Here’s a column after the passing of Arnold Palmer:
Thank you for telling those stories. I was hoping that you would have an Arnie story or two.
I find it interesting that so many people could not call him “Arnie,” but always called him “Mr. Palmer” even after being asked not to do that.
Just respect. Everyone has so much respect for Arnold Palmer. He deserved respect. He earned it.
The real testament comes from the Tour players. They know that Arnie built the Tour as we know it. It had been run by the PGA of America and Arnie changed that with the creation of the PGA Tour. Most don’t know they are separate. The players govern themselves and it’s worked very well.
Clay what a wonderful article on the life of Mr. Palmer. Thank you for sharing. It was interesting as I read this morning in my local paper (Wilmington, NC) a similar type article. He was a caddie on the tour for a few years and he told his story of meeting Mr. Palmer and Palmer’s mentoring of several young golfers from his Alma mater, Wake Forest. What I find interesting is that another sports legend from Pennsylvania had a very similar relationship with his sports fans and his team mates, Stan Musial. I know Musial didn’t have the impact on his sport like Palmer had on golf, but the respect they had for there fans and fellow athletes was very similar. Thanks again for a great story!
Great, great story Clay. I’ve always said your dad’s best work was when he wrote about golf (especially the Masters). Your best work is about people especially people you loved or admired. Me and the wife were attending a Friday round at the Masters in the early 2000’s. It was supposed to be Arnie’s final appearance there as a player (not by his choice - but he was allowed to play one more year). We were able to get near Arnie and Gary Player and like you said he looked us in the eye and nodded. What a moment even my wife (who at the time was not a golf fan) knew how special it was being acknowledged by Arnold Palmer. But the best moment that day was when Arnie holed a long putt on the front 9. The roar was heard all over the coarse and every player stopped play and turned towards Arnie and clapped. We happened to be standing close to Tiger Woods who had a huge smile as he clapped for his friend. I grew up a member of Arnie’s Army. He was a special man.