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January 27, 2011
GQ MAGAZINE NAMES ARNOLD PALMER ONE OF 'THE 25 COOLEST ATHLETES OF ALL TIME'
The February 2011 special issue of GQ Magazine features Arnold Palmer among a list of 'The 25 Coolest Athletes of All Time'. A vintage 1960's photo of Palmer is one of the 9 distinct covers for the special issue.
GQ sets the tone of 'cool' by beginning the article: "The icons we remember and revere are not always the guys with the best stats or the slickest end-zone dance. They're the ones who played the game like it was an expression of who they were and taught us how to be big-time with grace, style, and swagger. They're the guys we never got tired of watching. And never will."
Also on the list is one of Palmer's long-time rival's, friend and fellow 'Big 3' golfer, Gary Player.
GQ has cited Palmer's cool more than once in the publication.
On the eve of Palmer's final Masters in April 2004 GQ calls Palmer "Golf's First Rock Star".
In the GQ Top 50 list of the world's most stylish men in 2007 GQ writes: "In the early 1960s, Arnold Palmer was more than a golfer: He was a superstar—the Elvis Presley of sports. With his horde of fans (Arnie’s Army) and his pomaded pompadour, Palmer brought golf to the masses. He could dress, too, favoring flat-front gabardine pants with a heavy crease and wool cardigans."
So what does Mr. Palmer think of being on their top 25 coolest athletes list?
"That's pretty cool." said Palmer.
Posted by scurry at 05:08 PM
Palmer to pilot his last flight
Golf Digest – Long before Arnold Palmer piloted his first aircraft, in 1956, he was aware of the Newtonian law, "What goes up must come down." On Jan. 31, the rule will have slightly sadder, more literal implications. When Palmer, 81, pilots his Cessna Citation 10 jet from Palm Springs to Orlando that morning, it will be his last flight as pilot. His license expires that day, and Palmer has elected not to have it renewed.
"I'll still be flying in my plane as much as always, just not in the cockpit," says Palmer. "Flying has been one of the great things in my life. It's taken me to the far corners of the world. I met thousands of people I otherwise wouldn't have met. And I even got to play a little golf along the way."
Golf notwithstanding, aviation has always been Palmer's most passionate vocation. Palmer took his first flying lessons in his hometown of Latrobe, Pa., and in 1966 graduated from prop planes to the jets that for many tour players today are a standard mode of transportation -- as passengers, not pilots. Palmer's fly-bys when departing from tournaments were a distinctive signature throughout the 1960s and '70s, and his versatility as a pilot was matched by several remarkable achievements. In 1969, Palmer piloted a Boeing 747 before the aircraft had gone into commercial service. In 1976, he set a round-the-world speed record that still stands. Taking off from Denver in a Lear 36 and heading east, Palmer circumnavigated the globe in 57 hours, 25 minutes and 42 seconds.
"The people there when Arnold took off were still there when he returned," laughs Doc Giffin, Palmer's longtime assistant and chronicler of Palmer's aviation exploits. The flight included brief refueling stops in Boston, Paris, Tehran, Sri Lanka, Jakarta, Manila, Wake Island and Honolulu. "The stops were brief, but Arnold had time to ride an elephant in Sri Lanka, and in Manila he was given a gift from President Ferdinand Marcos that he still has."
Palmer continued to fly the Cessna Citation 10 -- the fastest non-military aircraft in the world -- regularly in recent years. When he relinquishes his wings, he will have logged just shy of a staggering 20,000 hours in the cockpit.
-- Guy Yocom
View the Golf Digest Exclusive Photo Slideshow
Posted by scurry at 10:07 AM
January 20, 2011
The King Holds Court With USGA Members
Courtesy of the USGA
By Ron Driscoll
Orlando, Fla. – Halfway through his question-and-answer session Monday night with moderator Gary Williams of the Golf Channel, Arnold Palmer leaned over and told Williams mischievously, “I think I’m taking your show away from you.”
Golf Channel's Gary Williams (left) moderated the question-and-answer session with Arnold Palmer on Jan. 17 at the USGA Member Education Series event held at Bay Hill Golf Club and Lodge in Orlando, Fla. (John Mummert/USGA)
Williams, the host of Golf Channel’s new Morning Drive show, knew better: this evening belonged to “The King,” and no one minded that he was taking the Q&A and running with it, spinning off anecdotes and reminiscences for USGA Members and guests as part of the third USGA Member Education Series event, hosted by the Bay Hill Golf Club and Lodge, Palmer’s home in Orlando, Fla.
From the moment Palmer, 81, climbed the couple of stairs to the podium and joked, “I never thought it would be so hard to get up here… You older folks know what I’m talking about,” he had the audience of 125 nodding in agreement and laughing with approval. The group included a special guest, Dow Finsterwald, a longtime friend of Palmer’s who won the 1958 PGA Championship and also played on four U.S. Ryder Cup teams.
