50 Years – Golf Edition

50 Years – Golf Edition


Team sports require a team effort, and creating artwork for a special puzzle is no different. Let’s take a step back in time to 2002 and learn how small-town Stave Puzzles got an exclusive deal with Pebble Beach, America’s golfing mecca.

It all started in December 2000 when one of the lead owners of Pebble Beach, and long-time Stave customer, called to place his Christmas order. He suggested Steve visit Pebble Beach to explore possible collaboration. As an avid golfer, Steve was thrilled to receive such an invitation but was also nervous, as he had never played the beautiful but challenging Pebble Beach courses.

In July 2001, Steve and his wife Martha flew to Pebble Beach and stayed at The Inn at Spanish Bay. Steve played three courses in three days, struggling to keep up with his 17-handicap. Despite the challenges, he was awed by the beauty and fame of Pebble Beach and knew he wanted to capture it in art form.

While looking around in the Pebble Beach gift shops for a souvenir to bring home and hang in his office, Steve and Martha noticed there was no artwork showing aerial perspectives of the courses (knowing it would also make a great puzzle). Fast forward to January 2002, on their way back from winter vacation, Steve and Martha stopped by Pebble Beach once again to meet with their top three managers and convinced them we had the talent to create a beautiful aerial perspective illustration of their magnificent courses. They gave us the go-ahead AND the exclusive and we were off!

In February 2002, Steve commissioned a photographer to take aerial shots from a helicopter of the entire Pebble Beach course. We brought Stave artist, Susan Berry, on board to paint this beautiful course and spent the next nine months combining images, adding course routing, mowing paths, birds, whales, and close-ups. In December 2002, Pebble Beach critiqued the piece and made valuable suggestions. Steve also discovered they had added a new trap on the 18th fairway and expanded a trap by the 18th green! More modifications to the artwork were needed, and finally, in February 2003, we had an image they loved!

One of our master puzzle designers enhanced the image with unique cutting embellishments, and the Pebble Beach team was impressed. It was a complicated project, but we had the perfect combination of talents to pull it off. Steve felt it an honor to have been selected by Pebble Beach to create this artwork that would be sold in their gift shops and a Stave exclusive puzzle which allows people to relive their Pebble Beach experience, piece by piece.

Watch the Stave gang try their hand at Steve’s “Snowplow Swing” on YouTube!

Written by Jennifer

Jennifer runs the company with Paula and is proud to keep Steve's legacy of puzzle torment alive. Jennifer has been with Stave since 1987, making her Stave's most seasoned crafter! She told Steve many, many years ago that she didn't want his job, but today she is rocking it! Jennifer is a tried-and-true puzzlenut. Jennifer enjoys crosswords, sudoku, and word puzzles in addition to the Stave puzzles she has crafted for her family. She also enjoys a good mystery book like Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series. Have you read them? Jennifer also loves a good concert; she hopes to see Gladys Knight, Smokey Robinson, Adele, and Bruno Mars someday!