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A Tribute to Arnold Palmer
29 September, 2016 by Bobby Clampett

A Tribute to Arnold Palmer

“I am a friend of Champion Tour player Bob Gilder. I was fortunate to caddy for Bob at Peter Jacobsons (who is also a friend and fellow Duck) Fred Meyer Challenge in Portland in the early 1990s. The caddies and players were invited to a daily brunch in the clubhouse. Bob and I sat down to eat one morning and suddenly across the table from us were Chi-Chi Rodriguez and Arnold Palmer among other players. As the players shared stories and conversation I remember Arnie looking at me and speaking to me as well as the other players just as if he knew me, Just as if I were a friend. I know now that the same as millions of others, I was his friend.

I think that Arnold Palmer was the greatest celebrity of all time. Many celebrities and stars are revered by people. Arnold revered the people.

Thanks for the opportunity to share.” – Dean


“As an Assistant Pro you really, really value a day off.  One of those days off my phone rang early in the am and it was work calling.  I was determined not to go in but I felt it was the right thing to do so I answered the phone.  It was my boss telling me to “get up here ASAP oneof  our owners is bringing a friend of his to meet us”  that friend of his was Arnold Palmer!  I jumped up right away, threw a hat on my bed head and got there just as they were pulling in the parking lot.  Mr. Palmer walked around the club with us and looked at all our clubs and was very complementary of our club (he always found something nice to say).  Meeting him was a treasure, I’m so glad I answered that phone call!” -David


“Bobby,

One summer day on July 29,1981 I was invited to play at Latrobe CC by a business friend. We were at the first green at the bottom of the hill, and I looked back and saw someone hitting balls down the first hole, I said who does he think is, Arnold Palmer? The member said yes and yes. Mr. Palmer played that day behind us with his guests.

It had rained the day before and the course was wet. I played a shot out of a drainage ditch and came out with mud all over me. A few holes later I saw Mr. Palmer in a similar situation, he hit his shot, mud came up with the ball, he looked over at me and there wasn’t a drop of mud on him, he had the biggest smile on his face. I guess he saw me hit my shot with a much different outcome.

After the round we were having a cocktail, and Mr. Palmer came in with his playing partners. I eventually went over and Mr. Palmer signed my scorecard to my sons with best wishes. Shook my hand and said thanks for playing Latrobe CC. I’ve told this story at least a hundred times. He was such a special person.

Best regards,

Jack”


“Dear Bobby,

Thank you for your email. I’m  a lover of this great game of ours & have photos of Mr. Palmer & many others since I was a teen. 62 yrs old now & his passing which we all noticed that he was slowing down quite rapidly but he was there greeting those men personally as they were arriving at his club recently showed us all , not that we needed to be reminded what kind of man he was to all of us not just his fellow pros!

Anyway, I followed him at Westchester each year and watched him with those forearms & hands of his hit an iron  from the rough that pierced the air like no others I had ever seen. Well , his divot ended up next to me so I took it home and put it in  the freezer to preserve it . Of course my mom saw this & immediately scolded me for putting a clump of grass & dirt in her freezer. But mom I said ” it’s Arnold Palmer’s divot”!  It’s my little memory from 52 yrs ago !

Ps: I also remember you hitting a drive in tournament off your knees if my memory is correct. You were & still are connected & a pleasure to listen to.

Thanks, David”


“I have seen him twice in person-once at Westchester in the early seventies and the second at Turnberry in 1989 at the British Senior Open. All the pros, American or European, on the range at Turnberry stopped by to greet him, or give him the needle while he was warming up and I remember him stopping to call out a greeting to Dana Quigley who was practicing a short distance away. On the par three first tee at Westchester he hit a laser 5 iron that went six feet off the ground for the first 175 yards and then started climbing. The most impressive shot I had ever seen struck at that time in my life. (Jack followed him later and hit his typically high trajectory six iron that landed like a feather. Just a difference in style of shot).  At Turnberry Arnold was practicing into a twenty mph northwest wind and he was hitting these bullet long irons that, like the earlier shot cited, flew about two hundred yards ten feet off the ground and began climbing, with the flight culminating in a beautiful draw. He was sixty then, three years past his last Senior Tour win at the Hermitage, but still strong as an ox in his arms and chest. Admittedly his midsection was already showing, shall we say, the signs of the good life. But he could still strike that ball, although he did not win the event (Bob Charles did).  I never saw him in person after that but like everyone looked forward to seeing him on TV as long as he was able to tee it up.” -Joel


