If golf is one of your favorite disciplines, you probably already know Severiano Ballesteros; a great figure in Spanish golf with one of the best palmares in history, and also, for many, the best golf player of all time. Some of his most representative achievements were his five victories in the World Championship Match Play, one of the most important individual tournaments in golf, two victories in the Augusta Masters, another of the most important tournaments in the world held in Georgia (United States) and three victories in the British Open.
In addition to individual achievements, Severiano Ballesteros was also captain of the European golf team, with which he won the Ryder Cup tournament five times, a biennial competition that pits the European golf team against the American. And as if all these successes were not enough, his career as a golfer culminated when the PGA European Tour named him golfer of the year three times and an honorary member of this same organization. If you want to know more about the personal and professional life of one of the best golfers in the world, keep reading to find out.
1. Where and when was the former golfer born?
Severiano Ballesteros, or also known as “Seve”, was born on April 9, 1957 in Pedreña, a small town located in the south of Santander Bay with a great golf tradition. It was there where Seve, the son of Baldomero Ballesteros and Carmen Sota, grew up in an athletic environment and started competing at the age of 10, the age at which the former golfer participated in his first caddy tournament at Real Golf de Pedreña, where he made 51 shots in 9 holes. Two years later, in 1969, Seve participated again in this same tournament and won it, having hit 79 strokes in 12 holes. After this great start, the Spaniard trained hard on the beach, on the slopes or in the field because his family could not afford a golf club for him to practice. In this way, he learned by watching a lot of golf and practicing where he could.
2. Where did Severiano Ballesteros train when he was a child?
Before becoming a professional golfer, Seve was forced to practice his discipline in the most remote parts of his hometown due to his family's lack of income and consequent inaccessibility to a golf club for Seve to form. One of the Cantabrian's favorite places to train was the beach, there he would stick an iron into the sand adjusted to his height and begin to hit blows incessantly.
3. When did you become a golf professional?
It was 1974 when Seve competed in his first professional tournament. At just 13 years old and with very high expectations, he finished twentieth in the Spanish Championship in San Cugat, a result that the young Ballesteros was not proud of. He always had victory in mind and being in a bad position was something that saddened him. Soon after he won his first title in the Spanish Under-25 Championship in his hometown, Pedreña, and the Vizcaya Open. As a result of that, everything was successful in the professional life of Ballesteros.
4. Who was your uncle?
Ramón Sota, maternal uncle of the former golfer, was a great example for Seve in his childhood. Sota was a great golf player in the 50s and was proclaimed golf champion of Spain four times, the first time being at the age of 18 and his beginnings were at the same club as his nephew: at Real Golf de Pedreña. In addition, he was also runner-up in the European Cup twice, once with Sebastián Miguel and another with Ángel Miguel. When Seve was little he used to watch his uncle play golf at the club and very soon he wanted to start following in his footsteps.
5. Did you know that their tournaments were quite a show?
If anything characterized the way Ballesteros played in golf tournaments, it was his charisma, personality and energy. He managed to transmit and excite the public with each of his shots, and the tournaments, in addition to becoming true spectacles for golf connoisseurs, were also for anyone else who was willing to enjoy the vitality and originality of a player like Crossbowmen. He got everyone on their feet no matter if they won or lost.
6. How many children did the former golfer have?
Severiano Ballesteros married Carmen Botín, daughter of the president of Banco Santander Central Hispano, in 1988 and they separated in 2004. They had three children during the marriage, Javier, Miguel and Carmen, who took over their father's Foundation after his death. After the separation and death of the former golfer, both his paternal and maternal family had many problems with the inheritance that Seve had left. Faced with this problem, the children of Ballesteros challenged the will, imposing the power to decide on the image rights of their deceased father.
7. Did you know that he had the opportunity to play golf with Rafa Nadal?
Severiano was closely linked to all sports since he was a child, and therefore, he was a great admirer of stars like Rafa Nadal or Pau Gasol, who unfortunately did not have the opportunity to share many moments with the Spaniard due to his early age disease. But, Rafa Nadal was lucky enough to play 18 holes with Rafa Nadal in a match that the tennis player described as special and unforgettable.
8. What characterized Seve's game?
Seve was one of the golfers who left the most shots as a legacy to future professionals. It was he who introduced the game with a single club, something that golfers of later times would end up inheriting. An example of this was the use of the 3-wood in a bunker green in the last match of the Ryder Cup tournament held in 1983 in Florida.
9. When did the former golfer retire?
In 2007, and after a fatal accident involving his second sentimental partner, Fátima Galarza, Ballesteros was unable to recover from this hard blow and decided to hang up the gloves in a discipline that had given him so much joy, success and friends . In total he won five Majors, five Ryder Cups, 50 European Tour titles and 91 individual and team victories.
10. What did Severiano Ballesteros die of?
The former golfer fell ill in 2008 due to a brain tumor that ended up killing him at the age of 54. After several operations to remove the tumor, Ballesteros suffered collateral damage to his neurological system that caused a major deterioration. He received many tributes from family members, journalists, foundations and great sports authorities for having been a great golf star, and also a person with charisma and vitality who filled the golf courses with energy.
Severiano Ballesteros was, is and will always be a great golf legend who has brought numerous successes to Spanish golf. In addition to having shown his vitality and charisma in each of the tournaments in which he played, Seve was affectionate and friendly with the public that had seen him grow. Despite having suffered great personal blows in the last years of his career, Severiano managed to finish his contribution to the sports world, being considered one of the best golfers in history.