When I met Payne Stewart and his family at our hotel near The Old Course in St. Andrews in 1995, I had NO idea this meeting would become so pivotal for me.
I was 14yrs old when my dad took me to see The Open Championship. One evening during the week we went swimming in the hotel pool. I befriended 2 younger American kids and we started playing Marco Polo. My dad began talking with their mom who was watching attentively from a poolside lounge chair and quickly found out it was Payne’s family ☺️
Minutes later we met Payne as he came to greet his family after his round of golf. I could tell my dad was intrigued w this golfer bc he asked me to get out of the pool and meet him.
I was just a 14yr old kid shaking the hand of a doting dad at the time but I’ve replayed this memory SO many times throughout the years and I wasn’t sure why this meeting resonated so deeply w me.
Over the years I’d read Payne’s books, discovered his philosophies, adopted his mindset, and most recently, prioritized my life to give more than I receive.
I used to dwell on the question of why Payne would bother to chat up my dad and take an extra minute to shake hands w a soaken wet 8th grader but THAT was Payne.. he genuinely cared about other human beings.
I won’t win a US Open, or ever know what it’s like to sink the winning putt but I do know what genuine human compassion looks like bc I met Payne.
Miss ya man 😔
RIP Payne ❤️