It is US Masters week very soon and it is my favourite tournament of the year, the golf course is stunning, the weather is great ,its the first major of the year, and it usually has an exciting finish.
What more could you want?
Well when I think back over all the Masters tournaments I have seen, for a european, seeing Seve striding the fairways, playing sublime golf in a matador style, hitting iron shots, drives echoing through the trees, putts holed, recovery shots, it was fantastic to see, here was a golfer that was not afraid to win, believed he could win, and he was just so good that he could win anywhere!
Seve led the way for the europeans making a huge impact at Augusta and beyond.
Here is my recollection of a great day at Wentworth in the early eighties.
Back in the 1980s Seve Ballesteros was the most exciting player on the planet, and your best chance of seeing him in the UK was at the OPEN or at the World Matchplay tournament in October held at Wentworth.
i had been going to the World matchplay for over thirty years and seen Jack Nicklaus, Lee Trevino, Johnny Miller, Tom Watson, Tom Weiskopf, Gary Player, Tony Jacklin, Tiger Woods,Ernie Els, the list goes on and on.
But Seve was different to them all, not just in the way he played the course, there was a magic a charisma about him, you just had to watch him play golf to understand., you never new what was going to happen next, and even the impossible seemed possible back then.
I was there on a practice day so you could get much closer to the players, and on this occasion I had brought my video camera, and low and behold here was the master just arriving on the the east course eighteenth hole to start his warm up and practice.
There were only a handful of people there at the start and I thought here is a great opportunity, so I just asked Seve if he would mind if I filmed him practicing!
He said it was OK in his spanish accent and I was their like a bullet, right down the line, I was there with a friend and there are some classic comments on the video , such as,” it makes a different sound to the others”, “look at how square his divots are”, “pure”,” it makes me want to clap” “all I need to do is watch this video all night and tomorrow I will play great ”
This is what effect Seve had on us , I was frightened to take my camera of him for a second, because I knew this was very special, you might see the camera move left slightly as I was getting distracted , but a nano second of thought told me STOP you are kidding THIS IS THE PLACE TO BE!
I was so right.
I hope you take a look at the gracefull, flowing swing, his great rhythm, balance, power, a real genius of golf, he was an inspiration to many professional golfers who are playing right now and SEVE will rightly go down down as one of the greatest players in history.