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November 18, 2009
Arnold Palmer Medical Center Named PGA TOUR Charity of the Year
Primary charity of the Arnold Palmer Invitational celebrating 20 years of world-class medical care
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FL — The PGA TOUR announced today that the Arnold Palmer Medical Center, the primary charity of the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard, has been named the 2009 PGA TOUR Charity of the Year.
“Congratulations to the Arnold Palmer Medical Center for being named the PGA TOUR Charity of the Year,” said Tim Finchem, PGA TOUR commissioner. “The Medical Center provides essential medical care for thousands each year and is a worthy recipient of this award. The name Arnold Palmer has always been synonymous with the right things about golf and life, and the fact that a world-class medical facility has his name on it is a fitting tribute.”
The Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children was founded on September 10, 1989 – Arnold Palmer’s 60th birthday. This year, as the golf world celebrates Arnold’s 80th birthday, the hospital celebrates two decades of service. During the last 20 years, the Arnold Palmer Medical Center has delivered more than 186,000 babies, cared for more than 26,000 of those babies in its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and treated more than 1.5 million patients.
In 2006, care for newborns and women moved across the street to a new state-of-the-art Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies. The space freed up in the original building allowed for the expansion of specialized pediatric services in the renamed Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children. Together, these interconnected hospitals make up the Arnold Palmer Medical Center, the largest facility dedicated to the needs of babies, children and women in the nation.
“The Arnold Palmer Medical Center’s dedication and commitment to the care and treatment of children is inspirational, making it a worthy recipient of this distinguished honor,” said Chris McWilton, President, U.S. Markets, MasterCard Worldwide. “The compassion and expertise of the Center’s staff is backed up by world-class medical technology that together provides crucial medical care for thousands of young patients.”
As recipient of the 2009 PGA TOUR Charity of the Year, the Arnold Palmer Medical Center will receive $30,000 towards a future Kids’ Kidney Center, the first dedicated pediatric facility in Central Florida for children who need dialysis due to kidney disease.
“The Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard is proud to honor the Arnold Palmer Medical Center as the PGA TOUR Charity of the Year,” said tournament director Scott Wellington. “Arnold Palmer and his family have had a very close relationship with the Medical Center and staff since its opening more than 20 years ago. Today, the Palmers remain dedicated to helping those in need, as well as the continued growth and advancement of the medical center’s facilities.”
About the PGA TOUR
The PGA TOUR is a tax-exempt membership organization of professional golfers. Its primary purpose is to expand the PGA TOUR domestically and internationally so as to substantially increase player financial benefits while maintaining our commitment to growth in charity and integrity to the game.
In 2009, the three Tours compete in 102 events for more than $350 million in prize money. Tournaments will be held in 10 countries outside the U.S. and in 35 states.
In addition to providing competitive opportunities for its membership, TOUR events also generate significant funds for local charities. In fact, the three Tours have surpassed the $1 billion mark in overall charitable contributions. The PGA TOUR's web site address is www.pgatour.com and the company is headquartered in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL.
PGA TOUR, Joel Schuchmann, (904) 280-4707, email@example.com
Posted by scurry at 11:47 AM
November 12, 2009
PLAY THE BAY HILL CHAMPIONSHIP COURSE WITH THE “WORLD PREMIER GOLF PACKAGE”
ORLANDO, FL. – After a summer of design renovations and greens refurbishments made under the thoughtful and expert direction of Arnold Palmer himself, the legendary Championship course at Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Club & Lodge re-opened in grand style this September and has been well-received by members and pros.
Palmer said, "This is the best renovation I've ever done, period. I want people to be able to experience playing this incredible course."
Bay Hill’s “World Premier Golf Package” enables anyone to stay and play the same course where Tiger Woods will defend his title March 22-28, 2010 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational Presented by MasterCard.
