11 things you (probably) never knew about Seve Ballesteros

Facts About Seve Ballesteros
Seve Cover Photo

Think you know everything there is to know about Seve Ballesteros?

Guess again.

The five-time major champion and former world No.1 was a fascinating character with whom most golf fans are familiar - but there is a lot about him that most of you probably don't know. 

We've listed out our 11 favourite obscure Seve facts for you below...



He never used a golf ball marked with the number ‘3’. He was worried that doing so would result in him three-putting.


In the 1995 Ryder Cup, Seve persuaded the European captain Bernard Gallacher to let the team wear blue instead of green clothes on the final day. He had adopted blue as his lucky colour for the last day of a competition ever since he wore it to win the 1976 Dutch Open.


He got expelled from school when he was 12 for an attack on his teacher. After being punished one morning with a ruler across the palms for tearing pages out of one of his textbooks – something he maintained he didn’t do – he went home at lunchtime to find his parents had gone out fishing. “Angry and upset, I sat down at the table and found a bottle of wine my father had left ready for supper,” he later recalled. “I drank a couple of glasses before heading back to school. When I entered the classroom, I was so tipsy that I got up on the podium, grabbed my teacher and started to rough her up. They had no choice but to expel me.”

• BLOG - "My hero, Seve"

• 15 inspirational Seve Ballesteros quotes


His boyhood hero was Gary Player. He first met him in 1972 when he caddied in a celebrity pro-am to commemorate the opening of the La Manga Club. “His personality had a huge impact on me,” he said. “The first things about Gary that drew my attention were his powers of concentration and strength of will. We called him Manitas de Plata (‘Little Hands of Silver’, after the gypsy guitarist from La Camargue) because he had a magic tough and a fantastic rhythm. He really knew how to get himself out of a bunker!”


Seve has more putters in the PING Gold Putter Vault than any other player. He used the brand’s Scottsdale Anser model for the majority of his wins.

• "My weekend with Seve Ballesteros"


Seve’s ex-wife Carmen, the mother of his three children, is the daughter of the late Emilio Botín – the former executive chairman of the Santander Group and one of the richest men in Spain. In 2012, his net worth was estimated at €1.1 BILLION!


For more than 20 years, Seve slept with a pistol under his bed on the off-chance that his home was broken in to by intruders.


In his first year as a professional, Seve was supported financially by a Santander doctor called Cesar Campuzano. When Seve claimed his first major at the 1979 Open, he gifted his winning all to Dr Campuzano.


During his career, Seve won more than ninety times around the world. Every time he did, the church bells in his home town of Pedreña were rung in celebration.

• Seve & The 1997 Ryder Cup - Part 1

• Seve & The 1997 Ryder Cup - Part 2

• Seve & The 1997 Ryder Cup - Part 3


Fifteen years before Seve became the first European to win The Masters, his mother’s brother, Ramon Sota, also played in the tournament, finishing in a tie for sixth.


Seve was the first player to reach £1m, £2m and £3m in European Tour Official Career Earnings.

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