North Carolina Tar Heel Legend and College Basketball Hall of Famer Phil Ford was the featured speaker at the Acura Alumni Team Championship dinner on Nov. 4 at Pinehurst Resort. Among the highlights of a speech given around the moment of kickoff of the highly anticipated college football game between Alabama and LSU, Ford recounted his high school days playing basketball, football and baseball and what cut his career short in the two sports he’s not known for. He also talked about his recruitment by Dean Smith and the not-so-subtle way his mother let him know that North Carolina was the right choice for “Little Phil.”
Six-time major championship winner Sir Nick Faldo recently led a golf clinic at Pinehurst Resort. In between incredible insight and golf instruction, Faldo mixed in anecdotes from his world of golf, including stories about Ernie Els, Sam Snead, Ivan Corona and all of us hackers. (HINT: There’s playing in the wind for Nick Faldo, and playing in the wind for the rest of us.)
Sir Nick Faldo, a six-time major championship winner, recently visited Pinehurst as part of a BMW function, running about 15-to-20 minutes extra on what was supposed to be a 1-hour golf clinic. He also took the time to chat with Pinehurst Resort (despite blistering wind as Hurricane Sandy was near the Carolina coast) about the perils of playing Pinehurst No. 2, the fear involved in chipping here, and also gave his opinion on the controversy surrounding banning anchored putters and talked his new book, an updated version of A Swing for Life, which will hit stores on Nov. 6.
For STORYTIME WITH SIR NICK AT PINEHURST, go here.
A day ago, many of those connected to Pinehurst remembered Payne Stewart, winner of the 99th U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2, on the 13th anniversary of his tragic death. It was a beautiful Carolina Autumn day, with temperatures rising near 80 as the bright blue sky above housed a generous sun and a light breeze. Tables on the Resort Club’s veranda were full at lunchtime.
The next morning, though, a billowing fog draped Pinehurst’s hallowed grounds, as if to doff the cap again to Stewart in memoriam. It was only three days after Stewart’s passing on Oct. 28, 1999, that the PGA Tour and several Tour players gathered before the 1999 Tour Championship at Champions Golf Course in Houston as a heavy fog surrounded them and bagpiper Steve Agan for a memorial service to honor Stewart’s life.
Today, to see the fog lightly brush the pinetops and sprinkle the rolling sandhills with dew could only tug on Stewart’s memory in Pinehurst a little harder.
Yes, we miss you, Payne. We always will.