Lee Trevino Net Worth 2024, Biography, Age, Height

By Alice Moreno

Lee Buck Trevino born on December 1, 1939, is widely known as “The Merry Mex” and “Supermex.” As of now, he is 84 years old and hails from North Dallas, Texas. Trevino, a notable figure in the golfing world, is 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighs 82 kg.

He attended Reedley College before embarking on his professional golf career. Trevino has an impressive record, with 29 wins on the PGA Tour, showcasing his right-handed swing. His career earnings are estimated at $1,390,272. Beyond this, he has accumulated a net worth of about $50 million, primarily through endorsements and business ventures related to golf.

Trevino’s family includes his father, Joseph Trevino, and his mother, Juanita Trevino. He has a sibling named Sagan Theegala. His personal life has seen him through three marriages, having been married to Claudia Trevino (1983), Claudia Fenley (1964–1983), and Linda Trevino (1962–1963). He is currently divorced and has six children.

Quick Facts About Lee Trevino

NameLee Trevino
Real NameLee Buck Trevino
Nickname“The Merry Mex” And “Supermex”
Birthday/AgeDecember 1, 1939(Age 84)
Weight82 Kg
Height5 Ft 7 Inches (170 Cm)
BirthplaceNorth Dallas, Taxes
CollegeReedley College
ProfessionGolfer
Pga Tourwins29 Times
SwingsRight
Career Earnings$1,390,272
Net Worth$50 Million
Source Of WealthEndorsements And Business Ventures Related To Golf.
FatherJoseph Trevino
MotherJuanita Trevino
SiblingsSagan Theegala
Marital StatusDivorced
Ex-WifeClaudia Trevino (M. 1983), Claudia Fenley (M. 1964–1983), Linda Trevino (M. 1962–1963)
Children6

Lee Trevino Biography

Lee Trevino, born on December 1, 1939, in Dallas, Texas, overcame a childhood of poverty to become one of golf’s most celebrated players. He learned to play golf while working as a caddy, honing a self-taught game that would become renowned for its accuracy and creativity. 

Turning professional in 1960, Trevino’s breakthrough came with his victory at the 1968 U.S. Open, and he quickly established himself as a top competitor with a remarkable ability to perform under pressure. 

Throughout his career, he won six major championships and secured a place in the World Golf Hall of Fame. Trevino’s legacy extends beyond his victories; he is also remembered for his outgoing personality, quick wit, and as a trailblazer who inspired diversity in a sport that was, at the time, mainly inaccessible to minorities. 

Even after his competitive days, Trevino stayed involved in the sport, becoming a respected elder statesman and a sought-after golf commentator and analyst.

Lee Trevino Net Worth

Lee Trevino Net Worth

Lee Trevino’s net worth was estimated to be in the region of $50 million, a testament to his successful career on the golf course and his endeavors off it. 

Trevino’s earnings accrued not just from his wins in tournaments around the globe but also from his activities as a golf course designer, author, and commentator, as well as from endorsements and commercial ventures. 

After his peak competitive years, he remained popular in senior tournaments and contributed to the sport in various capacities. It’s worth noting, however, that the exact figure of his net worth can vary depending on the source and the current state of his investments and activities.

Estimated Career Earnings


Year
OFFICIAL PAYOUTSUNOFFICIAL PAYOUTSEARNINGS
1993$0$14,100$14,100
1992$0$10,167$10,167
1991$3,533$26,356$29,889
1990$14,500$11,554$26,054
1989$118,628$64,960$183,588
1988$26,286$30,550$56,836
1987$51,212$14,220$65,432
1986$86,315$52,554$138,869
1985$140,883$15,217$156,100
1984$282,907$14,997$297,904
1983$111,100$24,400$135,500
1982$34,293$2,720$37,013
1981$134,801$12,810$147,611
1980$385,814$42,000$427,814

Source: Spotrac-Earnings

Lee Trevino Injuries 

Lee Trevino, a renowned professional golfer, faced significant challenges in his career due to injuries and accidents. In 1974, after winning the PGA Championship, Trevino had a harrowing experience when lightning struck him. This incident resulted in minor injuries to his arm and back, marking a turning point in his health and performance. While not immediately debilitating, the lightning strike had long-term effects on his physical condition.

