Junior Golf: Who Is Arnold Palmer?

In today’s Monday Mulligan we will introduce you to the namesake of the PGA Tournament which finished yesterday, The Arnold Palmer Invitational. There are good athletes and there are great athletes. And then there are those rare individuals who are beloved beyond the boundaries of their athletic achievements, they are loved for img_0135-1being truly great men and Arnold Palmer is certainly all that and more. (jennleforge.com)

For those of you new to golf the name Arnold Palmer may just be someone you have heard won quite a few tournaments including some big ones. Well, there’s a bit more to it than that. His 62 PGA Tour wins ranks 5th on the all-time list. The Associated Press awarded Arnold the Athlete of the Decade for the 1960’s because of his impact on sports. Think about that folks, that’s not Golfer of the Year, it’s Athlete of the Year. Out of all the men and women who played sports during the 1960’s, Arnold Palmer had the most impact on not just his own sport, but on the whole sporting world.

How can this be? Who is this guy? I mean, golf was in the infancy stages of being televised so how did people even know about Arnold Palmer? It helped that he won a bunch of golf tournaments, including 7 majors. But it was how he won many of them that got people’s attention, it was his famous “charge”. If he was anywhere near the lead Arnold had the ability to make lots of birdies in the final round of a tournament, by making his charge. The fans came to expect it and frankly Arnold did it a lot. His own words, “I was never really thinking I was charging. I wanted to win…desperately. That’s what dominated my thinking.” Fans were mesmerized by his ability to perform under pressure.image

Winning tournaments got people’s attention, but it is who Arnold really is that kept their attention and earned their love and admiration. He truly loves and cares about people, everybody no matter their station in life. Just 5 seconds with Arnold makes you feel like he really enjoyed meeting you and is interested in you, it’s just who he is. One story is when another pro was asked, “where’s Arnold?”, he replied, “He’s out there with a pair of binoculars seeing if anyone else wants an autograph.” Yes, Arnold is 1 of those guys who, after a round, signed every autograph. He had to give back to the fans. Here’s a photo of S3 with Arnold on #11 tee at Oak Hills Country Club, here in San Antonio, Texas in 2004. It was a once in a lifetime moment and Arnold was so nice and gracious. Wow!

Giving back brings us to his extensive list of charities, including The Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and The Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies, both in Orlando, Florida.

Arnold Palmer’s go for broke style of golf bolstered a legion of fans, coined by the press as Arnie’s Army, who lovingly bestowed the title of “The King” upon him not only because of his prowess on the course, but more importantly because of his unfailing sense of kindness and thoughtfulness. – See more at: http://arnoldpalmer.com/#slide-2

“When people ask what’s driven me all these years, I always give the same answer. It’s you.” See more at: http://arnoldpalmer.com/arniesarmy#sthash.9y5udcn2.dpuf

See you on #1 tee, looking for “The King”… Sam

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