The exciting architectural and aesthetic enhancements that have been made to this prestigious course present new challenges yet the same thrill as would be expected from an Arnold Palmer designed course. And for a limited time, golf enthusiasts can be a part of history by being among the very first to play the enhanced course with the new World Premier Golf Package from Bay Hill.
This exclusive package includes accommodation in a luxurious room at The Lodge at Bay Hill, daily breakfast and one round of golf per person (including cart/green fee and bag of practice balls). The package is for one-, two- or three- night stays with prices starting from $212.50 (plus tax) double occupancy per person, per night. Extra nights and/or rounds of golf can be added at preferred rates, and for non-golfers a spa treatment may be substituted for golf.
The Championship course is officially re-opened to Bay Hill Club Members only on September 6, and to Lodge guests on September 14. World Premier Package rates are valid September 14, 2009 through January 15, 2010 based on availability at time of booking. For reservations, call (888) 422-9445 or make your reservations online at www.bayhill.com.
Posted by scurry at 04:55 PM
November 11, 2009
PALMER HONORED AT THE GRAND RE-OPENING OF THE WEST PALM BEACH GOLF COURSE
WEST PALM BEACH, FL – Arnold Palmer will hit the ceremonial tee shot to officially re-open the historic West Palm Beach Municipal Golf Course on Monday, November 16th after a 7-month restoration. The Grand Re-Opening will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Arnold Palmer’s 1959 victory at the West Palm Beach Open Invitational, which was a regular stop for the PGA in the 50’s and 60’s and will host a Celebrity Pro-Am to support local charities.
West Palm Beach Golf Course, formerly known as the West Palm Beach Country Club, was originally established in 1921. It was moved to its present location in 1947, and it's Dick Wilson designed 18-hole, par-72, 6,759 yard championship course has been a staple for local golfers for generations.
The restored West Palm Beach Municipal Golf Course emphasizes Dick Wilson’s original vision. The most notable change is the removal of non-indigenous vegetation and the framing of fairways with vast expanses natural white sandy terrain. With new grass throughout, extended tees, uncommon elevations and subtle undulations, this restored course will be a popular golf destination.
"I'm glad to see this wonderful course restored for the golfers of West Palm Beach." said Palmer.
November 16 will start in Palmer style with complimentary "Arnold Palmer" beverages at 9 a.m. at the Champions Breakfast for the participants, pros, celebrities, dignitaries, sponsors and their guests, followed by the Golf Tournament. Activities for spectators include a putting contest with a $10,000 Grand Prize opportunity, the LPGA Front Row Experience, a Ronald McDonald House Charities Junior Clinic and hourly prize giveaways. The tournament will be followed by a reception and silent auction. There will be shuttle service available to handle the demand for parking.
Also scheduled to attend: Mark McCumber, Solheim Cup Captains Beth Daniel, Meg Mallon and Kelly Robbins, and other PGA and LPGA players.
The new golf course opens for public play on the following day, Tuesday November 17th.
Posted by scurry at 06:02 PM
November 06, 2009
Palmer and his Namesake Invitational Lend Support to Orlando Economic Development Commission
ORLANDO, FL — Arnold Palmer took time this week to talk to members of the Orlando Economic Development Committee’s Board and Investor Councils about what is most important to him. On the list: golf, family, helping children and economic development.
The legendary golfer, who was among the first in the world to transform his sport success into a business empire, addressed this group of EDC supporters from a room in the Lodge that he built, overlooking the Bay Hill Golf Course that he recently renovated into what he suggests is among "the best anywhere." Among many topics, Mr. Palmer spoke about his personal satisfaction at seeing the region’s recent growth as a center for the medical research and life science industries.
Arnold Palmer's connection to Central Florida dates back to the 1960s. First coming to Orlando for a tournament in 1962, he saw potential in the region that led him to buy out other investors in the then fledgling Bay Hill Club in 1969. The PGA TOUR event played at Bay Hill annually that bears his name, the Arnold Palmer Invitational, has grown from humble beginnings to an event which today accounts for 165 full time jobs; more than $5 million in annual earnings, which translates in to $18.5 total spending; and attracts more than 100,000 attendees each year. Plus, proceeds benefit Orlando Health’s Arnold Palmer Medical Center Foundation, the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies.