Subsequently, Trevino underwent surgery to remove a damaged spinal disc, a procedure stemming from the accumulated toll of his golf career and the lightning strike. This surgery was a crucial step in addressing the pain and mobility issues he was experiencing. Unfortunately, his troubles didn’t end there.

In 1982, Trevino found himself under the surgeon’s knife again. His chronic back problems, likely exacerbated by the earlier lightning strike and the physical demands of golf, significantly restricted his ability to play at the highest levels. These back issues were a constant hurdle in his career, limiting tournament participation and affecting his performance.

Throughout these challenges, Trevino’s resilience and passion for golf were evident. Despite the physical setbacks, he remained a significant figure in the golf world, demonstrating a remarkable ability to adapt and persevere in adversity. His experiences with injuries and surgeries are a testament to the physical demands of professional golf and the unpredictable risks athletes face in their careers.

Lee Trevino Early Life

Lee Trevino’s origins were humble and full of challenges that would later define his resilience and unique approach to golf. Born on December 1, 1939, in Dallas, Texas, he never knew his father and was raised by his mother, Juanita, and his maternal grandfather, Joe Trevino. 

They lived in a small house without plumbing and often struggled to make ends meet. Golf entered his life early when he started working as a caddy at the Dallas Athletic Club at eight. The golf course became a refuge and a classroom for Trevino, who could not afford to partake in formal golf lessons or junior programs like many of his contemporaries. Instead, Trevino learned the game by watching the members play, absorbing the sport’s nuances with keen observation and an unyielding work ethic.

Trevino’s passion for golf was matched only by his vibrant personality, which would later endear him to fans worldwide. His natural talent was evident, and he often bet on himself in games against local golfers, using a set of mismatched clubs he pieced together. 

His journey was interrupted by a stint in the United States Marine Corps from 1956 to 1960, where he continued to play golf whenever possible, representing the Marine Corps in inter-service golf matches. 

It was here that his competitive spirit was further refined. Upon his discharge, he pursued golf with renewed vigor, becoming a club professional in Texas. Trevino’s persistence paid off when he qualified for the U.S. Open in 1966, tying for 54th place but catching the eye of many as a raw talent to watch. 

The relentless determination that saw him through his early years would set the stage for his breakthrough in 1968, where he would claim his first U.S. Open victory and firmly establish himself as a standout character and champion on the PGA Tour. This ascension from a makeshift practice regime in the fields of Texas to the uppermost tiers of golf is a testament to Trevino’s tenacity and love for the game—a hallmark of his storied career and life.

Lee Trevino Career

Lee Trevino Career

Trevino found employment as a club professional in El Paso, Texas, upon his release from the Marines. He supplemented his income by betting on head-to-head bouts. He earned $600 after making it to the 1966 U.S. Open, where he tied for 54th place. 

In 1967, he re-qualified and posted 283 (+3), finishing only four strokes behind Arnold Palmer for second place and eight behind champion Jack Nicklaus. Trevino received $6,000 for his fifth-place result and continued access to the Tour for the remainder of 1967. 

In his inaugural Year, he earned $26,472, ranked 45th on the PGA Tour money list, and was recognized as Golf Digest’s inaugural of the Year. He was also granted an exemption to the U.S. Open the following Year thanks to his fifth-place showing.

At Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, New York, Trevino triumphed in the 1968 U.S. Open, his second year on the Tour. He defeated reigning champion Nicklaus by a margin of four shots. A 29-time winner on the PGA Tour, Trevino has won six major championships. 

While he mainly competed with Jack Nicklaus in the early 1970s, he was at the prime of his career. After claiming first place in the money list in 1970, he went on to win four times in 1972 and six times in 1971.

