2011 PGA Show Recap #2: Q&A with Lee Wybranski

At the PGA Show I attended a poster signing with the artist Lee Wybranski in the Fairway & Greene booth. Originally from Philadelphia, Wybranski has in recent years produced one iconic poster after another to commemorate U.S. Opens, Walker Cups and other major golf events. I caught up with Lee to ask him a few questions about this piece and other recent commissions.

How did this piece come about?

Lee Wybranski: I believe the piece resulted from a “perfect storm”  - and Beth Mozzachio [of Summit Golf Brands, F&G's parent company]. Beth and I have worked together before and always wanted an opportunity to do something else together. When Billy Draddy began working there last summer, I think Beth found him receptive to the idea. Billy and I had worked together on a logo and poster project celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the Grand Slam when Billy was with Bobby Jones a while ago. Last fall, I visited with them in NYC and met Chris Heyn [CEO of Summit Golf Brands], who fortunately was very enthusiastic about the project.

What was your process like in terms of creating the figures?

LW: I found a lot of reference online for the male figure on the right and combined a few things. I worked with a model for the woman and essentially made up the remaining male figure. The primary goal with the figures was to pose them to convey personality and paint the faces in a way that felt specific but not literal.

The setting for this image is timeless, but also somewhat abstract. Which places inspired you in creating this backdrop?

LW: We discussed setting, mood and lifestyle quite a bit during our meeting in NYC. During conversation Billy and I both mentioned Fishers Island and agreed it was a perfect inspiration for the setting. However, it is merely inspiration, as the view I painted does not literally exist anywhere that I know. A related thought is – I believe the most idyllic golf is by the sea so it was natural to opt for a seaside setting rather than parkland. Also, the sailboats communicate sporty leisure and Chris is a sailor.

The woman reminds me of Jennifer Connolly–she’s really a striking figure in this piece. What more can you tell us about her?

LW: She was the most challenging because the other two figures were so obvious – a player in full swing and the other guy who is standing there like Superman. Again it was about the pose and the face. The pose needed to be confident, relaxed and appealing. I imagined her as a very good player. The face needed to be painted in only a few brush strokes or it would look forced. Fortunately her face came out perfectly – one of those happy accidents. The hair band was a late-game addition that really adds a lot.

You recently moved from the east to Flagstaff, Arizona. How have you been enjoying that change of scenery?

LW: I am really enjoying Flagstaff. Being here has been a reminder of how soothing and beneficial it is to be around natural beauty – the landscape is spectacular. After fifteen years in the concrete jungle of Philly (said with affection) I love how sparsely populated it is out here. You can really relax. It’s definitely inspiring and I have some local projects I’d like to get started on but have not been able to squeeze in yet.

What’s next for you and your work?

LW: We have numerous projects ongoing. These are among the most interesting:
- a logo system for the men’s and women’s 2014 U.S. Open Championships at Pinehurst
- rebranding the River Bend Club in Virginia after Keith Foster’s course renovation
- hand-painted Yardage Books for new Cabot Links in Nova Scotia
- posters for the 2011 U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open Championships (Congressional and the Broadmoor)


One comment for “2011 PGA Show Recap #2: Q&A with Lee Wybranski”

  1. Awesome!!!!

    Posted by Tristan McErlean | March 6, 2012, 4:23 pm

Post a comment

Social Media

Follow thomasdunne on Twitter