Seve – Part 8: A Legacy That Lives On


Seve. [Photo:]


From the moment he stepped onto the professional scene right up until his very last swing of the club, Seve maintained the same passion and love for the game of golf.


Seve started as a boy, sneaking onto his local course and bashing golf balls at empty tins on his property, and finished as one of the greatest European players of all-time.


In a professional career that spanned 33 years, Seve finished with 90 wins worldwide. That included his five major championship titles, multiple PGA Tour victories and 50 European Tour wins. Seve’s 50 European Tour wins are still the most of any golfer in history, with a smattering of other wins across the globe throughout his long and successful career.


Seve’s incredible European Tour run started in 1976, where he claimed his first European Tour Order of Merit title following his breakout year in the professional ranks.




The 1976 season marked an incredible run for Seve, who did not miss the Top-10 in the European Tour Order of Merit in any season up until 1989. He claimed the title five times alongside a collection of second and third finishes, which was made even more impressive considering the calibre of players he faced in that time period. Europe had produced household names such as Nick Faldo, Bernhard Langer and Sandy Lyle, who regularly competed with Seve across the world.


Seve was responsible for growing the game of golf in Spain and right across Continental Europe. In 1986, Seve started a company called ‘Amen Corner’ which organised over 50 International European Tour events in Spain. He also created events such as the Seve Trophy and was a key course architect in over 30 projects across Europe.


But Seve’s greatest lasting legacy might have been his influence on the Ryder Cup.


Before Seve burst onto the scene, the Ryder Cup only included Britain and Ireland in the tournament against the United States. Because of the rapid rise of Seve and other Continental European players, the event was expanded to include all of Europe.


Speaking of his own game style, Seve said “if you ask me how I rank as spectacular, exciting, crowd-pleasing player, I would be in the top seven. I was the best for 10 years.”


Seve’s pure passion and flare for golf and his borderline hatred for the United States of America ushered in a new phase of team golf. It created a true rivalry and some tense contests, which is still seen right to this day. Seve’s influence has been stamped all over the Ryder Cup and much of the excitement surrounding the build-up to each Ryder Cup edition, can be attributed to Seve’s influence in the beginning.


Across his 37 Ryder Cup matches, Seve only lost 12 times whilst being part of the winning European team on four different occasions. He also won the Ryder Cup as the European Captain in 1997, capping off a European representative career that could not have accomplished much more.



On the 7th of May, 2011, Seve Ballesteros passed away aged just 54 years old. After struggling with ongoing health concerns for a number of years, Seve passed in his childhood hometown of Pedrena, back where it all started.


He left a legacy on golf that will never be forgotten.


“Seve never made a plan. He just made things happen. He had something we didn’t have,” said Lee Trevino when asked about what made Seve so special.


A fitting scene came at the 2012 Ryder Cup, just a year after Seve’s passing. After achieving victory in a tense battle at Medinah, European team captain and Seve’s long-time friend, Jose Maria Olazabal looked to the heavens in tears as a fitting final tribute and mark of respect to the man who made European golf what it is today.


Seve’s memory is still kept alive to this day through the Seve Ballesteros Foundation, which is now run by his three kids.


It is hard to put into words just what he did for golf, but his legacy will live on for generations as he continues to inspire the next wave of European superstars.


The great, Seve Ballesteros.




To read more about Seve by Connor Schmidtke click HERE 


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Our writers are independent contributors. The opinions expressed in their articles are their own. They are not the views, nor do they reflect the views, of Malarkey Publications.


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  1. Thanks for this series Connor. Made golf attractive, and dare I say it, sexy for the masses. And not wanting to trivialise the man but gee, Roy and HG loved him too.

    Looking forward to your next project.

  2. Peter_B says

    Great series – thanks Connor. Seve passed 10 years ago Friday. Seve was so intense and passionate. He had a personality that drew you into the game whether he was playing well or poorly.
    A new book of photos by Dave Cannon has just been released “Seve: Life through the Lens”.
    Must have for us obsessives.

  3. Daryl Schramm says

    A most enjoyable read for me. Started back playing 4 years ago and follow what I can world wide (including LPGA). The milestone years for Sev bought back other milestones of mine as we were born within a year of each other. Should have followed him more closely, but we also had Greg to follow at around the same time.

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