Over 20 days in the summer of 1971, Trevino had extraordinary wins. In the 1971 U.S. Open, he won after a thrilling 18-hole playoff victory against Nicklaus. Becoming the only player to win all three championships in the same year, he did so two weeks later at the Canadian Open, the first of his three victories, and the following week at The Open Championship (British Open). 

In 1971, Trevino was recognized as the best professional athlete and given the prestigious Hickok Belt. ABC’s Wide World of Sports and Sports Illustrated magazine honored him with “Sportsman of the Year” and “Athlete of the Year” titles.

At Scotland’s Muirfield in 1972, Trevino became the first player since Arnold Palmer in 1962 to successfully defend The Open Championship. In an extraordinary third round at Muirfield, Trevino scored 66 after making five straight birdies from the 14th to the 18th, holing a bunker shot on the 16th and hitting a 30-foot chip on the 18th. 

Trevino and Tony Jacklin were tied for the lead in the final round’s 17th tee. For a par on the 17th, Trevino chipped in from the rough behind the green. After a tense round, Jacklin made a bogey by three-putting the same hole from fifteen feet out. With a final round of 71 thanks to par on the 18th hole, Trevino won the Open by one shot over Nicklaus; Jacklin took third place. Throughout the competition, Trevino made four consecutive holes-in-one from off the greens. 

After winning the Masters and the U.S. Open earlier in the Year, Nicklaus almost missed out on winning the grand slam in the third leg. Trevino said, “I’m the greatest chipper in the world,” after a hole-in-one chip shot on the 17th hole last round.

Before J. T. Poston’s 2019 Wyndham Championship victory, the last time a player won a PGA Tour individual tournament without making a bogey was the 1974 Greater New Orleans Open by Trevino. His sixth major tournament was the PGA tournament, which he won for the fifth time. For the fourth and last time, Nicklaus finished second in a major, this time against Trevino, whom he defeated by a single shot. 

Lightning hit Trevino during the 1975 Western Open outside Chicago, injuring his spine. His back difficulties persisted even after surgery to remove a damaged disk from his spine, making it difficult for him to play. 

Still, in 1980, he finished second in Tom Watson’s McCormack’s World Golf Rankings. In 1980, Trevino won three tournaments on the PGA Tour and placed second in the Open Championship, losing to Tom Watson. 

Trevino became the first player to shoot all four rounds under 70 at the PGA Championship in 1984, when he won his sixth and last major at 44, with a total of 273. He was also the youngest man to do it. In 1985, he finished in second place and tried to repeat as champion, hoping to join the ranks of Denny Shute, who had done so in 1937.

Trevino trailed only Nicklaus on the PGA Tour’s all-time money list in the early 1980s. For fourteen consecutive seasons, beginning in 1968 and ending in 1981 inclusive, Trevino won at least one PGA Tour tournament yearly. The number of official and unofficial professional tournaments he won exceeds twenty. He was a captivating figure who helped launch what is now known as the PGA Tour Champions, the Senior PGA Tour. Among his 29 victories as a senior, four were majors. In 1990 and 1992, he was the highest-paid senior.

Trevino performed extensively abroad, as did many other American performers of the time. The Australasian Tour was a spotty venue for his early career appearances. In 1969 and 1970, he was second in Dunlop International; in 1973, he triumphed at the Chrysler Classic in Australia. He was also the 1981 Casio World Open champion, a tournament on the Japan Golf Tour. 

In Europe, Trevino was also very successful. Two of his most notable victories came in the 1971 and 1972 Open Championships. Trevino also had three invitations to play in the highly esteemed Piccadilly World Match Play Championship, which was not officially sanctioned, in 1968, 1970, and 1972. Twice, he made it to the finals. In 1970, he perhaps had his best performance, advancing to the semifinals when he beat reigning Masters winner Billy Casper and defending PGA champion Dave Stockton. 