Bobby:  My Arnold Palmer story is 1995, Bell South Opryland Classic, Champions Tour Tournament.   Standing on # 1 tee, waiting for the group to tee off,  mainly waiting to see Mr. Palmer.  First on the tee was Lee Trevino,  joking as always, second to show up was Robert Landers the Texas farmer who had just recently received his tour card.  He said to Lee, I am so nervous, this was his first time to meet/and or play with Arnold Palmer.  Mr. Palmer walked up and they all shook hands talked and teed off, all hit great drives.  Sometime during the tournament it was on local sports, the reason Mr. Palmer came to Nashville was 1. to see his friend Bronson Ingram. Mr. Ingram had terminal cancer and Mr. Palmer came to see him and say goodbye.  On Tuesday after the tournament Mr. Ingram passed and Mr. Palmer was back in town for the Funeral, he served as a Pallbearer.  So when you say he was your friend, that is what I remember most after the passing of Mr. Ingram,  how much of a real friend Mr. Palmer was to people, you never hear about Mr. Palmer the friend, it is about his golfing career and his entrepreneurial endeavors—I want to remember him as the friend he was to many.  I love Bay Hill, possibly the greatest resort I have had the pleasure to visit and stay.  The restaurant was fantastic, the course tops, fantastic employees and I  try never to enter a building/clubhouse without removing my hat because of Arnold Palmer.” -Ed


“Bobby,

I appreciate you sharing your thoughts and influences Arnold Palmer had on you. I never had the pleasure of meeting him but always admired each encounter I heard from others on how he made each person feel as if they were the only one in the room and that they mattered to him. To me he stood for an enduring model of unwavering character and an example of how to treat others while being humble in success. Arnold is, and will always will be, a refreshing reminder of how to approach the complexities of golf, life and relationships… mix quality character and caring sweetness and keep in simple…  just like his namesake drink.” -Ken


“I went to 1978 bay hill tournament raw and new to golf .   It was a cold Thursday and I went into pro shop to buy a knit hat .  I asked the girl how much ?  She said $20. I flinched and a guy came in took the hat off the wall.  He threw it at me “here kid!”  I said thanks and shook his hand.   When he walked away the girl said ‘you know that was Mr. Palmer.’   I remember how strong his shake was and his hands seemed real big to me.” -Marc


“Bobby,

In 1980 I was working for Kraft Foods in Chicago when I was invited to go to Latrobe to play with Arnold.  Arnold had a promotional arrangement with a magazine we advertised in where eight guys from around the country were invited to go to Latrobe in the summer and eight guys went to Orlando in the winter. I was lucky enough to get one of the Latrobe invites. I remember getting the phone call from our rep who asked me what I was doing on September 8th & 9th and how would I like to go to Latrobe and play golf with Arnold Palmer?  At first I thought it was a joke but when he assured me that it was for real, I said yes and then looked at my calendar to see what I was going to change or cancel.

We all flew into Pittsburgh and Arnold had his plane there to pick us up and shuttle us over to Latrobe where we played at Latrobe Country Club.  After golf we all went to his house where we were greeted by Winnie and Arnold and treated to a tour of his office and his workshop and then cocktails and hors d’oeuvres in his rec room. From there it was off to dinner with him at the club.  We stayed in the barracks that had been built for the Walker Cup a few years earlier. I hardly slept that night.  The next morning we all had breakfast at the club after which Arnold put on a little clinic on the range before playing at Laurel Valley. I still play shots he showed us how to hit that morning.  He played nine holes with one group and then the back nine with the other foursome.  What a gentleman!!! We were all about as nervous as a person can be standing on the first tee but by the time we had all hit a few shots, it was like playing with your group on Saturday morning.  He made every one of us feel like we belonged there and he was a delight to play with. But it didn’t end there. We all had lunch together where he told more stories and signed his book, Go For Broke, for each of us.

