Arnold Palmer News: Archives
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November 29, 2010
Palmer Opens Door to Viewers
By Randall Mell, Senior Writer, GolfChannel.com
ORLANDO, Fla. – Arnold Palmer makes his entrance.
When he steps off the stairs of his condo at Bay Hill early in the morning, his 9-year-old yellow lab, Mulligan, at his feet, you can almost swear the clouds stop rolling to hold their position and birds cease their chirping.
Palmer’s still a commanding presence.
He’s still a phenom in the sense that at 81 his appeal hasn’t faded.
We saw it in the excitement he generated at the Administaff Small Business Classic’s pro-am last month in one of his rare tournament appearances these days.
We saw it in this year’s release of the Sports Q Scores, where Palmer was the highest-ranked golfer with a 39 rating, putting him ahead of Jack Nicklaus (36), Tiger Woods (30) and Phil Mickelson (24) on Marketing Evaluations’ annual “likability” rankings.
We’ll also get to see it in Golf Channel’s “12 Nights at the Academy,” a special instructional series that begins Nov. 29. Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Greg Norman are in the formidable lineup that features Palmer in the anchor spot in the series finale on Dec. 10.
On a spectacular winter Florida morning last week, Palmer recorded his appearance from his condo’s two-car garage, which is so much more than a garage. It’s also his work shop, a miniature version of the special warehouse he built at his Latrobe, Pa., home. There are at least 50 golf shoes stored here in Orlando, dozens of golf clubs in racks above his work bench and lined up against the walls.
“This is just a smattering,” Palmer says during a break in the TV shoot. “It’s all in Latrobe. The place there’s huge.”
Palmer estimates he has 10,000 clubs stored in Latrobe, though not all his treasures are there. The driver he used to famously reach the first green in the final round at Cherry Hills when he made his triumphant charge to win the U.S. Open 50 years ago is on display at the club there. Some of his treasures are on loan to the World Golf Hall of Fame in St. Augustine, Fla.
“That’s coming back this year,” Palmer says. “It will go to Latrobe."
“I’m thinking of maybe taking a barn I have up there and turning it into a museum.”
Palmer’s equipment is special to him, so special that most of those 10,000 clubs in Latrobe are catalogued on a computer filing system.
His garage in Orlando is more than his workshop. It’s a retreat. He’ll hop onto his golf cart most every morning with Mulligan in tow, drive up to his office at his Bay Hill Club and Lodge and read his mail, write letters and tend to his business interests. He ventures back to his garage to escape.
“You see Arnold in here all the time, tinkering,” says a neighbor who stops by briefly before the TV shoot.
Palmer’s an equipment junkie. He loves trying out new clubs. On this morning, he’s fascinated by the Lamborghini forged composite shaft on a new Callaway driver.
“I won the Shell Houston Open one year with three sets of irons,” he tells Golf Channel’. Kelly Tilghman during taping of “12 Nights at the Academy.”
Palmer also loves to work on his own equipment, and he’s got special tools for the job in his Orlando garage. Above the work bench is a street sign that reads: “Arnie’s Drive.” There’s a machine on the bench to grind his irons and a sander. There’s an anchored vice grip to hold the clubs in place.
You’ll get a peek inside Palmer’s garage during “12 Nights at the Academy.” Tilghman’s interview takes place in the garage, where Palmer will show you how he changes the grips on his clubs. He does more than that. He shows Tilghman exactly how his father, Deke, taught him to put his famous hands onto a club as the grip he learned to play with.
Palmer shares a lot of insight with Tilghman, including his thoughts on how important it is for a player to create a style. He’ll tell you it’s among the lessons he passed onto his grandson, Sam Saunders, who is making his way into professional golf. Palmer told Tilghman finding a style is so important to a player’s purpose and confidence that it ought to seep into the way he walks.
While Palmer still enjoys going to his office to write letters to fans and do business, you know it’s here, in his workshop and garage, that he does his best thinking, that he finds much of the wisdom that shows up in those letters and in his business.
There’s something important to Palmer here you can’t see, but you can feel it. There’s solace.
“When I need to be alone and do my thing, this is where I go,” Palmer says. “It’s nice to get down here. It’s very quiet. Nobody knows where I am, unless I tell them. I get away from everything, and I can do what I want in there. Same thing up in Latrobe. I just close the doors.”
But during “12 Nights at the Academy,” he’ll open those doors for you. He’ll welcome you inside.
View the video at GolfChannel.com
Posted by scurry at 12:45 PM
November 05, 2010
PALMER DESIGNED COURSES IN GOLFWEEK'S BEST NEW 2010
Golfweek's 2010 Best New Courses list includes two Arnold Palmer Design Company courses.
The Lonnie Poole Golf Course at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina is a project that was very close to the company.
The Alumni design team consisted of APDC Executive Vice President Erik Larsen and APDC architect Brandon Johnson.
"The Lonnie Poole course has been a very special project for myself, Erik and Brandon. We all have some roots in North Carolina and we're very excited to see the project become such a success for the school and community." said Palmer. "The course also provides an excellent example to students on how to design a "green" course that is sensitive to the environment."
"This golf course is pure golf." said Larsen. "No interruptions from housing or roads. Just a great walk on beautiful rolling NC land. Big views to the Raleigh skyline, pleasant streams, thick woods and open meadows all contribute to the round of golf. Bunkers are big and nasty looking, however the golf course is easier than it looks. Perfectly maintained Bermuda fairways and tees, plus bent grass greens contrast dramatically with the native roughs and woodlands. This course has US Open qualities. This players course will be fun for everyone to play, certainly to look at and just enjoy being there."
Manitou Passage Golf Club in Cedar, Michigan, an Arnold Palmer Design Company Signature Course, was re-designed with a new plan that makes the course more challenging for the low handicap player and more forgiving for the high handicap player.
The new plan called for restoring and expanding the natural areas to enhance the wildlife habitat and create a dramatic visual contrast with the course.
Producing courses that are enjoyable for all players while respecting and preserving the beauty of the existing terrain and environment are principles Mr. Palmer believes in and has instilled in the company and it's architects.
ABOUT THE ARNOLD PALMER DESIGN COMPANY
The Arnold Palmer Design Company has long been regarded as one of the premier companies in the golf course architectural industry. Founded 37 years ago in 1972, APDC has created approximately 300 courses around the world. APDC's design philosophy is straightforward: to design beautiful golf courses that are fun to play while maintaining the utmost respect for nature. Headquartered in Orlando, Florida, at Arnold Palmer’s winter home, the Bay Hill Club and Lodge, this location allows clients to come enjoy Palmer's world-class resort and play on the renowned golf course which hosts the annual Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard on the PGA Tour. For more information on the Arnold Palmer Design Company call (407) 876-1068 or visit www.arnoldpalmerdesign.com.
Posted by scurry at 02:39 PM