The 1978 Benson & Hedges International Open and the 1985 Dunhill British Masters were two of his last regular European Tour victories. He won the British Masters at his final regular tour event. 

In 1980, he took second place in the Open Championship, and in 1986, he was the runner-up at the Bob Hope British Classic, both of which were European Tour events.

He was a color commentator for NBC’s coverage of the PGA Tour from 1983 until 1989. Trevino succeeded Sam Snead and Tom Watson as “Golf Professional Emeritus” at The Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia 2014.

The 49-year-old Trevino made history in 1989 at the Masters Tournament when he shot a five-under-par 67 in the first round, the oldest player to hold that position. Twenty years ago, following the 1969 edition, Trevino had said: “Don’t talk to me about the Masters.” 

This came to pass despite his past statements. Playing there again is out of the question for me. No matter how many invitations they send me, I will not be returning. I need help enrolling in this class. According to Trevino, he was uneasy among the Augusta National crowd and didn’t enjoy playing on the course because it didn’t work for his low-shot, left-to-right style of play.

In 1970, 1971, and 1974, Trevino turned down invitations to the Masters. In 1972, he skipped the last two Masters events, and instead of using the clubhouse locker room, he put his shoes and other belongings in the trunk of his automobile. The club would only have let Trevino into the premises once he went via the kitchen, according to Trevino’s complaint, had he not been certified as a player. Later, however, he referred to Augusta National as “the eighth wonder of the world” and said that his decision to skip the Masters was “the greatest mistake I’ve made in my career.”

Trevino tied for eighteenth place in 1989 after shooting a 67 in the first round; his highest Masters finish was a tie for tenth place in 1975 and 1985.

Lee Trevino Stats

Tournament196619671968196919701971197219731974197519761977197819791980198119821983198419851986198719881989199019911992199419952000
Masters TournamentT40T19T33T43T10T28T14T12T26CUTT38T2043T1047CUTCUTT18T24T49
U.S. OpenT5451CUTT81T4T4CUTT29T27T12T19T12CUTCUTT9CUTT4CUTT40CUTCUT
The Open ChampionshipT34T311T10T31T404T29T172T11T275T14T20T59T17CUTT42T25T17T39CUTCUTCUT
PGA ChampionshipT23T48T26T13T11T181T60CUTT13T7T357DQT1412T11CUTCUTCUT
The Players Championship18T50T17WDT51T12DQT682T55T21CUT

Lee Trevino Transactions

DateTransaction
APR 14 2023Fined $3,000,000 for withdrawing from RBC Heritage, which is a ‘designated event’ under the new PGA Tour rules
NOV 22 2022She earned $2 million as a part of the Player Impact Program (qualified under 2023 rules) by Sam Burns. G.
NOV 22 2022Earned $2 million as a part of the Player Impact Program (qualified under 2023 rules) by Hideki Matsuyama, G 
NOV 22 2022Earned $2 million as a part of the Player Impact Program by Viktor Hovland, G 
NOV 22 2022Earned $2 million as a part of the Player Impact Program by Patrick Cantlay, G 
NOV 22 2022Earned $2 million as a part of the Player Impact Program by Jason Day, G 
NOV 22 2022Earned $2 million as a part of the Player Impact Program by Adam Scott, G 
NOV 22 2022Earned $3 million as a part of the Player Impact Program by Max Homa, G 

Lee Trevino Awards, Records, and Honors

Achievements and awardsYears
World Golf Hall of Fame1981
PGA Tour1970
Vardon Trophy1970, 1971, 1972,1974, 1980
PGA Player of the Year1971
Byron Nelson Award1980
Jack Nicklaus Trophy1990, 1992, 1994
Arnold Palmer Award1990, 1992
Rookie of the Year1990
Byron Nelson Award1990, 1991, 1992
Sports Illustrated(Sportsman of the Year)1971
Associated Press(Male Athlete of the Year)1971
Byron Nelson Award1980
Senior PGA Tour1990, 1992
Senior PGA Tour(Player of the Year)1990, 1992, 1994
Senior PGA Tour(Rookie of the Year)1990
Senior PGA Tour(Byron Nelson Award)1990, 1991, 1992