I remember when I got on the plane to fly home that afternoon, I was sitting next to a lady and I leaned over and said something like, “I know you don’t know me but I have to tell someone in case the plane goes down that I just played golf with Arnold Palmer”. If she is still alive she is still trying to figure out what happened that afternoon.

I was also fortunate enough to play in the Bay Hill Shootout twice, never in Arnold’s group but did get to spend time afterwards in the locker room to hear all of the banter. WOW, I get the chills today just remembering those lucky experiences.

Two of my most prized possessions are my autographed copy of “Go For Broke” and little plaque I have on the wall in my office with the signed scorecard from Latrobe Country Club and a photo of me with Arnold.

Bobby, thanks for offering us the opportunity to relive those moments and share them.  You obviously know just how special all of these moments are to all of us who were lucky enough to have had them.

Thank you,

Larry”


“Bobby,

I have memories watching Arnold at the PGA seniors, when he was having his worst bout of putting while still encouraging a fellow pro to come out on the Seniors Tour.  However, it is my teenage years of golf that provide the most vivid thoughts.

There were three of us who would come out to a nine hold club to take the game seriously.  To help us in that mission, we would take turns each day being one of the Big Three.  When being Arnold, we would practice hitting low hooks and copying his follow through.  When being Jack, we would practice high fades.  When being Gary, we would do our best to capture the magic of his short game.  Day after day we would “become” one of our heroes.

This mode of practice gave us versatility in our games that many lack today.  I turned to competitive tennis a couple of years later, but today, with the help of Impact Zone Golf and the ability I gained growing up, I am, at age 66, enjoying the game immensely.  However, one of my friends, who was a two handicap and the captain of his high school team, developed cancer which resulted in his losing both his legs, and dying in 2009.  And the other friend, who was still a plus two in his 50s, died in a head-on collision.  I am all that is left, but still feel the spark of those bygone days of being Arnold Palmer.  I play the same course now that I played with my friends long ago, and he will forever walk with me, as my inspiration and mentor.

I was going to write Arnold last week and tell him about this story.  I had hoped that it might encourage him to tackle his game again.  I simply waited too long.  I share the story with you, because we all are so indebted to the man who played with abandon, while carefully treating those he met.

I told you in a teleconference that Hogan said that the secret is in the dirt, and you proved it.  But there is another secret, and that is that inspiration turns the dirt into gold.” -James


“Bobby: beautifully said.

The first time I met him was in 1997 as I was at Bay Hill to play a round of golf with a friend of a friend.

At That time Mr Palmer was just recovering from Prostate Cancer.

He walked onto the putting green and I walked over to introduce myself and tell him I was waiting for his friend (my golfing host) Tom Scarborough.

To which he replied with a huge grin and an arm around my shoulder “I’ve got my own troubles , don’t give me yours” he laughed that Arnold laugh.

Somehow that feels like yesterday.

Over the years I have worked with him many times and once when we were shooting (with Art Streiber) a fashion story (I was dressing famous players in suits) I asked him to remove his pants so we could try on and fit the suit trousers I had brought to the shoot. He took one step closer to me and said “You want me to take my pants off” followed by that Arnold laugh!!! We both had no idea there was a video camera on us and this exchange was used as the opening for the video that accompanied the photo shoot.” -Marty


“Hi Bobby,

I’m just an average slug who never had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Palmer. Never got to see him in person on or off the golf course.

So what’s the big deal?

Well, when I was a kid in the 50’s and early 60’s Arnold was everywhere winning tournaments, on the sports pages of every newspaper, on TV as a guest with every top celebrity in the world, and in commercials. We all know his persona; swashbuckler, dashing, showman, engaging, gentlemanly, gracious, handsome, a ladies man and a man’s man. He could have stolen every movie part Sean Connery ever played. “Palmer, Arnold Palmer”.