Mr. Palmer's commitment to the EDC goes even further. He personally invests in our organization through the membership of the Arnold Palmer Invitational Presented by MasterCard. One of his goals for addressing this group, which was reinforced by EDC Board Chair Meg Crofton, was to encourage more local businesses to support the work of the Economic Development Commission.
Posted by scurry at 05:04 PM
November 03, 2009
PALMER SHARES MEMORIES OF EISENHOWER AT WORLD GOLF HALL OF FAME PRESS CONFERENCE
ST. AUGUSTINE, FL. - Arnold Palmer's press conference yesterday at the World Golf Hall of Fame was a heart-felt one about his friend President Dwight D. Eisenhower being inducted.
Transcripts courtesy of ASAP Sports
ARNOLD PALMER: Well, first, I'm overwhelmed with the opportunity to introduce Dwight David Eisenhower into the (tearing up) World Golf Hall of Fame. I can say that this is an opportunity that I welcome very much, and to say that the President, or Ike, or whatever you'd like to call it, The General, if there was anyone that really should be in the Golf Hall of Fame, I think he should be.
He was an avid golfer, and the part of his life that he had the opportunity to play golf was probably as happy a part of his life as he had ever spent. I had the opportunity to be with him, play golf with him, and there were times when we just sat and talked, and he enjoyed conversing about the game of golf and the things that I had done in my career, as I enjoyed listening to him talk about all his exploits in his life, from being a soldier to coming through his life to a five-star general to the President of the United States.
He was not one to elaborate too much on that. He was very conservative in his conversation. But when I pried, he was willing to talk about his exploits and some of the things that he did during the war, before the war. It just happened that he and I for some reason hit it off pretty well, and we had a lot of things in common.
I don't think many people knew that he was a pilot and flew airplanes and might have gone on to be a military pilot, but other things took the place of that as he went through his life. And when he finally got to golf, it was something, as he did everything else in his life, it was an obsession with him to do it well.
I remember talking to him about a game of golf one day, and he used to ask me what I would suggest to tell him about his game. Well, it happened to be a day that we were playing a heart exhibition in Merion in Philadelphia, and I said, "Well, Mr. President," I said, "If you kept your right elbow in a little closer to your side, I think you could get a little more power into your shots." Never thinking what was going to happen. But as you probably remember if you saw any of the military people, they always wore their belts to the side on their right side. And I suggested he keep his elbow in. I had no idea that he was going to do what he did. He kept it in so close that when we finished practicing and playing, his elbow was all bloody from keeping that elbow in close.
But that was how intent he was on playing the game of golf. And he loved to just sit and talk about what things I did in playing golf, and we exchanged. I, of course, would ask him questions about his military career and being Commander in Chief, and as I say, he didn't exploit them; he was conservative in his conversation. But the things that we talked about were fantastic. I remember a lot of them that were really very interesting.
Q. Talk a little bit about your relationship with Bob Hope and President Eisenhower.
ARNOLD PALMER: Well, of course Hope was a friend. If you see the movie downstairs, you see it started at an early age for me by appearing on his show, and he was -- he just became an instant friend, as Bob Hope did with a lot of people. Through the years I had an opportunity to play quite a lot of golf with Bob, and I played in the Hope Tournament from the inception of it. Then I won the Desert Classic in its first year, which was 1960. And then from then on, it became the Bob Hope Desert Classic, and I won it five times.
So I was close to Bob and I was close to the tournament and spent a lot of time in Palm Springs with both, and of course the President, or Ike, had a home at El Dorado, and he spent a lot of time in the desert, also. Actually when his health got bad and he couldn't play golf anymore, I used to go and sit on the front porch with him and talk about golf and talk about Bob Hope as a matter of fact and the tournament, and that was fun.
