Mr. Arnold Palmer (Arnie) has been my idol since I can ever recall having a golf club welded to my hands.
I remember back in 1989 two weeks after major surgery I found out he was playing in a senior event in NC. I made the drive up from Pawleys Island, SC in hopes of seeing Palmer for the first time ever with my own eyes. Weakened by the surgery, I could only walk the first nine holes, but everything written & spoken about the man is true. Super nice guy. Ladies love him and if he spots you in his gallery…and you make eye contact with him, Arnie ALWAYS initiates the eye contact from that moment on, almost like he’s searching for you on each teebox. . .and counting on your support.
I’ve included some of my favorite photos of the King and my favorite story. I hope you enjoy them. Professional golf or professional sports for that matter will never seen the likes of this man again.
1966 — Arnold Palmer, 37, millionaire superstar of the PGA Tour becomes agitated by meddling tasks given to him by his wife, Winnie in order to distract him from the Secret Service men surreptitiously prowling the Latrobe countryside. Unbeknownst to Palmer, they were there to assure the safety of one of the most powerful and popular men in the world who had flown to into Latrobe for a surprise birthday visit with one of his dearest friends. And for the first time in his life, Palmer’s plane is flown without him or his knowledge — pilot Darrell Brown flies it to Gettysburg to pick up President Dwight Eisenhower for a surprise visit.
“I was oblivious to it all,” Palmer says, “until I answered the door and found former President of the United States Dwight “Ike” Eisenhower standing there with an overnight bag.”The President smiled and said, “Say, you wouldn’t have room to put up an old man for the night, would you?”
“One of the nicest weekends of my life followed. It was the thrill of a lifetime.”
“happy birthday old friend…and many more. The world needs men like you in it more than ever now”.