At 11 years old my best pal and I made our way to a particularly crummy 9 hole course in the country. It was really a small converted apple orchard, $3 including club rental (four clubs in a canvass bag). Away we went, swinging from the tees and styling the famous loop finish with our drivers and putting pigeon-toed, hunched over the ball like we were protecting it from predators.

The love of golf ensued and has endured to this day. Though much older, the passion holds. My drives are all of 220 and I play to a 16 (ahem, OK, an 18). I still have fantasies of making the pro’s.

Of all my favorite players through the years- Jack, Phil, Payne, and others, Arnold stands the highest. But of all the great accolades we can name, and there are so, so many, there is one that stood out then.. and stands out today.

I knew Arnold. Arnold knew me. It was personal. Sure, it was through a TV screen, or a radio, or a photograph. But we were buddies. He cared about me like I cared about him. If I ever had seen him in person I just know he would have singled me out and said, “Hey Andy, come over here. How are you doing? How’s your game? Do you want to have dinner and do a little spittin’ n whittlin’?”.

We all knew this was coming, especially after seeing him on TV at The Masters. But when it comes to our really good friends, the shock still hits hard.

I wept for the loss of my really good friend. I, and millions of his other… really good friends.”

-Andy


“I met Mr. Palmer at the 1983 Canadian Open. It was after the Friday round and he had missed the cut. We stayed at the same Holiday Inn and while he was loading his car I sheepishly asked if we could have our pictures taken with him.  He obliged and all four of us had our pictures taken with him. He could not have been nicer. I’m sure he wasn’t in the best of moods having missed the cut but you’d never know it. We spent 5 or 10 minutes chatting and to this day my friends and I still talk about that day like it was yesterday. Those photos hang proudly in our homes. Thank you Mr Palmer for making me and my friends feel so special. We are profoundly saddened by his passing.” -Don


“Dear Bobby

Thanks for sharing your story about Mr. Palmer. I was not aware that you knew him so well and were inspired by him.

I too had an opportunity to meet him twice in my life. The first time was at the groundbreaking ceremony at the oasis golf club outside of cincinnati. I introduced myself and he autographed a commemorative ball for me. I was one of at least one hundred on hand that day. Many months later at the opening round of the course he hit the first ball and played with the club pro, a fellow named ted lambert.

Upon completion of the round I walked up to him and upon noticing me he stuck out his hand to shake mine and said ” how are you terry ?” I could not believe he recalled my name after such a long time and having only met me briefly once before.

That is what , to me, made him so special, he treated everyone as a friend. I will miss him.” -Terry


“Bobby, I have an Arnold Palmer story.

In 1998, Glaxo was one of the major sponsors of “The Dream Round” it was held at Duke. There were 4 fivesomes (Arnold’s Fred Couples, Michelle Megan and Lee Trevino). I was fortunate enough to be in Mr Palmer’s group. I called him Mr Palmer all day and he never corrected me.

When we finished 18, I extended my hand and while shaking hands, I said, “Mr Palmer it was an honor and a pleasure to play golf with you today.” He looked me right in the eyes and replied, “no son it was my it was my pleasure to play golf with you today.”

Denise captured that moment on camera. I have that picture in my house.

Such a classy man!

Sincerely,

Steve”


“Mr. Clampett,

Thank you so very much for taking the time to share your story and memories about one of the greatest men and golfers of this century. I was very fortunate to meet Mr. Palmer when I attended a charity golf tournament sponsored by my employer at that time, Advance Auto Parts. The tournament was held to benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. I can’t remember what year that was, but I will never forget it as long as I live. It was held at Old Stonewall Golf Club not too far from Pittsburgh. I was on the driving range prior to the tournament when Arnold’s helicopter landed there and he was escorted to the pro shop.

During the course of the round, he stopped to speak to every group and even took the time to take pictures with everyone. After the tournament, he signed some autographs and afterward they held a silent auction of many great items related to golf including signed flags with Arnold, Jack, and Lee Trevino, I believe they were from the Masters. After dinner Mr. Palmer gave a short speech and I was impressed with the fact that such a great man would take the time to speak to everyone and treat us so graciously.

