• The Last Stand of Payne Stewart

  • The Year Golf Changed Forever
  • By: Kevin Robbins
  • Narrated by: Henry Leyva
  • Length: 10 hrs and 24 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (148 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From award-winning sports writer Kevin Robbins, discover the story of legendary golfer Payne Stewart, focusing on his last year in the PGA Tour in 1999, which tragically culminated in a fatal air disaster that transpired publicly on televisions across the country.

Forever remembered as one of the most dramatic storylines in the history of golf, Payne Stewart's legendary career was bookended by a dramatic comeback and a shocking, tragic end. Here, Robbins brings Stewart's story vividly to life.

Written off as a pompous showman past the prime of his career, Stewart emerged from a long slump in the unforgettable season of 1999 to capture the US Open and play on the victorious US Ryder Cup team. He appeared to be a new man that summer: wiser, deeper, and on the verge of a new level of greatness. Then his journey to redemption ended in October, when his chartered Learjet flew aimlessly for more than a thousand miles, ran out of fuel, and fell to earth in a prairie in South Dakota.

His death marked the end of an era, one made up of "shotmakers" who played the game with artistry, guile, finesse, and heart. Behind them were Tiger Woods, David Duval, Phil Mickelson, and other young players whose power and strength changed the PGA Tour forever. With exclusive access to Stewart's friends, family, and one-time colleagues, Kevin Robbins provides a long-overdue portrait of one of golf's greats in one of golf's greatest seasons. 

Winner of the USGA Herbert Warren Wind Book Award 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2019 Kevin Robbins (P)2019 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"Compelling and well told." (Booklist)

"Kevin Robbins knows golf, and he has brought energy and verve to the task of unraveling Payne Stewart's enigmatic life. This is a wise and beautifully written book about the inner life and journey of a gifted athlete." (Wil Haygood, author of The Butler)

"Payne Stewart was the last of golf's great swingers. In The Last Stand, Kevin Robbins has captured the man's game and style and too-short life for eternity." (Michael Bamberger, author of Men in Green)

What listeners say about The Last Stand of Payne Stewart

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Wonderful

Thoroughly enjoyed this story. Payne Stewart’s amazing journey as a golfer and a man is brought to life in this beautiful tribute. Narration was excellent too.

2 people found this helpful

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The maturing of Payne Stewart

This is a very good golf book. I went into it thinking it was mainly a book about Stewart’s 1999 US Open win at Pinehurst. I was wrong. It’s a mini-biography of Stewart with a focus on the last year of his life. Coverage of the 1999 Open doesn’t take up a huge part of the book. The plane crash that ended his life took up as much if not more of the book. It goes into detail about the depressurized runaway plane and it’s heartbreaking. His family knowing what was happening, it taking place over hours and everyone helpless to prevent it. If there is a movie version I doubt there will be a dry eye in the place when Stewart’s son calls his dad’s cell phone in an attempt to wake him up before the plane’s ultimate crash.

It’s a golf book, but ultimately it’s about Payne Stewart maturing. But, unfortunately, when he finally did mature Stewart didn’t live very long. The reader of the audio was a good one. I’d recommend this one to any golf fan.

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wonderful

must read for anyone who loves golf and remembers the game before during and after the 1990's...

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Wonderfully told story of life, golf and redemption

Kevin Robbins does a beautiful job providing insights into the life and times of Payne Stewart. As a golf lover of the same vintage, I would highly suggest this book to anyone who has ever played the game. Well done.

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great golf book

I read a lot of golf books. this is one of my all time favorites. a must read for all golf fans.

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Great listen

Incredibly sad story, beautifully written. As a non-golf fan I truly enjoyed this book about what seems to be a gentle giant of the game. I would highly recommend this book.

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Touching Tribute to a Golf Legend

Payne Stewart was my favorite golfer as I was growing up. When my dad would watch golf on the weekends I'd eagerly look to see if Payne was atop the leaderboard and if so, I'd watch as attentively as a little boy could. I recall wearing my own set of Plus 4's out on the course with my dad one time because I thought Payne Stewart was so cool.

Payne Stewart winning the 99 US Open is probably my very favorite PGA memory. This book does a solid job detailing the highlights and pivotal moments in Payne's golf life. The final 2 hours are certainly the biggest moments for me as a fan of his and the final hour detailing his passing is not a good idea to listen to if you're at work.

The author seemed to shy away from Payne's likely conversion to Christianity in the last years of his life as he made minimal effort to detail how that was the most obvious catalyst for his maturity on and off the course.

All-in-all a fine tribute to one of my boyhood heroes.

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Well done

I was busy in a very involved in the school setting when this happened. My dad’s an avid golfer and filled me in at the time. This book more than filled in all the gaps for me and really introduced me to just a wonderful man. The tie in with what was happening in golf at the time was fantastic to learn about. Very well written. Very well performed. I would listen again and will send this as a recommendation to friends for sure.

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A beautiful book about a beautiful soul

Kevin Robbins captured the story of Payne Stewart beautifully. His writing kept me enthralled from start to finish. A great tribute to the man and the game.

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Great story.

This was a great book that shows you all sides of Payne Stewart. His life being cut short was a real tragedy.

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  • Mark
  • 12-06-21

Old vs New

Interesting in particular how the game has evolved - a look back at when golf was more about feel than power.

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  • James D
  • 11-23-20

lovely recount of his life.

Really enjoyed it. Very sad, but great to know how his career developed and how he changed throughout his life.

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  • mr john j
  • 03-28-20

Real golfers must

Poinyent, sympathetic reflection of a driven desire to achieve, and the redemption of a man who improves as a sportsman and a person. Flawed but not heartless, honest and true , with flaws like us all.

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  • David
  • 10-29-19

Timely reminisce of Payne's life

A great book reminiscing Paynes life and changing times in golf. 20 years have gone by but the resurgence of Payne and his changing character was a joy to relive.