Source: Wikipedia-Awards

Lee Trevino Endorsements

Throughout his illustrious golfing career and beyond, Lee Trevino became a prominent figure for endorsements, leveraging his charismatic personality and connection with golf enthusiasts and the general public. His appeal as the “Merry Mex” made him a favorite among advertisers who wanted to associate their brands with his relatable image and the genuine love he exhibited for the game. Trevino’s endorsement opportunities flourished after his major championship victories in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

He was a natural in front of the camera, with a quick wit and an easygoing demeanor that translated into practical and memorable advertising. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, he appeared in commercials for various products, from golf equipment to automobiles, and even light-hearted ads for pain relief medications, showcasing his ability to connect with audiences beyond the golf course.

One of Trevino’s most notable endorsement deals was with the Spalding sports equipment company, where he endorsed their products in addition to golf-related merchandise, Trevino’s endorsements branched into other sectors.

He became known for his television spots for Miller Lite beer, where he appeared alongside different sports personalities, further cementing his status as a cultural icon. His natural humor and approachability made these commercials a hit and helped to humanize the brand.

Even as his active career on the PGA Tour wound down, Trevino remained a sought-after endorser. His credibility and longstanding reputation in the sport allowed him to continue representing products and companies, particularly those related to golf and lifestyle brands aimed at the more mature audience that had grown up watching him play.

Off the course, Trevino’s endorsement legacy is significant. It has been characterized by a unique blend of authenticity and friendliness, a formula that brands covet even today. His enduring marketability and the legacy of endorsements reflect not just the achievements of his professional golf career but also his ability to engage with fans and consumers personally, a true testament to his persona as one of golf’s most enduring figures.

Lee Trevino Family

Lee Trevino’s family history is rooted in humble beginnings, with his early life marked by the absence of a father figure and being raised by his mother, Juanita, and his maternal grandfather, Joe Trevino. Juanita played a significant role in his upbringing, working hard to support the family in their small home in Dallas, Texas. Joe Trevino, his grandfather, was also a central figure during his childhood, providing guidance and support as young Lee navigated the challenges of their modest life.

Though Trevino’s life as an adult, including his relationships and children, is often kept private, the impact of his upbringing is a story he has shared throughout his life, emphasizing the influence his mother and grandfather had on his character and work ethic. This foundation of resilience and perseverance shaped his approach to the challenges on the golf course and how he dealt with life’s obstacles.

Beyond his immediate family, Trevino has been an influential figure to many aspiring golfers and has often been regarded as a mentor by younger players on the tour. His contributions to the sport have made him a member of a more prominent family. His legacy continues to influence and inspire this global golf community long after his regular presence on the PGA Tour.

Lee Trevino Personal Life

Lee Trevino has been married three times. His first marriage was to Claudia Fenley in 1962, with whom he had two children before they divorced. He married his second wife, Claudia Bove, in 1964, and they had three children together. His relationship with Claudia Bove was significant as she was by his side during the height of his golfing career, providing support through his significant wins and life challenges, including his recovery from being struck by lightning in 1975.

In 1983, Trevino married his third wife, Claudia (Pedersen) Trevino, and they have had two children together. Claudia has been a stable figure in his life, and they’ve enjoyed a longstanding relationship.

His children have been part of his public life, occasionally appearing at events and tournaments. However, Trevino has generally kept his family out of the limelight, preferring to focus attention on his professional career and public engagements rather than his personal life. Despite his fame and career demands, Trevino values family life and the personal time he can spend with his wife and children.

Lee Trevino Education

Lee Trevino’s formal education was limited; he did not have the opportunity to attend college, as he came from a background of economic hardship and began working from a very young age to support his family. His early life was challenging, and he learned much of what he needed to survive through life experiences rather than in a classroom.

