All golfers are self-made, but the man who made the most out of what he started with has to be Lee Trevino.
Trevino rose from a three-room shack with no plumbing in east Dallas to become arguably the most consistent shotmaker the game has ever seen. Through an agile mind, a tremendous work ethic and a sense of moment that belongs to the natural performer, Trevino carved a way to the top that is unlike any other in golf history.
Starting as a caddy and coming up through the ranks of driving ranges, military golf and hustling, Trevino first burst into big-time professional golf full blown. He was a squat 5’7″, 180-pound ball of fire whose rapid wit made players and galleries laugh, but whose game commanded their respect. In June 1968, the still unknown 28-year-old won the U.S. Open at Oak Hill and became the first golfer to post four rounds in the 60s at the U.S. Open (69-68-69-69, and matched Jack Nicklaus with a record-tying score of 275.
Three years later, Trevino won his second U.S. Open, this time at Merion in a classic 18-hole playoff with Jack Nicklaus. Within 20 days he added the Canadian Open and the Open Championship at Royal Birkdale, completing an unprecedented international sweep. The next year he won the Open Championship again, this time at Muirfield. His final two Major Championships would come in the PGA Championship, first at Tanglewood in 1974, and finally at Shoal Creek in 1984.