Pinehurst News

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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A classic Jordan Spieth story

This is a pretty classic Jordan Spieth story, as told by country music star Jake Owen:

Here’s Jake telling the story:

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Join us for Girl’s Spa Weekend next month

Save time to do a little shopping. The Village's historic buildings are now home to a variety of shops and boutiques that sell everything from olive oil to handmade gifts.

You’re invited to relax and reconnect with a Girl’s Spa Weekend March 11-13.

The weekend kicks off Friday, March 11 with a welcome reception at The Spa at Pinehurst. Take a tour of the 31,000 square-foot Spa, which includes a women’s relaxation area equipped with a whirlpool, sauna and steam room. A saline lap pool is the centerpiece of the main relaxation area.

Enjoy complimentary hand massages, chair massages and eye treatments during the reception. Wine and small bites will be served and guests will receive a goodie bag including luxurious BABOR skincare products.

Start Saturday on the right foot with breakfast in the beautiful Carolina Dining Room. Our famous breakfast buffet has everything from biscuits and gravy to yogurt and granola. Save room for a made-to-order omelet!

Explore a variety of unique shops and restaurants in the heart of the Village.

Explore a variety of unique shops and restaurants in the heart of the Village.

After breakfast, go on a historic walking tour or enjoy a yoga class.

A local expert will lead the walking tour that will begin at the Carolina Hotel and wind its way through the Village to points of interest such as the Holly Inn Tufts Archives and the Theater Building, which once hosted performances by stars like Will Rogers and Gloria Swanson.

Local instructor Christy Weaver will lead the yoga class, which uses slow flowing movements and stretching to improve balance, strength and flexibility. The class is suitable for all skill levels and beginners are welcome. Mats will be provided.

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Pamper yourself with one of our specialty massages.

Devote to rest of the afternoon to unwinding at The Spa. Each guest will receive a 50-minute treatment of their choice with options like the new Swe-Thai Massage and Detox Facial. Book additional services of 50 minutes or longer at 35 percent off.

After a day of pampering, you’ll be treated to a cooking class where they’ll learn how to turn a fresh Farmer’s Market haul into a tasty meal.

A Pinehurst chef will demonstrate how to make Olive Oil Poached Smoked Salmon with Citrus Quinoa and Curry Greek Yogurt. You’ll also learn how to make an Heirloom Tomato and Beet Sampler with Baby Wild Arugula topped with a Blackberry-Sorghum Vinaigrette and served with a Goat Cheese-Fig Crostini.

The weekend wraps up Sunday with breakfast followed by yoga. An extended checkout allows for extra time to explore the area.

Join us for the weekend. Click here to view rates and learn more. 

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That golf swing. That amazing golf swing.

The Champions Tour just posted a really good Q&A with Paul Goydos, who has a terrific story about Payne Stewart:

Q. What do you remember most about playing your first PGA TOUR event?

Paul Goydos: I remember getting to the range on whatever day it was, Monday or something, and I’m hitting balls and there’s this guy next to me, real thin blonde guy next to me hitting balls, just swinging it unbelievable and hitting these rockets. I kind of looked at him. I don’t even know who this guy is. I haven’t seen this guy before, 6-foot-2, thin blonde guy and he’s hitting balls. He’s got a little bag over here. I’m going, “Holy cow, this guy’s some kind of Open qualifier.” This guy’s hitting it great. Turns out he didn’t have his knickers on and it was Payne Stewart. When I found out it was Payne Stewart, I’m like all right, I’m all right with him hitting the ball a lot better than me.

That’s why we posted the video above of Payne’s iconic swing on the 17th hole of Pinehurst No. 2 during the final round of the 1999 U.S. Open. What a swing.

And one more thing – watch that video with the sound ON. Listen to the flush at impact.

Incredible.

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5 ways the Carolina Panthers can help your golf game

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For those of us in the Carolinas, it’s been a wonderful NFL season to follow. We’re excited about the Carolina Panthers as they prepare to play the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50.

When you take a deeper look at the Panthers, though, it’s interesting to see how reflecting on the Panthers’ evolution into a Super Bowl-caliber team and organization might impact your golf game.

Whether the Panthers win or lose to the Broncos on Super Bowl Sunday, it’s clear to us that you can take a few fundamentals from the Panthers’ players and coaching staff and apply them in a way that could make you a better golfer.

Here’s how:

1. Play to Your Strengths When the Panthers drafted safety/linebacker hybrid Shaq Thompson a year ago, many experts questioned the pick because the Panthers were in such good shape at linebacker already, especially with Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis. But the Panthers had hit on something, and it seems to have been something they found back when they drafted Kuechly. He was the best player left on the board at the ninth pick in 2012, and though the Panthers appeared set at linebacker even then, Kuechly was too good to pass up. Four years later, it’s clear that rangy linebackers who can drop into coverage are becoming more important again. And the Panthers now have a unique stable of them.

Why are you trying to bomb your 5 wood on your second shot of a par 5? Take your 5 iron, play to your best spot and play from there.

From Gridiron to Links: What’s your best club for approach shots? Is it your wedge? Maybe you’re more comfortable with your 7 iron than your 8 iron for some reason. You know what shots you are best at, so try to play more of those in your round. If you’re best from 100 yards out, but shudder at those in-between pitches from 60 yards, why are you trying to bomb your 5 wood on your second shot of a par 5? Take your 5 iron, play to your best spot and play from there. Same goes off the tee. Play to your strengths. … Continue Reading

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