Despite his lack of formal education, Trevino’s intelligence, wit, and wisdom were evident throughout his career. He was largely self-taught in golf, learning the game while working as a caddy and observing others play. His deep understanding of golf mechanics and his strategic approach to the game were products of his self-directed learning and practical experience on the golf course.

Trevino has often spoken about the value of hard work, perseverance, and using one’s natural talents to succeed, a philosophy shaped by his upbringing and the need to be self-reliant from an early age. While he may not have had formal schooling, Trevino’s life is a testament that education can come in many forms. That success is more comprehensive than those with traditional academic backgrounds. His achievements in golf and the knowledge he has imparted to others about the game serve as his form of education, which he has shared generously throughout his life and career.

Lee Trevino Philanthropy

Lee Trevino, known for his success on the golf course, has also made a notable impact through his philanthropic efforts. Though he maintains a relatively low profile regarding his charitable activities, his contributions to various causes are recognized and appreciated within the communities he has touched.

Trevino has been involved in numerous charity golf tournaments and events that have raised funds for various causes, including education, health, and services for underprivileged communities. His participation often helps to draw public attention and significant funding to these events, leveraging his fame for the benefit of others.

One particular area where Trevino has shown consistent interest is in supporting children’s hospitals and health-related charities. He has appeared and donated proceeds from book signings and other endeavors to support pediatric healthcare. Moreover, Trevino has been involved in initiatives that aim to grow the game of golf among youth, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds, promoting access to the sport to teach valuable life skills.

Trevino’s charitable nature extends to supporting the military, a cause close to his heart, given his service in the United States Marine Corps. He has participated in events that benefit veterans and active-duty service members, contributing to funds and programs that assist their needs.

In his hometown and beyond, Lee Trevino’s philanthropic legacy is characterized by his willingness to give back to the community and support those in need, reflecting the same spirit of generosity and approachability he displayed throughout his professional career.

Conclusion

Lee Trevino’s journey from humble beginnings to becoming one of golf’s greatest players is a testament to his indomitable spirit and extraordinary talent. His self-made path, characterized by a distinctive swing and an infectious personality, brought diversity and charisma to the game. 

Trevino’s six major championships and numerous tour victories are a significant part of his legacy, but equally impactful is his contribution to popularizing golf and making it accessible to a broader audience. 

Off the course, his philanthropic efforts and mentorship have shown a commitment to giving back and supporting the communities that shaped him. 

As he stepped away from competitive golf, Trevino left a legacy as a champion in the sport and a beloved figure whose influence extended well beyond the fairways.

FAQs

Has Lee Trevino ever owned a major?

Yes, Lee Trevino is one of golf’s legendary players, having won several major championships. He has won six major titles in total:

U.S. Open: Trevino won the U.S. Open twice, first in 1968 at Oak Hill Country Club and again in 1971 at Merion Golf Club.
The Open Championship (often called the British Open): He captured the Claret Jug twice, winning in 1971 at Royal Birkdale and in 1972 at Muirfield.
PGA Championship: Trevino won the PGA Championship twice, once in 1974 at Tanglewood Park and again in 1984 at Shoal Creek Golf and Country Club.

Trevino’s significant victories were a testament to his exceptional skill and ability to compete at the game’s highest level. His achievements in majors are a substantial part of his legacy in the sport of golf.

Which does Lee Trevino’s now?

Trevino is also known for his instructional videos and commentary, sharing his extensive game knowledge with new and experienced golfers. He may participate in interviews or serve as a guest commentator for golf tournaments, where his insights and charismatic personality are still very much appreciated.

Alice Moreno
About the author

Hi, I'm Alice Moreno. I've been writing about celebrities since 2005. I love sharing stories about famous people and finding out how much they're worth. I studied Journalism and enjoy digging for facts to make sure everything I write is true.

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