15 Things You Didn't Know About Jose Maria Olazabal

Check out our 15 things you didn't know about the Spanish legend.

15 Things You Didn't Know About Jose Maria Olazabal
(Image credit: Getty Images)

15 Things You Didn't Know About Jose Maria Olazabal

Jose Maria Olazabal is one of the very few golfers to have won The Masters twice, achieving the feat in 1994 and 1999. But by no means are they the only milestones in his career. Let's take a look at 15 things you didn't know about the Spaniard.

15 Things You Didn't Know About Jose Maria Olazabal

1. He was born in Hondarribia, Gipuzkoa, Spain on the 5th of February, 1966. The day before, Real Golf Club de San Sebastian opened right next to the family home.

2. Olazabal's grandfather, father and mother all worked at the club so he spent a lot of time there as a child.

3. He hit his first golf ball aged 2 and started playing full rounds at six years old.

4. His career was nearly cut short after considerable back and foot pain. At its worst he could barely walk and he was forced to withdraw from the 1995 Ryder Cup as his condition worsened after a series of misdiagnoses.

5. In 1984 he beat Colin Montgomerie in the championship match of the British Amateur.

6. Olazabal formed a lethal, record-setting partnership with Seve Ballesteros during the Ryder Cup. It was known as the Spanish Armada and they combined to win 12 points together with an overall record of 11-2-2 in four balls and foursomes.

Olazabal and Seve

7. He turned pro at the age of 19 and won the 1985 European Tour Q-School tournament. He would go on to win Rookie of the Year honours.

8. Between 1989 and 1999 the Spaniard put together a brilliant stretch at The Masters - he notched two victories, a 2nd place and four other top-12 finishes.

9. During his 1994 victory he had 30 single-putts, chipped in twice and 100 per cent sand-save record.

10. His best world ranking is 4th.

11. He is currently 9th in the all-time list for most DP World Tour (formerly European Tour) wins with 23.

12. Arguably his greatest achievement, Olazabal inspired the 2012 Ryder Cup team to a momentous come-back at Medinah. With only the singles matches to come Europe were 10-6 down and yet the next day they emerged victorious.

13. He played on seven Ryder Cups and was on the winning side three times, lost three times, and the match was halved in 1989.

14. He was induced into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2009.

15. In 2012 he was also awarded the coveted Prince of Asturias award in recognition of his career successes and the exemplary manner in which he conducted himself as a professional.

Sam Tremlett
E-commerce Editor

A golfer for most of his life, Sam is Golf Monthly's E-commerce Editor.

Working with golf gear and equipment over the last six years, Sam has quickly built outstanding knowledge and expertise on golf products ranging from drivers, to balls, to shoes. 

He combines this knowledge with a passion for helping golfers get the best gear for them, and as such Sam manages a team of writers that look to deliver the most accurate and informative reviews and buying advice. This takes the form of buying guides, reviews, supporting gear content as well as creating deal content.

This is so the reader can find exactly what they are looking for, at a good price.


Sam now spends most of his time testing and looking after golf gear content for the website, whilst he is also responsible for all content related to golf apparel. 

Additionally Sam oversees Golf Monthly voucher/coupon content which seeks to find you the best offers and promotions from well-known brands like Callaway, TaylorMade and many more.


Unfortunately, Sam is not a member of any club at the moment but regularly gets out on the golf course to keep up the facade of having a single-figure handicap. 


Sam's What's In The Bag: 

Driver: Cobra LTDxLS (9 degrees) 

Fairway Wood: Ping G430 Max (15 degrees), Nike Covert Tour 2.0 (19 degrees) 

Irons (4-PW): Titleist AP2 

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 54˚, 58˚ 

Putter: Scotty Cameron Phantom X 5.5 

Ball: Srixon Z-Star Diamond

Shoes: G/FORE Gallivanter/Nike Air Zoom Victory Tour 3/Cuater The Ringer
(For off the course he goes for Nike Jordan 1 Low G shoes as well)