Lee Trevino 'in heaven' in new job as professional emeritus at Greenbrier

By Cam Huffman
Published on
Lee Trevino 'in heaven' in new job as professional emeritus at Greenbrier

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W. Va. – Lee Trevino wasn't looking for a job. The six-time major champion with 29 PGA Tour victories and 29 more on the Champions Tour had already been offered television commentary gigs with NBC and Fox, and he turned them down.
But when Greenbrier officials arrived at his five-acre home in Dallas with a proposal for the 75-year-old to become the new golf pro emeritus at The Greenbrier – a position only held by Sam Snead and Tom Watson in the past – it was an offer he just couldn't refuse.
"I got to thinking and said, 'That's right down my alley,'" said Trevino, while being formally introduced at the media day for The Greenbrier Classic. "I didn't think twice about it."
Trevino was no stranger to The Greenbrier.
He came to the Greenbrier County resort for the first time in 1979 as a member of the United States Ryder Cup team, and he soon began bringing his sponsors to The Greenbrier each and every year to thank them for their support.
"There's a reason why they call it America's Resort," he said. "It's second to none. My wife wanted to know what it looks like, and I told her there's nothing like it."
He also was quite familiar with the original pro emeritus, the PGA Tour's all-time wins leader, Snead.
"You can't follow in his footsteps," said Trevino. "Those shoes are way too big. There's no possible way to fill his footsteps. Sam and I were very good friends, and we played a lot of golf together. He was probably the greatest ball striker that ever lived. There's no question in my mind.
"He was a great athlete and could do anything. The Greenbrier was blessed to have him here for so many years."
Like Snead, Trevino plans on becoming a permanent fixture around the resort's courses. He will spend the entire summer, 70 days, at the resort, doing the two things he loves the most, entertaining and playing golf.
"Just," laughed Trevino, who also plans on making a few trips in the winter and fall. "That's my job. That's what I do very well. I love people, and I love to entertain."
He also loves to teach. Trevino said he still has that competitive edge, but at his age he doesn't have the game to compete.
The knowledge, though, hasn't been erased.
As Trevino's wife, Claudia, told him, he's like a fine cabinet maker. And if he doesn't pass along the tricks to making those cabinets, that craftsmanship will be gone forever.
"I'm a tweaker," he said. "I don't tear a house down to fix a leaky roof. Great teachers will tweak first and tell a person exactly what they need to do.
"When you teach someone, you have to show him what he's doing wrong, and all you have to do is look at the ball. That way when he's by himself and he sees the ball doing this or that, he knows exactly how to correct it."
While The Greenbrier has much to offer – from tennis to falconry – Trevino said his time won't be spent driving off-road vehicles or fishing for trout. His focus is on one thing.
"I'm 24/7 golf," he said, relaying his schedule this past Sunday when he got up at 6:00 a.m., went to breakfast, went to the driving range to hit balls, had lunch, hit more balls, played 17 holes and then finished the day by putting on his carpet for three hours as he watched the NBA Finals. "I love it. I sleep it. I eat it. I dream it. And I can't wait to get up in the morning to hear what I have to say.
"I'm addicted to golf. It's like drugs to me. I can't get enough of it.
"If you need a lesson and I'm not here, knock on the door. I'll come out and give you one. That's what I do, and I love doing it."
So far, Trevino said the new job has been a dream come true, and he's looking forward to what's ahead.
"I go to church and I'm a religious guy," he said. "I always thought I was going to heaven.
"I told my wife, I don't know where I'm going when I'm dead, because I'm in heaven now."
This article was written by Cam Huffman from The Register-Herald, Beckley, W.Va. and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.
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