Posted in Golf

The Life of Seve Ballesteros: Part 6 ‘The Lady Pleaser with a Sore Back’

Part six of my bio doesn’t really go into Seve’s golfing career on the course. This segment looks more into his problems with his back, his ‘playboy’ manners and his other hobbies off the greens of the golf course.

Part 6: ‘ The Lady Pleaser with a Sore Back’

“The real burden for my back was the physical pain that became even more annoying and crippling.”

For all of Ballesteros’ success on the golf course, he suffered physically. After an accident as a young boy left him hobbling around for a couple of weeks as well as caddying at the Padreña club, Ballesteros’ back was taking its toll.

Ballesteros admitted he struggled through his major wins and Ryder Cup triumphs. And in 1993, he had enough.

The Spaniard and his family travelled to Scottsdale, Arizona, for treatment. He undertook the treatments for a couple of months with no significant improvements.

This wasn’t the first time he suffered a set back in dealing with his back problem. In 1977 after the Spanish under-25 championship, Seve went to see Dr. Carbajosa. He advised Ballesteros to give up golf for a year.

Seve admitted that if he listened, he might not have suffered again with back problems. But the thought of no golf for a year was unbearable. And arguably he wouldn’t have been as successful as he was if he listened to the Madrid doctor.

In 1995, Ballesteros went to Florida to have an operation on his back. Again this failed to sort out the problem.

Seve even travelled to Germany to meet Dr. Hans-Wolfgang Müller. The German doctor had treated the likes of Boris Becker, Linford Christie, Michael Owen and the Bayern Munich football team. Even his treatments didn’t make any improvement on Seve’s back.

In the end, Seve gave up on treating his back, and instead looked to workouts and swimming to at least numb the pain.

“When a lad has pretty girls following them around the golf course. It gives them extra motivation. More then once I tried to impress them. They seduced me.”

Before marrying his wife, Ballesteros was seen as a slight playboy by his peers. He recalls seeing ‘Miss Texas’ or Christy. When they travelled together Christy was impressed on how people looked at Seve. However reality it Ballesteros would remind her it wasn’t him they were making googly eyes at.

Seve also saw an unnamed princess from northern Europe. They would spend a lot of time together when their paths crossed in Barcelona. They went sightseeing and the princess even suspended a flight home to spend more time with Ballesteros.

But no one was as close to Ballesteros than his wife, Carmen. She was his “true love.”

“I liked hunting, as it was a popular sport in Northern Spain. I also liked boxing and football, as most Spanish men do.”

Seve had hobbies outside golf. He admired Muhammad Ali, like the millions who did watching him in the ring.

He also was a supporter of Racing Santander football club, a yo-yo team in the Spanish first and second division. He would go to as many games as he could when he was home.

Seve had better connections though with the biggest club in the world, Real Madrid. Offered the best seats in the house, a trip to Madrid was regular for the football fans of the Ballesteros family.

Away from golf, his life wasn’t too shabby. He spent more time with his family from the mid 90s. He won his last title in golf in 1995, and from then, began to fall slowly away from the top of the golfing ladder.

Seve admitted that if he listened, he might not have suffered again with back problems. But the thought of no golf for a year was unbearable. And arguably he wouldn’t have been as successful as he was if he listened to the Madrid doctor.

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Author:

Aspiring Sports Journalist. Studying @ Southampton Solent University. Sport is what I love to write about. Have a read, leave a comment, enjoy.

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