Pinehurst Heritage Archive

The Pinehurst No. 2 Restoration – The First Cut

On March 4, 2011, Pinehurst No. 2 reopened following the year-long restoration by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw.

To commemorate the 5-year anniversary this week, we’ll take a look back on some of the iconic moments of the project. Today, we’ll give you a glimpse of the very first photos taken on the day No. 2’s manicured rough was removed in 2010, beginning the project.

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Every stroke by Payne Stewart aired during the 1999 U.S. Open’s final round

Yes, this has been online for a while. Still, that doesn’t mean we can’t take a moment to hail Michael David Murphy as a genius and great contributor to the game of golf (and Pinehurst).

Below is Murphy’s supercut, which includes EVERY STROKE MADE (AND AIRED) BY PAYNE STEWART DURING THE FINAL ROUND OF THE 1999 U.S. OPEN.

Everything about this is a triumph. Listen to the rhythm of the shots as they are struck throughout. Note the pre-restored Pinehurst No. 2. Marvel at the beautiful golf swing. Remember just how long and perilous the par-saving putt on 16 was.

And then the finish.

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The Man Behind the Payne Stewart Statue

Payne Stewart statue at dusk

A few months ago, there was a terrific feature by Golf Digest’s John Strege on Zenos Frudakis.

Not sure who Zenos Frudakis is? Here, let Strege explain:

It is the bane of the successful contemporary artist that his work is usually better known than his name. In this case, his name is Zenos Frudakis. Ever heard of him?

Yet even the casual golf fan is likely familiar with the sculpture of a celebratory Payne Stewart, one leg in the air, his right fist piercing the sky, on display near the 18th green of Pinehurst No. 2 where Stewart struck this pose as he won the U.S. Open in 1999.

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There is a lot of great stuff in the piece. Among the best:

“We’re not going to forget these people and what they accomplished and meant to us,” Frudakis said. “Bronze helps us do that because it endures. That’s the reason the Egyptians made sculpture.”

In 2001, Zenos Frudakis poses with Payne Stewart’s family at the dedication of the statue behind the 18th green of Pinehurst No. 2.

Frudakis can hold his own with anyone in golf:

“Do you golf?” Nicklaus asked him while posing in his home adjacent to Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio.

“No,” Frudakis replied.

“That’s all right, that’s all right,” Nicklaus said.

“Do you sculpt?” he asked Nicklaus.

“No,” Nicklaus replied.

“That’s all right, that’s all right,” Frudakis said, apparently with glee.

There may never be a better one of these (and we should know). Daughter Chelsea posing at her dad’s statue. #bestever #Pinehurst

A photo posted by Pinehurst Resort (@pinehurstresort) on

The Legacy:

Soon after Payne Stewart died in a freak airplane mishap in October of ’99, Frudakis was commissioned by Pinehurst Resort to capture that iconic moment when the winning putt dropped. He recalls traveling to Pinehurst and encountering a despondent Stewart family. “I remember I went into the golf shop and his son [Aaron] was sitting on the floor in a corner by himself, looking very sad,” he said. “His widow [Tracey] looked devastated.”

“It’s extremely gratifying for me, to see people take the pose, especially to see his daughter do it.” – Zenos Frudakis

The sculpture he produced was unveiled in 2001, but its impact was not fully realized until the U.S. Open there in 2014. By then it had become a popular landmark at Pinehurst, when hordes of fans were photographed striking a similar pose alongside the Stewart statue, including Stewart’s daughter Chelsea. “The coolest statue photo you’ll see this week,” the PGA Tour called it on Instagram.

“It’s extremely gratifying for me, to see people take the pose, especially to see his daughter do it,” Frudakis said, “to see them interact with the piece, to see [Chelsea] laughing, smiling.

“It’s his moment of victory. It was exciting. With Payne Stewart at the peak of his career, this was his Icarus moment, to have fallen so tragically from such a high place. I think for a lot of people there is some healing for having the sculpture. The sense with bronze is that people have wanted to make something that will last because we don’t.”

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Alberta Travis – In Your Words

It was only a short while ago we posted our story about the incomparable Alberta Travis, who the North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association will recognize for her accomplishments when she is honored as the 2016 Front Line Employee of the Year.

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Immediately, there was an outpouring of praise and support from many of you, those who are past guests of Pinehurst, but also from Alberta’s friends, family and co-workers. It is clearly apparent the impact Alberta has made not only on our guests over the years, but for everyone who comes in even a short moment’s contact with her.

Please take a second to read what others have said about one very special person:

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You’re right, Jeff. We are very blessed.

Congratulations, Alberta, from all of us.

*Please feel free to add your congratulations and notes to Alberta in the comments below.

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A Life Lesson from Donald Ross

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Old Tom Morris was against gambling in golf and advised Donald Ross to never bet on the golf course beyond a small wager. “Why make a horse race out of a game like golf?” Morris posited. Ross took Old Tom’s words to heart and for the rest of his life rarely played for stakes beyond a quarter Nassau. Ross said that Calcutta pools “don’t belong in such a fine, clean game.”

Once at Pinehurst, a young man who didn’t know Ross asked him for a game and a $25 Nassau.

“Let’s just play for the fun of the game,” Ross countered.

The young man insisted, so Ross relented, played the visitor and beat him soundly.

“I built the course,” Ross told his opponent. “Let this be a lesson to you: Don’t play for high stakes with a stranger.”

-Lee Pace

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