When one of the USGA Members asked him to recount a famous story, Palmer looked quickly to his wife, Kit, for approval, then dove in. “Some of my friends and I played here at Bay Hill years ago, and after we had a couple of beers, we went back out to play what we call the ‘Short Turn’: No. 10, and then 15 through 18. We were betting a little bit – you know, nickels and dimes – and we got to No. 17 [a par 3 over water].
“My caddie, Tomcat, told me to hit 3-iron, and I questioned it. He insisted that 3-iron was the club, and I hit it short, in the water. So I announced to the group that now I was going to hit a 2-iron and make a par. They all laughed, just like I would have laughed if one of them had said it. Well, I hit the 2-iron and it landed 15 feet short and rolled right into the hole – for a par 3. So now I was [peeved] at my caddie and I said, ‘See, it’s a 2-iron shot.’ And Tomcat says to me, ‘No sir, Mr. Palmer, it’s a 3-iron. You hit that 2-iron fat!’”
When Palmer was asked what he would have done if he hadn’t become a professional golfer, he said, tongue firmly in cheek, “I wasn’t smart enough to do many other things… I asked myself, ‘What could I do if I couldn’t play golf?’ There really wasn’t anything else.”
He went on to say that he could have seen himself as a golf course superintendent – his father, Deacon (Deke), was the longtime golf professional and greenkeeper at Latrobe (Pa.) Country Club. And he told the crowd that he planned to complete his long avocation as a pilot later in January with a final flight, after 20,000 hours logged. “I’ve flown around the world,” he said. “I love aviation, so perhaps I would have gone into that as a career.”
Before the session with USGA Members, Palmer honored a request to pose for the first time with the three USGA trophies he has won: the U.S. Amateur (1954), the U.S. Open (1960) and the U.S. Senior Open (1981). Palmer is one of five golfers in history to have won three different USGA championships, and only Palmer and Jack Nicklaus have won the Amateur, Open and Senior Open titles.
Recalling the U.S. Amateur victory at the Country Club of Detroit, Palmer said, “I had won the All-American title earlier in the summer, but winning the Amateur meant everything to me. I felt I could handle the PGA Tour and compete with confidence. It ended up being my life and my future.”
And yet, like any golfer, Palmer recalled one that got away. When asked to describe his most memorable recovery shot, he answered with a question. “Does anyone here have a USGA Rules of Golf book? The picture on the cover is of me trying to play a shot off a tree stump in the 1963 U.S. Open at The Country Club [in Brookline, Mass.]. I made a triple-bogey 7 and lost the championship to Julius Boros in a playoff.”
As Williams discovered, Palmer keeps busy these days. When Williams told Palmer, “I have it on good authority that you were working out on the treadmill at 6:20 this morning,” Palmer corrected him. “Did they also tell you that I had already been there for half an hour?”
A few other gems from Palmer:
- On his father, Deke: “From him, I learned integrity, honesty and straightforwardness – the bottom line was, ‘Just get it done.’ He was a nice guy, but he was tough.”
- On the annual Masters champions dinner and who he gravitates to: “Jack Nicklaus. As competitive as we are – and we still work to outdo each other, except now it’s in business – the competition we have is something that I really appreciate. He is my friend.”
- On his involvement in the launch of Golf Channel: “When my good friend Joe Gibbs told me about his idea for a golf network, I wondered, ‘Golf, 24 hours a day… even in the middle of the night?’ But we had lots of meetings about it and Joe convinced me, and of course, it’s been wonderful.”
- On playing at St. Andrews: “I won the World Cup with Sam Snead in Ireland [in 1960], and then I lost to Kel Nagle by a shot in the British Open at St. Andrews. I think it cost me more to travel there than I won for finishing second. But my father insisted that if I was going to play, I needed to be able to play everywhere, because golf is a world game.” [Note: Palmer’s entry in the 1960 British Open almost singlehandedly put the championship back on the radar for American professionals, none of whom had competed in the 1959 British Open.]
- On his relationship with the USGA: “Seeing the three trophies together makes me think about how important the USGA has been to me and to golf. I remember that the first USGA championship I competed in was at Oakmont, and in 1994 I played in my last one at Oakmont. I was very emotional. To all the Members of the USGA, the volunteers who work so diligently, I can’t thank them enough. You can talk about the PGA or the PGA Tour, but when you get down to the basics, the people in this room represent the USGA and the game of golf. You are the nucleus.”
And with that, “The King” was off the podium and on his way. “I’ve got to go walk my dog,” said Palmer as he headed for the door.
Ron Driscoll is the USGA’s copy editor. E-mail him with questions or comments at email@example.com.
