Lee Trevino

From Academic Kids

Lee Buck Trevino (born December 1, 1939) is a professional American golfer. He is an icon for Mexican Americans.


Early life

Lee Buck Trevino was born in Dallas, Texas in poverty to parents of Mexican descent. His mother and grandfather, a gravedigger, raised Trevino. He never knew his father. Trevino's childhood amounted to him spending time attending school occasionally and working to help earn money for the family. At the age of five, Lee even started working in the cotton fields.

Trevino was introduced to the game of golf when his uncle gave him a few old golf balls and a rusty golf club. From this point on, Lee could not get enough. He spent most of his free time sneaking into nearby country clubs to practice his newly found activity. At eight years old he began caddying at a local golf course. However, a few years later, caddying became a full time job because he needed to earn enough money to survive. Thus, after eighth grade, Trevino had to leave school in order to go to work. As a caddy and a shoe shiner, Lee worked for 30 U.S. dollars a week. On top of this, Lee was also able to make priceless gains in his golfing ability. This was because the caddies had three short practice holes behind their shack, and it was there, with old, discarded clubs, that Trevino learned to improve his golf game. For years, everyday after work, he would work on improving his skills by hitting a least 300 balls a session. At seventeen, Trevino joined the United States Marine Corps and served four years. Over the last eighteen months in the service, a great deal of his time was spent playing golf with Marine Corps officers.

Professional career

After his discharge, Trevino continued his pursuit of the game. In 1967, he began playing on the PGA Tour. In 1968 at the Oak Hill Country Club (Rochester, New York) a large goal was reached when he won the U.S. Open. From here on there was no looking back. Over the course of his career, Trevino won 29 times on the PGA Tour, including six majors. He was at his best in the early 1970s, when for a time he was Jack Nicklaus's biggest rival, winning the money list title in 1970, and picking up ten wins in two seasons in 1971 and 1972. Without quite returning to these heights, he remained one of the world's leading players for more than another decade, winning his last major, the 1984 PGA Championship at the unusually advanced age of 44. When he retired in 1985, he was the third highest in earnings in the history of the PGA Tour.

Trevino also won more than twenty international and unofficial professional tournaments. In his fifties he was one of the key charismatic stars who helped to make the PGA Senior Tour, now the Champions Tour, a commercial success. He picked up the same tally of 29 wins on this tour as he had on the regular tour, including four senior majors. He topped the senior money list in 1990 and 1992.

Trevino played for the United States in the Ryder Cup six times, and had an impressive 17-7-6 win-loss-half record. In 1971 he was awarded the Hickok Belt as top professional athlete of the year and won Sports Illustrated magazine's "Sportsman of the Year" award.

Trevino has established numerous scholarships and continues to offer assistance to many Mexican Americans who are less fortunate.

Through out his career, Trevino was seen as one of the more approachable and humorous of PGA golfers, and was frequently quoted by the press. His self–taught style led to many exciting shots and and skins game victories.

PGA Tour wins

Major championships are shown in bold.

Champions Tour wins

  • 1990 Royal Caribbean Classic, Aetna Challenge, Vintage Chrysler Invitational, Doug Sanders Kingwood Celebrity Classic, NYNEX Commemorative, U.S. Senior Open, Transamerica Senior Golf Championship
  • 1991 Aetna Challenge, Vantage At The Dominion, Charley Pride Classic
  • 1992 Vantage At The Dominion, The Tradition, PGA Seniors' Championship, Las Vegas Senior Classic, Bell Atlantic Classic
  • 1993 Cadillac NFL Golf Classic, Nationwide Championship, Vantage Championship
  • 1994 Royal Caribbean Classic, PGA Seniors' Championship, PaineWebber Invitational, Bell Atlantic Classic, BellSouth Senior Classic at Opryland, Northville Long Island Classic
  • 1995 Northville Long Island Classic, The Transamerica
  • 1996 Emerald Coast Classic
  • 1998 Southwestern Bell Dominion
  • 2000 Cadillac NFL Golf Classic

Senior majors are shown in bold.

Other wins

  • 1969 World Cup (with Orville Moody)
  • 1971 World Cup (with Jack Nicklaus)
  • 1974 World Series of Golf (not yet a PGA Tour event)
  • 1975 Mexican Open
  • 1977 Morocco Grand Prix
  • 1978 Benson & Hedges International Open, Lancome Trophy
  • 1979 Canadian PGA Championship
  • 1980 Lancome Trophy
  • 1981 Sun City Classic
  • 1983 Canadian PGA Championship
  • 1985 Dunhill British Masters
  • 1987 Skins Game
  • 1991 Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf (with Mike Hill)
  • 1992 Mitsukoshi Classic, Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf (with Mike Hill)
  • 1993 American Express Grandslam
  • 1994 American Express Grandslam
  • 1995 Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf (with Mike Hill)
  • 1996 Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf (with Mike Hill), Australian PGA Seniors' Championship
  • 2003 ConAgra Foods Champions Skins Game

See also


Hoobler, Dorothy and Thomas, The Mexican American Family Album. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994.

External Links


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