And of course the President, or Ike and Bob Hope, before he got to where he couldn't play, had played some golf in the desert. And I think they both enjoyed that, the President enjoying Hope's humor, if you want to call it that. And of course the things that they did together -- I won't say it was constant, but frequently they would go out and play a little golf.
Q. What part do you think he played in help popularizing the game? I lot of people saw him as an every-man because he had been in the military and not the son of a rich guy.
ARNOLD PALMER: Well, first of all, I think the President, when he started playing golf, really took to it in a hurry. As you know, the putting green at the White House and many things happened, and of course knowing Bob Hope was one of the things. I had no idea what was going to happen would happen, and that was that there was a relationship that -- my first trip to Augusta I had no idea that there was a relationship between Cliff Roberts and Dwight D. Eisenhower, and it was a very close relationship that I don't think a lot of people were aware of. But they conversed a lot on the phone.
I think that Cliff Roberts handled some of the President's financial wares on Wall Street and so on. I don't know the details of that. But I do know that that was one of the things that happened. And I know that they became friends, and of course Ike played a lot of golf at Augusta with Cliff Roberts, and they became friends.
And of course one of the things that happened was that the President called Cliff during The Masters Tournament in 1958, and he said to Cliff Roberts, "Cliff, do you think it would be possible if I came to Augusta? I could play with the champion of this year's tournament?" And Cliff said, "I'll arrange it. The only thing that you have to do is get approval from the player that wins." Well, no one had any idea who that was going to be at the time.
Well, as it turned out, when I won, Cliff Roberts very early after the tournament ended came to me, and he said, "Arnie, the President wants to come and play golf with you tomorrow if you can get your schedule straightened out." And I said, "Well, if he can get his schedule straightened out, I think I can get mine straightened out.
It happened, and we became, in one day, pretty close. We talked about things other than golf. We talked about everything. And of course among the things that we talked about was getting together and playing golf in the future. And of course I made a commitment to him to make sure that we would be able to do this according to his schedule.
So that was how it really started. It was a very warm relationship from the beginning.
ARNOLD PALMER: So regular, it was hard to imagine that he did all the things that he did in his life, he was so regular. Everything he did he excelled in, from being a soldier to being a commander, a leader. He did all those things well. And I can tell you that if he had started golf a little sooner than he did, he would have been a really good player. He enjoyed the competition, he enjoyed the things that happened in his golfing career, and we played a number of exhibitions together for the Heart Association, for the Heart Fund, and he really enjoyed that.
The one that we played at Merion was against Ray Bolger and Jimmy Demaret. And of course they put it together as an alternate shot exhibition, and I can't help but remind myself and you that the first hole at Merion was a slight dogleg to the right and a little uphill. I hit my tee shot, and Ike hit one, and we walked down, and I thought that he would play my shot up to the green. It was up pretty close to the green. And he said, "Arnie, I'll hit your shot to the green," and it surprised me, and I said, "that's fine."
We got to talking about it, and I said, "Well, wait a minute, you're a good putter; why don't you let me hit your shot to the green," and then he liked that idea. I remember him smiling. I hit his shot on the green, and it was about 15, 18 feet from the hole, and he had a Cash-In putter, and I remember him putting it in the hole. You can't imagine the joy he got out of that. He just really thoroughly enjoyed that. And the day from then on was really a very enjoyable day and a very successful exhibition.
Q. Could you give us a scouting report on Ike's game?
ARNOLD PALMER: Well, you must remember that he was getting pretty old, and he had a heart condition when he was playing golf. But he hit -- the tee shot that I hit to the green at Merion, he hit it good enough that I hit like a 6-iron into the green, and we made a gross 3.