I may have been out of line, I certainly hope not, but I asked him if he would sign my golf shirt and luckily one of the wonderful ladies from Advance was kind enough to take a picture of him doing so. What a great man. Golf has lost a legend and our country has lost a great ambassador. Thank you for allowing me to tell my story.

Sincerely,

Axel”


“Hi  Mr. Clampett-I have a quick story about Mr. Palmer. I was in Miami on college spring break in either 64 or 65 (memory fades when you get my age). They were playing the Doral Open at the time. I walked into a small Italian restaurant and saw Mr. Palmer having dinner with his caddy (as a golf fan, I also recognized him). After staring at him for about 5 minutes, I got up the nerve to walk up to his table, interrupted his conversation and dinner and  asked if I could shake his hand. He smiled, stood up and gave me a most solid handshake and said “thanks for being a fan”. What a Man! I’ve never forgotten this after 50+years. How many of today’s superstars would respond in the same way? We all thought of Mr. Palmer as immortal and he’ll  always be in our hearts and minds. And we will miss him a lot.” -Jim E.


“Nicely said Bobby! My story is we were getting the clubs out of our trunk at Bayhill GC and next thing we know Arnie and Winnie came by on their  bikes along with their dog saying how you doing boys? hope you have a great day! Needless to say say were shocked …but what a great man he was. This year I went back to Bayhill and play there three weeks before the tournament. What a great experience what a great man. What a great place Bayhill is and what a wonderful experience.” -Ron


“I saw him signing autographs at the Pensacola Open in 1967.  I was a hundred yards away and found myself just watching in awe, and smiling, at how easily he handled making everyone relaxed.  He had been my “hero” since I first saw him on TV winning the 1958 Masters and that was what got me into playing the game.  What a role model!  The hitching of the pants, the powerful striding down the fairway, and his “Damn the torpedoes!” approach to seemingly every shot and putt.  You never forgot it after the first time and couldn’t wait too see him charge after another win time after time!  A legend for sure and I count my blessings I saw him play once!

Thanks for sharing you experiences with Mr. Palmer!  You are one lucky guy!” -Ed


“Bobby,

Great story about the influence a great man had on your life.  Mine is very different, simply because I never had the pleasure of actually meeting Arnold Palmer in person.

Some +35 years ago, I was a young executive at Sears attending my first big business meeting.  At the time, Sears had a large line of Arnold Palmer Sportswear and I was excited to be rubbing elbows with many of the company’s bigshots.  On the first day, I found myself in the elevator with a very senior Sears executive and I asked him how his day was going and what he thought of the meeting so far.

His animated and giddy response was, “Guess who I played golf with yesterday? Arnold Palmer!  Arnold Palmer!”  He went on to tell me, an absolute unknown newly hired executive, that the four hours he spent with Mr. Palmer were the greatest of his business career.  He went on for 10 minutes about what an incredible guy Mr. Palmer was and how he treated everyone he encountered the same, from Presidents to caddies.  Those words have stuck with me throughout my entire business career and I’ve tried to live up to that example.

Thank you Mr. Palmer for the best business advise I ever received.

Sincerely,

Ray”


“When I was a student at TCU, I walked along the bank of the Trinity River in Ft. Worth, and ran across a fairway to sneak in to the ’64 Colonial Invitational.  I caught up to Mr. Palmer just as he finished his round and asked for an autograph.  After he signed, I said “Thank you”, and he replied, “No, thank you”.  Humble. Classy. Larger than life. There aren’t enough words.

Truly the King.  RIP” -Earl


“I am sure you will get thousands of responses but, Arnold was my hero and I can not resist this opportunity.

I had a friend whose condo was next to Arnold’s at Bayhill.  We were in the grill for breakfast and we’re looking at all the photos of Arnold on the wall. Arnold walked in and saw us and said as if embarrassed “aw, Winnie put those up there and I told her not to”.

