Sunday was the 10th anniversary of Payne Stewart’s tragic death.
I still remember where I was when I heard about Stewart being on the missing flight. At that time, I was a courier for a law firm in Atlanta, so I traveled all over the ATL delivering packages to courthouses, law firms and such.
One of my favorite driving pastimes was—and still is—listening to sports talk radio. I was listening to Atlanta’s 790 The Zone when Chris Dimino and Nick Cellini broke the news that air control had lost communication with Payne Stewart’s private plane.
Hours later, the world learned that Payne Stewart died in that tragic flight.
In the decade since Payne’s death, many in the golf world have told countless stories of his life. The PGA Tour awards “The Payne Stewart Award” each year to a player who loves golf, life, and gives back to the community like Stewart did. Pinehurst has since unveiled a life-like statue of Stewart’s unforgettable fist pump after sinking the winning putt at the 1999 U.S. Open.
In a sport where golfers drift in and out of the national scene—basking in the spotlight for the duration of one tournament, only to be forgotten about for years—Stewart’s life and legacy still impacts the golf culture a decade after his death.
If only we all would make it our goal to be remembered like Payne Stewart.