Lee Buck Trevino is born in Dallas, Texas. He never knew his father, who left the home when Lee was very young, and was raised by his mother and his grandfather, a Mexican gravedigger. Lee had to work to help the family when still a child and picked cotton at the age of 5, but after an uncle gave him a club and some balls he began playing golf and became a caddy and a shoeshine boy at the dallas Athletic Club, as well as practising his game.
When he joined the Marines at 17, he was able to hone his game playing with the officers, and went on to become a club pro in El Paso. There he supplemented his income by playing matches, even beating opponents using just a taped-up Dr. Pepper bottle, when people refused to play him for money at 'normal' golf. When asked later in his career about how he withstood the pressure of championship golf, he would reply that you cannot know pressure until you play for $5 with only $2 in your pocket.
After battling a severe hook, he developed a unique out-to-in swing with a wide open stance, entirely self-taught, since he claimed he never met a teacher he couldn't beat. He hit the ball low - something he learned playing in the Texas winds - and usually with a pronounced fade, although he was able to work the ball either way.
He won six majors
- two each of The Open, US Open and PGA - four times relegating Jack Nicklaus to the runner-up spot, and a total of 29 PGA Tour events. He also won 29 times on the Champions Tour. His later career was plagued by back problems after he was struck by lightning at the Western Open of 1975, but he continued to win, including his final major at the 1984 PGA.
Known as 'Super Mex' or 'The Merry Mex', he talked non-stop on the golf course, cracking jokes even as he was taking his stance. While this amused the galleries, some opponents found it off-putting and there were murmurings about 'gamesmanship', although it was probably as much to do with keeping his nerves under control. He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1981.