Goodbye Seve Ballesteros: The Original Rock N' Roll Golfer

The flowing hair, the megawatt smile, the ridiculous shots, the Slazenger jumper, the pumped fist. No one can match Severiano Ballesteros.
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The flowing hair, the megawatt smile, the ridiculous shots, the Slazenger jumper, the pumped fist. No one can match Severiano Ballesteros.

There has never been a golfer like Seve. People have won more majors, earned more money, starred in more cringeworthy adverts and owned more private planes, but for an impact upon a sport, no-one can match the Conquistdaor himself. The flowing hair, the megawatt smile, the ridiculous shots, the slazenger jumper, the pumped fist. Seve wasn't just cool, he was rock n' roll from the tips of his white shoes to the crown of his jet black mane.When I was a kid there was only Seve. He revived the moribund Ryder Cup by sticking it to the Americans, became the first European to win The Masters and had an indelible impact on kids around the world. There are many ways to play golf, and I'll always be in the Seve camp.

Seve wasn't just cool, he was rock n' roll from the tips of his white shoes to the crown of his jet black mane.

Even now, long past his pomp, you see hackers everywhere telling each other, when behind a tree, bush , wall or JCB, to do 'A Seve.' Not a Jack, a Tiger nor Hogan, but a Seve. When I started to play golf again aged 24 Seve was always in my mind. 'What would Seve do?' I thought before every shot. I still lambast fellow players for playing boring positional golf when there is a shot over trees to try for.

I edited a golf magazine for two years and before that I was Travel Editor. The gospel I tried to spread was that of Seve. Go for your shorts, dress like a king, laugh when your two down with three to play. Enjoy it, love it, get on your knees and swipe from the trees.

I am genuinely heartbroken today. The word legend is bandied about far too often in modern sport but Seve, in everything he did, was a bona-fide, chipping, slashing, leaping, laughing Iberian Icon.

Forget golf, the world is a worse place without the kid who learnt to play with pebbles and sticks.

RIP Seve.

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