In the late 1960’s Lee Buck Trevino was a disruptive intrusion to the Big Three Plus One status quo on the PGA Tour. No one really knew what to make of this Mexican-American upstart with the flat swing, low left-to-right ball flight, non-stop wise-cracking chatter, and gunslinger’s no-fear attitude playing against Nicklaus, Palmer, Player, and Casper.
In this Shotgun Start Spotlight Podcast Brendan Porath and Andy Johnson provide an informative historical perspective of the early career of Lee Trevino. This podcast is a deep dive into the challenging path Lee took from an impoverished Texas upbringing to being the most significant foil to the dominance of Jack Nicklaus in the early 1970’s.
Lee was not a product of the country club mold that is for sure……Embed from Getty Images
As Andy points out, in the 10-year period from 1968 to 1977 Lee Trevino was arguably the most dominant player other then the GOAT himself. Over his storied career Trevino won six majors-two U.S. Opens, two Open Championships, and two PGA Championships. In 1971 he was named Sports Illustrated’s “Sportsman of the Year”. Over a three-week period in June and July of that year Lee garnered three national championships, beating Jack Nicklaus in a playoff at Merion to win the U.S. Open, won his first of two Canadian Opens, and outlasted England’s Tony Jacklin and Taiwan’s Lu Liang Huan at Royal Birkdale for his first British Open Championship. No one else in the golf history has ever done that.
The podcast is rich with Lee’s legendary personal musings as well as the entertaining perspective of Dan Jenkin’s the premier golf journalist the time. There are lots of revealing quotes from his peers that leave little doubt as to the impact Trevino made on the staid order of the PGA Tour. The language was not always politically correct by today’s standards, but it was representative of the mood of the time.
Set aside the time to listen to this 90 minute podcast, you will not be disappointed. This is a nostalgic romp from those of us who grew up with Lee challenging the golf establishment. For those who only know him only as a golf myth, it is an opportunity to put his accomplishments in real perspective.
Brendan Porath and Andy Johnson
Shotgun Start (June 2021)