In the world of professional golf and, sports in general for that matter, he carries the privileged distinction that is bestowed on only a handful of individuals.
In athletics, recognizing someone by using just a single name instantly brings to mind collective thoughts of greatness. Nicklaus, Watson, Palmer, Snead, Hogan, Tiger.... And, you can add to that list, TREVINO.
It is a well-earned badge of respect, denoting excellence over a long period of time while carrying worldwide prominence in a highly competitive field on the PGA TOUR. In Lee Trevino’s case it brings to mind six major professional golf championships, including two US Opens, the most prestigious tournament in the sport, plus a pair of British Open crowns. It carries distinguishing titles such as Ryder Cup Captain, PGA Player of the Year, Sports Illustrated’s “Sportsman of the Year,” and induction into the World Golf Hall of Fame, just to name a few.
In a little more than four decades, Trevino has earned his reputation as one of golf’s all-time greatest and most popular performers with an exceptional record topped by a most engaging personality that has marked him as an adoring figure throughout the world.
The journey to the top of the mountain for this 74-year old Texan was anything but a smooth road. Trevino traveled a different path to success in a sport that is synonymous with country clubs, luxury amenities and wealth. He rose from poor and humble beginnings to become one of golf’s premier players, a self-taught golfer who after a less than pristine young life is now recognized as one of America’s truly finest sportsman and citizen who today is as comfortable in the corporate board room as he is on a championship golf course.
Trevino was born on a cotton farm in Rowlett, Texas, just outside of Dallas. His mother, a housekeeper, and his grandfather guided him in his younger days, which he describes as “dirt poor.” The family moved to Dallas when his grandfather took a job as a gravedigger. After leaving school early, Trevino joined the Marine Corp at the age of 17 and his life began a favorable turn.
Though he had played some with the game as a youngster growing up next to a golf course, Trevino discovered competitive golf as a Marine, trying out and making the camp golf team. His love for the game was in the early stages but he recalls that he was pretty good at it from the start.
There wasn’t much time to play following his discharge from the Marines. His first priority was employment. His first job was somewhat close to the game, working with a crew building nine holes on a golf course. There was time for brief practice sessions after work. So, Trevino began hitting balls in the evenings, catching the eye of teaching pro Hardy Greenwood.
Greenwood took this young man under his wing, telling Trevino he thought he had the ability to be a professional golfer. From that point, it was hard work and more hard work for Trevino, who was making $100 a week doing nearly every odd job around the driving range and practicing when not working. For three and one-half years, Trevino worked at his game, never playing competitive golf while struggling to make a living. Playing in his first competitive tournament in 1965, as a virtual unknown, he won the Texas State Open and repeated the feat again the next year.
Trevino won his first PGA TOUR event — golf’s most coveted prize — the U.S. Open in 1968. He became the first golfer ever to win a U.S. Open title by shooting all four rounds in the 60s. More important, his success from hard work provided him with a lifetime exemption on the tour. In 1971 he again won the Open by defeating Nicklaus in a storied 18-hole playoff at Merion and later that year was named the PGA TOUR’s Player of the Year. In that season, he turned in an incredible performance by capturing the Canadian Open, the U.S. Open and the British Open all within a span of 45 days.
It is these achievements and many more like them that gave him the reputation to be revered as just TREVINO.
"Life is full of ups and downs, good and bad, but it wouldn't be fun any other way."Living his life by this optimistic philosophy, Gary McCord persisted through years of mediocrity before finding great success in many aspects of the world of golf.An outstanding player, announcer, instructor, author, speaker, and even actor, Gary McCord has become a golf celebrity.
Gary McCord is well known for enduring 23 years and 422 tournaments on the PGA Tour without nabbing a single victory.A man of good humor, he boasted a "NO WINS" license plate for years to poke fun at his own less-than-glamorous career as a professional golfer.
"Trapped in the headlights of bankruptcy," as he liked to describe it, McCord pursued other avenues of golf, and found himself launched into the world of broadcasting.He scored big when a CBS executive tossed him a headset and asked him to do commentary – giving him only 15 minutes to prepare.A friend of failure, McCord jumped in with no fear and impressed CBS with his performance.Twenty six years later, Gary is still providing color commentary for CBS.Fans and critics alike praise him for his knowledgeable perspective, refreshing humor, and sometimes irreverent wit towards a game that is known for taking itself too seriously.
In 1999, Gary McCord joined the Champions Tour and took it by storm.He won the first and last events of the year – the Toshiba Senior Classic and Ingersoll-Rand Senior Tour Championship. Over the past few years Gary has continued his excellent play, proving himself to be an extremely talented golfer.
Gary has also established himself as a talented author. The fourth edition of his best-selling instructional manual Golf for Dummies was released in January 2011. McCord also worked with Wiley to convert the manual into an instructional DVD in 2004 and a popular app for smart phones in 2011.And Gary delighted fans with his autobiographical collection, Just a Range Ball in a Box of Titleists.
Non-golfers might recognize McCord for his appearance in the Kevin Costner movie, Tin Cup, in which Gary played himself and served as a technical director.In preparation for the movie, Gary gave Costner golf lessons along with Peter Kostis, a friend, fellow CBS announcer, and co-founder of the Kostis-McCord Learning Center.Gary enjoyed his taste of Hollywood so much that he is now helping write and produce an upcoming film based on the life of golfer/gambler "Titanic" Thompson and is also working on a pilot for an upcoming television sitcom.
Gary plans to maintain his busy schedule by playing on the Champions Tour, broadcasting for CBS, working on various creative projects, speaking at corporate outings, and enjoying the "ups and downs" of his very busy, very fun life.
Gary McCord will be interviewing Lee Trevino. If you have a question for Trevino, please send questions to Deb Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org