I was around Arnold a dozen times at various tournaments and he was always the same, very gracious and humble and always approachable. He never put on airs and was always the same man.

There will never be another Arnold Palmer.” -Norris


“Bobby,

I grew up watching his many charges in the final holes to win the tournament……,,the 1968 Bob Hope was a classic example!  Arnold eagled 18 to finish tied with the leader Deane Beman and then won on the first sudden death playoff hole!

I remember attending a Sr PGA tournament in Cleveland in 1984 with my wife. This was her first pro golf tournament and we were following Arnold Palmer and his amateur partners. I was not paying attention to her and she was standing in harms way!  I saw Arnold walk over to her and take her by the hand to safety.  This just shows you something special about this wonderful man!    I wish today’s young pros were more like Arnold Palmer.

I too am very sad, sad because I have lost my biggest hero!  There will never be another Arnold Palmer.

I was lucky to shake hands with him a couple times and was amazed at his large, strong hands and how perfectly they looked on a club.  He absolutely crushed a driver in the 70’s, 80’s!  Very long and straight with a slight draw!

Do you remember him being a last minute replacement for John Daly in the ’94 Skins?  He was 65 at the time competing against Fred Couples! He was still pretty long and loved to play against the younger guys. He did not win any skins but was competitive.

I remember sitting on a bench with Winnie Palmer at the driving range after a round of golf in 1994 at Rancho Park GC in Los Angeles. Arnold was a few feet away hitting balls and came over and sat with us. He told an amusing story about his friend Bob Hope. Bob was about 90 then and was supposedly “hard of hearing”!  He said Bob liked to sit very close to the TV and turn the volume way up. His wife Dolores stopped to check on him and Arnold, Bob pretended that he could not hear Dolores and said……that’s what I want her to think!”  Arnold told this story and had us all doubled over and laughing!

Also, at Rancho Park in 1994, I saw Arnold walking from the clubhouse with a brown bag and a couple Rolling Rocks to take to his hotel in Century City. The man did enjoy a beer after a day’s work!

I lived in Cleveland, OH and watched him play many times in Cleveland, Akron, Columbus, and Southern California where I now live.  I have many wonderful memories and stories of Arnold Palmer that you would enjoy!

I live in Bakersfield, CA., I would love to meet you sometime and we can swap Arnold Palmer stories.

Thank you for sharing your Arnold  Palmer memories!

Sincerely!

Jack”


“Bobby,

While I never knew Mr. Palmer like you, he still made a major impact on my life.

As a boy growing up in Ohio in the 1960s, professional golf and Arnold Palmer were synonymous.  Everyone knew who Arnold Palmer was and wanted to be like him, even if they didn’t play golf.  My own interest in golf was ignited by a small pamphlet I found in an old box in our basement in the late 60s written by Mr. Palmer (possibly a re-print from Golf Digest…but I don’t know).  It showed you how to grip the club and the basic swing elements.  I used to swing my dad’s old St. Andrews made golf clubs in the basement (often breaking things in the process) trying to follow what was in the pamphlet.  A few years later I got the opportunity to caddy to make some money and I jumped at the chance.  I quickly rose the ranks of Honor Caddy which also gave me access to a top level golf course (Coldstream Country Club in Cincinnati) on Mondays when the course was otherwise closed.  My Arnold Palmer connection was reinforced as I frequently caddied for Ed Heimann, always a contender for the club championship, who was the tailor for the Master’s green jackets and also made trousers for Mr. Palmer at the time.  Mr. Heimann frequently lamented that he didn’t understand why Arnold Palmer always hitched up his trousers when they were perfectly fitted for him!

