‘It was my fault’: Lee Trevino explains spat with Augusta National, Masters

Lee Trevino’s relationship with Augusta National can best be described as contentious.

During his illustrious career — which included 29 PGA Tour titles and six major championship victories — the Merry Mex passed on invitations to the Masters three times (1970, 1971 and 1974). At the time, he attributed his absence to not liking the course. In 1969, he said: “I’m never going to play there again. They can invite me all they want, but I’m not going back. It’s just not my type of course.” Skipping the year’s first major was quite a statement for one of the top players in the world.

However, in the year’s since, Trevino has expanded on his distaste for one of the most famous clubs in the world.

Pro golfer Lee Trevino points his finger on the 14th hole during the first round of the PNC Championship at the Ritz Carlton Golf Club Grande Lakes on December 18, 2021
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“Me and Cliff Roberts didn’t get along,” Trevino said on this week’s episode of GOLF’s Subpar. “He and I didn’t see eye to eye on the ticket situation.”

Trevino, who admits he is “short-fused,” told Colt Knost and Drew Stoltz that his talks with the famed Augusta National co-founder were not without conflict.

“I went to his office and we had a lot of discussions back and forth,” Trevino said. “I just told him what they could do with it, and I left. I never went back for three years. And then Jack [Nicklaus] talked me into going back.”

After his spat with the green jackets, Trevino twice led after 36 holes and tied for 10th on two occasions during his career (1975 and 1985), but his reputation at the famous club never quite recovered.

“It was my fault,” Trevino said. “It was my fault; I never should’ve lost my cool. I don’t do it as much now. My wife, Claudia, has tamed me down a bit, but my problem was I was never a listener. When you’re talking as much as I do, you’re always talking; you never listen to what people are saying to you. I have a bad habit of that.”

You can listen to the entire episode of Subpar below.

Zephyr Melton

Golf.com Editor

Zephyr Melton is an assistant editor for GOLF.com where he spends his days blogging, producing and editing. Prior to joining the team at GOLF, he attended the University of Texas followed by stops with the Texas Golf Association, Team USA, the Green Bay Packers and the PGA Tour. He assists on all things instruction and covers amateur and women’s golf. He can be reached at zephyr_melton@golf.com.