Remembering Arnold Palmer

Ella Mulligan '19, Writer

On September 25, 2016, the world was told that golfing legend Arnold Palmer had passed away at the age of 87 due to heart problems. Arnold will forever be remembered as a hero to the golfing community as well as a highly successful business executive and family man. This image, combined with his aggressive swing, made him one of the most popular athletes in the world in the years before his death.

Arnold Palmer was born in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, just southeast of Pittsburgh, on September 10, 1929 to ‘Deacon’ Palmer and Doris Palmer.  His father was an avid golfer which prompted Arnold to begin golfing.  Later, he would go on to win the Western Pennsylvania Junior three times and the Western Pennsylvania Amateur five times before entering college at Wake Forest University.  His college career would include him playing on two Atlantic Coast Conference championship teams.   

Throughout the mid-1900’s Arnold Palmer was a prominent figure in the golfing world and a dominant force on the green.  In the seven seasons he played between 1958 and 1964, he won four Masters as well as one United States Open and two British Opens.  He also accumulated a total of 62 wins on the PGA Tour which, when added to his wins in 93 worldwide tournaments, earned him the nickname of “The King” in pro-tours.  The course of his career would earn him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Congressional Gold Medal, and the National Sports Award.

Besides golfing, Arnold Palmer enjoyed flying planes as well as being president of Arnold Palmer Enterprises a company responsible for supervising the construction of 300 new or remodeled golf courses.  Arnold circumnavigated the world in a record time of 57 hours 25 minutes and 42 seconds and was one of the first pro golfers to fly his own plane from tournament to tournament.  He was also co-owner of many resorts, including Pebble Beach Resort in California as well as the Bay Hill Club and Resort in Orlando, Florida.

Palmer finished his final golf career at the age of 77 on the Champions Tour and dedicated his final time playing to his multitude of fans.  Palmer lived an extraordinary life playing competitive golf for almost 68 years and enjoying the pleasures that life brings.  Arnold Palmer will be forever remembered as a golfing hero with an aggressive swing and a relatable image that would make him one of golf’s most prominent figures.

“The most rewarding things you do in life are often the ones that look like they cannot be done.”-Arnold Palmer