Seve Ballesteros: St Andrews to host exhibition celebrating the life of golf great to mark the tenth anniversary of his passing

St Andrews is to host an exhibition celebrating the life of Seve Ballesteros.

Seve Ballesteros celebrates on the 18th fairway on his way to his first Open victory at Royal Lytham St Annes in 1979. Picture: Steve Powell/Allsport
Seve Ballesteros celebrates on the 18th fairway on his way to his first Open victory at Royal Lytham St Annes in 1979. Picture: Steve Powell/Allsport

Friday is the tenth anniversary of the death of the great Spanish golfer who won the Open three times.

The R&A is marking the occasion with three tribute events; a feature-length documentary, a photobook by renowned sports photographer David Cannon and the exhibition, which will run for 18 months at the British Golf Museum in the Fife town.

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St Andrews has a special connection with Ballesteros following his Open victory on the Old Course in 1984. The golfer regarded it as the crowning achievement of a career which also included two Masters triumphs and a storied history in the Ryder Cup.

Seve Ballesteros after winning the Open at St Andrews in 1984. Picture: Getty Images

“It will run for 18 months and visitors to the Home of Golf will enjoy a unique collection dedicated to his greatest achievements in golf, including winning the Open on three occasions in 1979, 1984 and 1988,” said the R&A in a statement.

“A series of content dedicated to celebrating his life will also be published on and and The Open’s and R&A social media channels, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.”

Ballesteros, a hugely influential and charismatic figure and one of the greatest sportsmen of his generation, died on 7 May 2011 aged just 54, following a battle with cancer, having been diagnosed with a brain tumour two years earlier.

Martin Slumbers, chief executive of the R&A, said: “Seve always was the supreme showman and he played a huge part in deepening my love of golf. I hope that fans will truly enjoy these wonderful tributes that tell the story of this charismatic, flamboyant and inspirational golfer who is without doubt one of the greatest of all time.

Seve Ballesteros with the Claret Jug at St Andrews in 1984. Picture: Getty Images

“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 documentary, called ‘Seve’, will premiere in the autumn. It will profile Ballesteros’ remarkable life on and off the course, from its humble beginnings in Cantabria, on Spain’s north coast, 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.

It 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.

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A piper plays at the funeral of Seve Ballesteros in 2011. He had a special connection with Scotland following his Open win at St Andrews in 1984. Picture: Denis Doyle/Getty Images
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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. It means so much to all of us that his legend lives on.”

The R&A is working with ZigZag Productions, Egoli Media and North Ridge Films on the documentary.

The R&A and the European Tour have also supported the publication of a new book, “Seve: His Life through the Lens”, which has been compiled by Cannon, the renowned Getty Images photographer, and published by Vision Sports Publishing.

Seve Ballesteros holds aloft the Claret Jug. He won the Open three times. Picture: Steve Powell/Allsport

As well as photographs from Cannon’s portfolio and the archives of Getty Images, the book features many of the finest action images and portraits captured by other prominent golf photographers. The book is already available at

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

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