The Last Stand of Payne Stewart: The Year Golf Changed Forever

Hachette. Oct. 2019. 320p. index. ISBN 9780316485302. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780316485296. SPORTS
Winning a major championship is a high mark in a professional golfer’s career. Sportswriter Robbins chronicles the life of three-time winner Payne Stewart (1957–99), who won 1989 PGA Championship and 1991 and 1999 U.S. Open. In terms of biography, there isn’t much new here, especially compared to Ken Abraham and Tracey Stewart’s Payne Stewart: The Authorized Biography. What differentiates this work from others are Robbins’s descriptions of how Stewart straddled two different eras in golf. Stewart, it is true, had style: his swing was graceful and elegant and his personality was both brash and engaging. The PGA honored Stewart with the Payne Stewart Award, which is given to a golfer who aligned character, charity, and sportsmanship. Robbins attempts to place Stewart at the nexus of change in golf. But as one era morphs into another, sports and players evolve.
VERDICT Only worthwhile for those who haven’t read the earlier volume by Abraham and Stewart.

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