Suzanne Yost McCourt, Pebble Beach’s Lady Artist

Suzanne Yost McCourt: The Person, The Artist Here in Ponte Vedra


Local golf writer Andy Reistetter first met Suzanne Yost McCourt a little over a year ago at the 2012 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Amidst the celebrities and the golfers was the lady artist that intrigued him with the secretive painting of Tiger Woods. Upon further artistic investigation was a woman, delicately aged with life’s experiences, who through her artwork captures the essence of being, encountering and overcoming all that life has to offer. Join Reistetter here and at a soiree in Ponte Vedra during THE PLAYERS week (Facebook him for an invitation) as he introduces Suzanne McCourt, an emerging neo-realism golf-artistto the golf world. 

Many things Tiger Woods pre-Thanksgiving 2009 were never disclosed or made public. Since then, Suzanne McCourt created the one thing about Tiger that has never been published. She was selected for a dream assignment; to become the first woman to create original artwork to grace the cover of the souvenir program for the celebratory 25th AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-am in 2010.  With Tiger returning for the first time in eight years, she painted a cover that prominently featured him. When Tiger withdrew from the tournament he was replaced in the artwork and on the cover by 2009 champion Dustin Johnson.  

What triggers an artist to create? When Suzanne was 4-1/2 years old her preschool teacher told her mother that being an artist would be her life’s calling. Her first painting as a 6-year old of her cat drinking Mayflower milk won the Oregon statewide contest. Between then and now, Suzanne’s life has been as vivid and as real as the twists and turns of the Monterey Peninsula’s 17-Mile Drive.

A professional artist since 1992, she went from a “sweety sweet watercolor artist” to a “saxy and sexy blues artist” when she found sheets of music in an old piano bench that came out of storage. In between, of course, there were renditions of nude men; sort of David lying down, sketched, not chiseled. Life dealt her a brain tumor in 1999 and she felt “in a world of my own, not knowing if I was going to live or what I was going to do.” A survivor, she became even more passionate about her artwork.

After her daughter survived thyroid cancer in 2004, inspiration found her again and transformed her artwork to be uniquely her own life experiences. She believes in kismet, that there is fate and destiny to our journey in life. She creates, but knows she is not the ultimate producer, commenting that, “in my artwork, I never finish the story for you.”

Her life came full circle with the discovery of an old box in her mother’s attic full of her father Dick Yost’s golfing memorabilia. Yost was no ordinary golfer. From Portland, Oregon he was one of the great Northwest amateurs. A personal friend of Bing Crosby, he played in several Clambakes at Pebble Beach and was a member of the 1955 Walker Cup team. The year Suzanne was born he played in The Masters as a guest of Bobby Jones. He died tragically at the age of 43 of “the 19th hole disease.” Suzanne, the oldest of three sisters, was 16 at the time. In the box was a picture of her as a little girl at age 5 in a red dress and red shoes swinging a golf club on the range of the family’s pitch & putt golf course. There were many questions to be answered.

That box brought the lady artist into golf and led to the Pebble Beach cover. There are still connections between her dad and Ken Venturi, who is a WGHOF inductee this year, to be explored. This is yet another reason, for a pilgrimage to Ponte Vedra, for the artist who created one of the rarest paintings of Tiger Woods.    

Suzanne captures more than the golfer, the experience, or the setting. Technically, her artwork is Acrylic and Mixed Media. Naturally, she is a storyteller with paint. The background of photos, scoreboards and text tells the story and takes you to an interesting point in golf history. Overall, the sensation is a pleasing effect, the same as hitting a sweet iron shot in close for a gimmie birdie.

An opportunity to meet and see Suzanne McCourt’s artwork during PLAYERS week is like driving along 17-Mile Drive and coming to the Lone Cypress Tree. One must make time to pull over and engage the beauty, tranquility and sense of being the moment brings. We look forward to seeing you during PLAYERS and WGHOF Induction week!