We played enough golf in the early '60s, I guess, mid '60s, he could -- one day, I'm not sure where we were playing, might have been Latrobe or Laurel Valley, and he had a chance to break 80 from the regular tees. He got so doggone excited, I think he got nervous and blew the 80, shot about 82. But he was so excited about the possibility of breaking 80. And I don't know that he ever did.
He was pretty normally around 85, and he'd have a good round and get down to the low 80s occasionally.
Q. How many presidents have you played golf with?
ARNOLD PALMER: I don't know.
Q. Was he your first President?
ARNOLD PALMER: He was the first President I ever played with. And I played with ones that played golf up through the years. I missed Kennedy. Actually I was -- I'm trying to think where I was. I think I was somewhere in the South, and I had a call from his guys that said that he was coming to Palm Beach to play golf, and he would have loved it if I'd come down and play with him. I said, sure, I'll do that, I'd love to play with him.
The day was arranged and everything, and the day that we were going to play in the morning, I had a call from the White House, and they said that President Kennedy apologizes, but he had hurt his back and he wasn't going to be able to play, and we never played.
ARNOLD PALMER: Oh, I played with Clinton, two Bushes, didn't play with Carter. I don't think he ever played. If he did, I didn't know it.
ARNOLD PALMER: Nixon, Ford, yeah, a lot with Gerry Ford. Did we mention Clinton? I played with him numerous times.
Q. President Reagan?
ARNOLD PALMER: Yes, I played with him in Palm Springs a few holes one day.
ARNOLD PALMER: Well, that set of clubs -- is that the set you're talking about, that I have? Yeah, those belonged to him, and he kept them at Gettysburg when he retired. The guy that caddied for him there, who was the pro, was a very good friend and a nice guy, a great guy, and he at one point, and I can't recall exactly when it was, called and said, would I like the President's clubs? He said he'd like to give them to me. And he gave them to me, and that's the set.
Is that the answer to the question? Yes.
Posted by scurry at 05:16 PM
November 02, 2009
PALMER PRESENTS FRIEND PRESIDENT EISENHOWER AT WORLD GOLF HALL OF FAME INDUCTION CEREMONY
St. Augustine, FL – Arnold Palmer was on hand to present his friend President Dwight D. Eisenhower posthumously into the World Golf Hall of Fame, making him the first president to join the organization in the Lifetime Achievement category. Other new members of the Hall will be 1977 PGA Championship winner Lanny Wadkins; two-time Masters champion Jose Maria Olazabal; and Christy O'Connor, who won 24 times on the European Tour.
Only one of the many games of golf played by president Eisenhower and Palmer together took place in public
Palmer and Eisenhower had a long and storied friendship that began at Palmer's first Masters win in Augusta Georgia in 1958. "He was not only a great president and a great general but a great person. He was a guy who you could relate to, a regular guy on the golf course and a regular guy, period. We became very close friends almost immediately." said Palmer.
Eisenhower is undoubtedly one of the most revered and influential presidents in American history and his public love of golf during the span of his presidency is why the sport received a massive boost in popularity. This was due to the national press dutifully reporting on his 29 trips to Augusta during his presidency and the more than 1,000 days of golf he played, according to his daily itinerary. The number of Americans who played golf doubled while Eisenhower was in office from 1953 to 1961, according to "First Off The Tee," a book on U.S. presidents who played golf.
"One would be hard-pressed to find anyone who did more to popularize the game of golf, not only in the United States but throughout the world, than President Eisenhower," Palmer said. "His passion for the game was the inspiration for literally millions of people picking up the game. To have the average person read about Ike and his golf and his enjoyment of the game gave golf one of the greatest shots in the arm it ever got."
Since they played often together, Palmer and Eisenhower were a powerful mixture - a President, a King, The Masters and the advent of golf on television, ultimately launching the game into popularity.
"President Eisenhower received many honors in his life, but I think he would have really enjoyed this one."
Eisenhower and Palmer's friendship came from their mutual respect for each other
Posted by scurry at 05:19 PM