José Maria Olazábal was born on the 5th February 1966 in Hondarribia, a town in the Basque Country region of Spain. He burst onto the golf scene as a junior, winning The (British) Amateur Championship aged eighteen. He became a professional golfer in 1985 and his rookie professional season of 1986 he finished second on the European Tour Order of Merit aged just twenty, since then he has one of the most impressive track record in the history of the sport, having won, among others, two and three Masters Cups Ryders. Olazábal was elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2009 with 56% of the vote on the international ballot.
Olazábal was a member of the European Ryder Cup team in 1987, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1997, 1999 and 2006. He formed a famous partnership with fellow Spaniard Seve Ballesteros that spanned many years, and formed a similarly successful partnership with Sergio García in 2006.
Olazábal´s activity off of the golf course is in designing golf courses which he has been heavily involved since 1987 when he founded IGD (Integral Golf Design) and designed more than 10 golf courses in Spain, including the Real Club de Golf de Sevilla, Costa Ballena in Cádiz, la Sella in Alicante, among others; outside Spain he was involved on the design of the Mission Hills Golf Club in China and in the redesign of 7 holes of the Versilia Golf Club in Pietrasanta, Italy.
The Real Club de Golf de Sevilla was venue of Sevilla´s Open, tournament of the European Tour in April 2004 and also venue of the World Cup of Golf in November 2004. In 2008 and 2010 hosted the Spanish Open and in 2009 the Andalucía Open.