Posted by scurry at 12:23 PM
January 18, 2011
PALMER ATTENDS THE 2011 BOB HOPE CLASSIC
LA QUINTA, CA – Golf legend Arnold Palmer is scheduled to attend the 2011 Bob Hope Classic in La Quinta, California.
Palmer, the only five-time winner of the Bob Hope Classic, will personally fly his Cessna Citation X to the event.
"I have a lot of great memories playing the Hope." said Palmer. "I thought the world of Bob Hope and spent many priceless hours with him on and off the golf course.”
Palmer's association with the event goes back to 1960, when he won the Palm Springs Desert Golf Classic. (He also won the Thunderbird Classic in 1959, which-predated the Palm Springs tournament but was played in the same area.) It became the Bob Hope Desert Classic in 1965 and Palmer won it five times, the last of which happened to be his 62nd and final PGA Tour title in 1973.
In 2001 Palmer shot a 1-under 71, becoming the first player in the events history to shoot his age. Palmer served as host of the 50th anniversary of the tournament in 2009.
This year Palmer plans on watching his grandson Sam Saunders play in the event. The 22-year-old Saunders turned pro last year after a solid amateur career at Clemson and has received a sponsor's exemption to play in the event.
"I always enjoy it when my grandfather comes out to watch me play." said Saunders. "I feel really good about my game and I'm excited to play in the tournament."
Posted by scurry at 04:11 PM
January 14, 2011
Arnold Palmer Discusses Golf, Business and Philanthropy
ORLANDO, FL - Legendary golfer, businessman and philanthropist Arnold Palmer is interviewed by Jim Blasingame at the Bay Hill Club & Lodge in Orlando, Florida.
Palmer, a spokesman for Administaff, sits down to discuss a variety of topics for TheSmallBusinessAdvocate.com.
Palmer on Golf
What is the condition of the game of golf today in America and internationally, advice for the rookie tour pros, and the impact of golf ethics on the marketplace. [Download MP3]
Palmer on Business
In a face-to-face interview, Jim Blasingame asks Palmer about his business philosophy, plus what is THE single most important key to success in business and life. [Download MP3]
Palmer on Philanthropy
Arnold Palmer talks about giving back, the Arnold Palmer Medical Center and why it is important to him, plus Arnie's ideal foursome and, finally, his wish for the world. [Download MP3]
Posted by scurry at 08:01 PM
January 07, 2011
PALMER IS THE FIRST-EVER GUEST ON GOLF CHANNEL'S 'MORNING DRIVE'
Golf legend Arnold Palmer calls in to the Golf Channel's first-ever episode of 'Morning Drive' to chat with Erik and Gary.
During the interview Palmer discusses a number of topics including his recent trip to Madrid Spain. Spanish golf legend Seve Ballesteros has not been doing well and had recently written a letter to Palmer about their discussions on raising funds for brain cancer research.
Palmer goes on to discuss golf as an international sport and his endeavors "bringing everyone together".
The topic of golf being in the Olympics is a subject that Palmer speaks very passionately about and his comments truly embody the global Olympic spirit.
“One of the reasons that I was interested in globalizing the game of golf and making it so international was the fact that we certainly have enough wars in the world,” he remarked. “If we can help cut down the wars by creating a competition between golfers around the world, that would be very good."
“To have people playing a competition like golf, trying to cut down on the unhappiness that is happening throughout the world, would be very important. Golf in the Olympics is going to create friendships and competition that will be extremely good in the years to come.”
And Tiger Woods?
"Tiger will come back and play some very good golf. I don't think there is any question about his ability to win tournaments and he will win tournaments as time goes on." said Palmer.
Watch the broadcast and comment at TheGolfChannel.com.
Posted by scurry at 05:22 PM
Arnold Palmer Hospital Launches "Meet Our Kids"
Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children is launching a new interactive marketing campaign designed to engage consumers and introduce the community to some of its young patients.
The “Meet Our Kids” campaign will feature a Web component with a microsite encouraging consumers to upload photos and videos of patients who have been treated at Arnold Palmer Hospital, Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies or the Howard Phillips Center for Children & Families, according to a hospital release.
Photos and video will be showcased on the microsite, and users will be encouraged to share links with friends and family. The campaign, which will run throughout 2011, will feature uploaded photos and video of patients in television, print, outdoor and digital outdoor advertising across the region.
Photos and videos can be uploaded at www.meetourkids.org.
Orlando Health’s Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children is a 158-bed facility supported by the Arnold Palmer Medical Center Foundation. The Orlando facility provides expertise in pediatric specialties such as cardiac care, craniomaxillofacial surgery, emergency and trauma care, gastroenterology, nephrology, neurology, oncology, orthopedics, pulmonology and sports medicine.
Posted by scurry at 05:10 PM