Seve Ballesteros: R&A announces plans to celebrate the life of a golfing great

St Andrews has welcomed countless golfing legends to the town, but few have created such a special relationship with the area as the great Severiano Ballesteros.

Wednesday, 5th May 2021, 2:03 pm
Seve Ballesteros clutches the claret jug in St Andrews after his win in 1984. Pic by Ian Brand / TSPL

And now that bond is to be immortalised with the town-based R&A announcing a trio of unique tributes to the three-time champion golfer on the 10-year anniversary of his passing.

Considered one of the greatest sportsmen of his generation, Seve passed away on May 7, 2011, aged just 54, following a battle with cancer having been diagnosed with a brain tumour two years earlier.

A feature-length documentary film will be produced along with the publication of a photobook by renowned sports photographer David Cannon.

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The town’s British Golf Museum will also host an exhibition lasting 18 months.

Martin Slumbers, chief executive of The R&A, said: “As we approach a special milestone in the history of The Open and reflect back over its many unique moments, Seve’s iconic and joyful celebration after holing the putt on the 18th green at St Andrews in 1984 is one memory that always sticks out in my mind.

"Sadly, he was taken from us too young and we must settle for the memories. But what glorious memories they are.”

The R&A is working with ZigZag Productions, Egoli Media and North Ridge Films to create Seve, a documentary film which will premiere in autumn.

It will profile his remarkable life on and off the course, from its humble beginnings in Cantabria, Spain, where, as a young boy, he learned to play golf on its beaches, through to realising his dream and become one of the most decorated and celebrated golfers in the history of the sport.

The landmark documentary will feature contributions from his family, including his children Javier, Miguel and Carmen Ballesteros, and fellow sporting heroes, including close friend José María Olazábal, Sir Nick Faldo, Gary Player and Colin Montgomerie.

Javier Ballesteros, Seve’s son, said: “My dad considered his winning moment at St Andrews the crowning achievement of a very special sporting career filled with tour wins, major championship victories and Ryder Cup triumphs, which makes it very fitting that we have been able to work with The R&A on these special tributes.

“For me, Miguel and Carmen, he was an even better father than he was a golfer which tells you everything about him as a man.

"We would like to thank our dad’s fans for all the passionate and continuous support throughout the years.”

The R&A and the European Tour have also supported the publication of a stunning new book Seve: His Life through the Lens which has been compiled by David Cannon of Getty Images.

The exhibition celebrating the life of Seve will launch when the British Golf Museum in St Andrews is re-opened after refurbishment later this year and will be dedicated to his greatest achievements in golf.

A share of the proceeds from these tributes will be donated to the Seve Ballesteros Foundation to support the work that it does to introduce young people to golf and for vital scientific research for the treatment of brain cancer.