Many years passed and I have had the opportunity to live and work in three continents, but my love for golf and Arnold Palmer never diminished.  I am now a member of a golf club with the course designed by Arnold Palmer.  I am always surrounded by Arnold Palmer photos and memorabilia in and around the clubhouse including our grill room which is named ‘Deke’s’ after Mr. Palmer’s father, Deken.  Additionally, the business I am currently in sponsors an annual charity event at Latrobe Country Club to benefit the local boy scouts in Westmoreland County, PA.  Mr. Palmer almost always made an appearance to the delight of the participants and spoke at the after-golf dinner occasionally.  Even as recently as this July (only two-months before his passing), Mr. Palmer made an appearance despite his visible diminishing health.  While he did not get out of his golf cart, he did get around to see as many people as he could.  Mr. Palmer never stopped giving back to the people who loved him.  The world and my life are both in better places as a result of Arnold Palmer.

Yours truly,

Dan”


“Bobby,

I have to tell you about my experience with Arnold Palmer and the impression it made on me. We were at Augusta National during the practice rounds of the Masters. I am not sure exactly what year but around 1980 or 1981. It was after Arnold’s round and we were standing next to the ropes that created a media area around the Big Oak tree in front of the Club House. Arnold was inside the ropes and answering questions from the media when he noticed a mother and her young son standing next to me. Arnold noticed that the mother was holding a camera. He stopped what he was doing and walked over to us, lifted the ropes and motioned for the young boy to stand next to him so that his mother could get a picture of her son with Arnold. As the mom attempted to take a picture, she realized that she had already taken the last picture on the roll (prior to digital cameras). Arnold was not going to let that stop them; he immediately motioned for one of the press members that was hilding a camera to come over and take the picture. He then asked the camera man to write down the families address and promise him that he would mail it to the family. Just another example of what kind of person Arnold was. I was so impressed with the effort that he went to in order to make a difference in this young boys life. I hope that one day I read the story that this man (boy then) tells of that very day. I know that it was impactful and one he never forgets. I’m sure that picture is one of his most treasured memories. What a wonderful person Arnold Palmer was and I am blessed to have been touched by his life.” -Gary


“Thank you Bobby for sharing your story and thoughts about Mr. Palmer.  I never had the opportunity to meet Mr. Palmer but admired him since I was old enough to know anything about golf.  He was my hero and inspiration.  I loved his grit and daring style of play yet more than anything he seemed genuine and approachable.  A business associate once showed me his Arnold Palmer autographed picture of himself and the King.  The story about it he shared really reinforced that feeling.  He told me he played very little golf but found himself in this situation.  Needless to say, he was extremely nervous and afraid of making a fool out of himself.  Mr. Palmer noticed this on the putting green and put his arm around him with that big wide grin that only Arnold Palmer had and assured him he wouldn’t laugh at him…too much. My friend said he played horribly but had the most fun he ever had golfing.  Mr. Palmer was great company; pleasant, helpful and a true gentleman, besides a lot of fun.  Exactly what I would have expected.

Arnold Palmer had tremendous skill, great charisma, charm and success but most of all, a wonderful human being.” -Ted

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Comments

  1. Bobby, I watched Arnold win the 1958 Masters. He inspired me to take up the game of golf. I started playing in 1960. What he has done for the game is hard to put into one sentence. I met him a couple times in my life. I remember the 1974 PGA at Tanglewood in NC. He played a practice round with Jack. I talked to him at the Greensburg Country Club in PA. He played a round with Roco Mediate. When I was 12 he played an exhibition round in Erie PA. On one hole I was right beside him, he asked me to move because he might hit a newly planted Cherry tree. He nipped the tree. I followed him in Pinehurst when the PGA had the Match play format. He played Dave Eikleburger in a match. On one par 5 he hit his drive in the rough under a tree. He was 250 yds from the green. Took a 3 wood and cut it to 3 feet from the hole. He would try tough shots all the time. A go for broke player who usually pulled it off. I turned Pro in 1971, and worked in the golf business for 15 years.. I will always remember Arnold Palmer. He paved the way for the young PGA Tour Pros….

  2. I can’t remember where I read it, but there was a time after a tournament thstbarnold wad busy signing autographs at an airport. His assistsnt(?) told him the plane was ready and they had to go. Arnold told this person these people wanting autographs paid for that plane and he was not leaving until they all got an autograph. Any idea of when and where that took place, thanks!⛳️

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