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Lee Trevino

Renowned for his unique swing, wry humor, and unstoppable grit, Lee Trevino, nicknamed “Supermex,” is one of the most illustrious figures in the world of golf. His competitive spirit and lightning-quick wit have propelled his career, and his journey from humble beginnings to becoming a major player in the sport is an inspiring story.

Born in a cotton field to a single mother on December 1, 1939, in Dallas, Texas, Trevino grew up in abject poverty. However, opportunity knocked for the first time when he was paid to collect balls at a local driving range. This became his gateway to the world of golf. He honed his skills by watching and learning from other golfers, eventually developing his distinctive swing.

Trevino’s military service from 1956 to 1960 further solidified his connection to golf. Posted at Fort Bliss, he was assigned to help run the golf course. This gave him access to the field, typically a privilege exclusive to officers. During these years, he continued to refine his skills, cumulating in a win at the Armed Forces Championship.

After leaving the military, Trevino embarked on his professional golf career. Always the outlier, Trevino stunned the predominantly white, upper-class golf community with not only his ethnicity and background but also with his unconventional, self-taught golf swing.

In 1968, after qualifying to play, Trevino claimed the U.S. Open Championship, his first major victory. This landmark achievement was followed by the PGA’s Rookie of the Year award, decisively marking his arrival onto the professional scene. He retained his U.S. Open title in 1971 and added the British Open to his tally the same year.

Not one to rest on his laurels, Trevino went further and won three more major tournaments: The 1971 and 1972 British Open and the 1974 PGA Championship. His six major titles include an impressive two U.S. Open victories, two Open Championship wins, and two PGA Championship triumphs.

Trevino’s style was as unique as his backstory. He relied heavily on a fade (a shot that starts to the left of the target line and curves right), which contrasted with the professionals’ typical tactic of playing a draw. This distinctive style added another layer to his charm and allure.

Throughout his prestigious career, Trevino earned 29 PGA Tour victories and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1981. He enjoyed further success on the seniors tour after turning 50, winning 29 PGA Tour Champions events.

Outside the course, Trevino’s lively and easygoing demeanour endeared him to the public. His insightful, often humorous commentary has earned him a reputation as a sports analyst, raising his profile above his contemporaries.

Trevino’s journey is not only an indication of his supreme talent as a golfer but is also a testament to his resilience, wit, and tenacity. He managed to convert obstacles into stepping stones, demonstrating that one’s background or beginnings need not determine one’s potential for success. Lee Trevino served not only as a champion golfer but also as a beacon of perseverance and determination, constantly defying the odds and redefining the face of golf.

In a storied career spanning over three decades, Lee Trevino left his mark on the game in a way very few have. His golfing skills, charismatic persona, and inimitable style have made him unforgettable in the history of the sport. Today, we celebrate and reflect on one of the most remarkable careers in professional golf. The “Merry Mex” continues to inspire and set an example for all those who dare to dream beyond their circumstances.

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