The Great Arnold Palmer


Arnold Palmer was born September 10, 1929, in Latrobe, Pennsylvania.  Starting his professional golf career in 1954, at the age of 25, Palmer won the Canadian Open, which was his first tour win.  Since then he has won a total of 76 tours; 62 of those were from the PGA (Professional Golfer’s Association) tour.  He has held the 5th most tour wins of all time in the PGA.  Above him on that list is Sam Snead and Tiger Woods.  

Arnold Palmer won those 62 tours over a span of 19 years.  He also won the European tour twice, the PGA tour of Australia twice, and he won 10 champion tours.  Along with his tour wins, he won many different awards.  Palmer was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974.  He won PGA player of the year in 1960 and 1962, and won the PGA tour Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998. He received almost every award in golf there is and won the “Athlete of the Decade” in the 1960s. Besides all his awards for golf, in 2004 he won the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and, in 2009, he was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal.  Palmer received the highest civilian awards given in the United States.  All of these awards were just the beginning for Palmer.

Arnold Palmer soon was given the nickname “The King.”  Fellow golfer, Jack Nicklaus said, “Arnold transcended the game of golf. He was more than a golfer or even great golfer. He was an icon. He was a legend.”  He was known for more than being one of the best golfers of all time.  Sometime during the 1960s, Arnold Palmer ordered a half lemonade, half iced tea drink at a restaurant and a woman who overheard said to the waitress, “I’ll have that Arnold Palmer drink.”  Many people referred to this drink as an Arnold Palmer even before he started to sell it. This gave Palmer the idea to make his drink and in 2001 he began to bottle it.  Since then, there are now 8 different flavors of the drink and roughly 400,000,000 cans are made a year.  Junior Charlotte Manvell said, “I like Arnold Palmer because you can drink it anytime of the year.  Whether on a sweaty day at the beach or at dinner on a cold winter day.”

Arnold Palmer was married for 45 years before his wife’s death in 1999, then he remarried in 2005 until his death this past month.  Palmer died on Sunday September 25, 2016, at the age of 87 due to heart complications.  He was admitted to the hospital on Thursday September 22 for cardiovascular work and weakened over the last few days of his life.  Memorial services for Arnold Palmer were held at Saint Vincent Basilica in Latrobe, Pennsylvania on Tuesday, Oct 4th at 11:00 a.m. ET. Arnold Palmer will be dearly missed.