Arnold Palmer died yesterday. The picture above is how I would like to remember him. He was more than a professional golfer, although he was one of the top pros in the 1960’s. He was the first professional athlete in any sport to draw big money endorsements. He paved the path to riches that athletes in all sports have come to enjoy.
I was a teenager when he and Jack Nicklaus competed. I remember all the kids including myself copied “Arnie’s” knock-kneed, pigeon-toed putting setup on the greens when we took up golf.
Arnold Palmer attracted television audiences to the televised golf tournaments which increased sponsorship, prizes, and more televised tournaments. My mother was a big fan of golf tournaments on television. It brought her great joy late in life.
Arnold Palmer was the man who attracted the ordinary guy to the municipal golf courses. He was the one who attracted the plumbers, carpenters, and staff sergeants to the courses. He had a warm, friendly personality. He will be missed. R.I.P.