military many years later. Upon returning to civilian life, Trevino began working as a local golf instructor and course professional in El Paso. He continued to hone his skills in local tournaments and entered qualifying events, where he won his first PGA tour card by 1967.
During his first season on the tour he was named Rookie Golfer of the Year, and quickly rose to prominence in major tournaments with his competitive, consistent game. Mature beyond his years, he showed impressive poise that came from his years as a Marine, which allowed him to remain cool in major tournaments, and helped propel him to a top 10 finish in the 1968 U.S. Open. Lee Trevino's Unique Swing - Here's a little mini lesson. Listen to Lee Talk About Spin and Trapping The Ball
Lee Trevino was one of the greatest ball strikers of all time! Trevino's Career By 1971, Trevino had risen to the top tier of the game after leading the PGA in earnings the year before. Trevino went on to win both the U.S. Open and the Open Championship in 1971, his signature year on the tour. His stature began to transcend just the golf world, earning him recognizing from ABC and Sports Illustrated as one of the top athletes of the year, independent of the sport. Trevino helped put golf on the map, alongside greats such as Nicklaus and Palmer. Trevino continued to play strong in spite of injuries, well into his 40s and transitioned to a successful career in the Senior (Champions) Tour as well.
Trevino's unique self-taught style featured his trademark fade and excellent short game. He went onto prominence in international play, serving on multiple Ryder cup teams and serving as captain of the 1985 United States team. An active member of the Golfing Hall of Fame, Trevino is known for his wit, humility and competitiveness that helped him rise to the top of the game and remain there for decades.
(photo by Keith Allison - http://www.flickr.com/photos/keithallison/)