Arnold Palmer, one of the most important and influential figures to the game, turns 80 this Thursday, September 10th. He arose on the golf scene years before Jack, decades before Tiger and thus known by the name of:
Through these past 80 years Arnold Palmer has accumulated many accomplishments that will always be associated with his name. One being the tea drink, ‘the Arnold Palmer’, a sweet variation of raspberry iced tea. Palmer was also the first player to earn $1 million dollars in a career, an outstanding feat considering the fact that he played in the 50, 60 and 70’s. With the rise of television coverage, Palmer also attracted millions of fans to the sport. The fans he brought to golf are often called, ‘Arnie’s Army’.
Arnie has tried to retire many times throughout the 1990’s, but the love of the game has him by a stranglehold. He plays in tournaments through special exemptions and makes age look like merely a number. His grace and swagger on the course will never be replaced, he is the king.
Arnold Palmer is an amazing person, but what makes him…the King? Let’s take a look:
–His name– Arnold Palmer- You can’t help but smiling.
–The ‘Wink’– If you have ever watched Arnold Palmer in person, you know he tries to connect with his fans. A wink directed to 10 people is immediately perceived as an individual thanks.
-The Smile- Enough said.
–His Heart- Regardless of the situation, he never gives up.
-Autographs– Arnie never fails to show a kid, or adult for that matter, a sign of appreciation. Just a simple signature makes someone’s day.
–He is a Pilot- He owns and flies his very own plane. I found this new information and it just builds up my respect for him.
-Golf Channel- It wouldn’t be possible without the help of Palmer. He is a co-founder and always will be a supporter.
Palmer’s dad was a greens keeper, resulting in Arnold being close to the course. He started playing golf at a young age and was quickly recognized as having a talent for the game. As a teen, Palmer exceeded at a competitive level, perking interest from Wake Forest. Arnie played golf for Wake Forest, but soon after gave it up to join the Coast Guard. As we all know, Palmer’s love for the game proved a priority and Palmer jumped back into golf. In 1954, Palmer won the US Amateur giving him the confidence to turn pro.
In 1958, Arnold Palmer won his first major, the Masters. That monumental win, combined with his unorthodox swing, and celebrity looks and charisma made him an instant star.
Palmer wore the green jacket 4 times, with a combined total of 7 major titles. Arnold Palmer was inducted into the Golf Hall of Fame in 1974.
A quote from Jack Nicklaus: “Arnold is the reason golf enjoys the popularity it does today. He … made golf attractive to the television-viewing public. There never has been anyone like him before in the game of golf, and there probably won’t be another like him again.”
This isn’t a typical article, but when the king turns 80 you have to stop and say, “Happy Birthday!”
Submitted 9/10/09 –
By Jordan Roberts
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