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October 31, 2011
ARNOLD PALMER HONORED BY T.J. MARTELL FOUNDATION WITH LIFETIME PHILANTHROPIC AWARD
NEW YORK, NY – Golf legend and philanthropist Arnold Palmer will receive the Lifetime Philanthropic Achievement Award from Tony Martell, Founder and Chairman of the T.J. Martell Foundation for Leukemia, Cancer and AIDS Research, at the 36th Annual Awards Gala on Thursday, November 3rd at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square.
The T.J. Martell Foundation has provided more than $250 million in funding to leading research hospitals for innovative, early-stage cancer and AIDS research. The Martell Honors Gala is one of the biggest and most glamorous events of New York City’s fall season bringing together over 1,000 music and entertainment leaders, top business and media executives and celebrities.
T.J., Tony Martell's son for whom the Foundation is named, was an avid golfer in high school with a single-digit handicap. Before passing away, he considered Arnold Palmer to be one of his greatest heroes. He followed Palmer with great interest and should be considered a member of Arnie's Army, if not in body then surely in spirit.
"For a short time, engrossed in Arnie's book, I had T.J. back with me - excited as the golf loving teenager he was. Being a music company executive I had the opportunity to introduce T.J. to many rock stars, but his idol, throughout all his high school and college years was always Arnie Palmer." said Tony Martell, Chairman & Founder. "Mr. Palmer embodies the spirit, generosity, and hope of my beloved T.J., making November 3rd the high point of all our past Gala honorees."
For nearly a half century, Arnold Palmer's charismatic personality, swashbuckling style of golf and unfailing sense of kindness and thoughtfulness have endeared him to millions throughout the world.
Palmer and his late wife Winnie have supported numerous philanthropic causes, including serving as honorary national chairman of the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation for 20 years, nature conservation, cancer prevention and women's and children's health. He has founded the Arnold Palmer Pavilion at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and the Arnold Palmer Medical Center in Orlando, Florida where the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies are located, which in just over two decades has risen from a community hospital serving Central Florida to an internationally-known health care institution, now ranked as one of the country’s “Best Children’s Hospitals” by U.S. News & World Report.
"This is a wonderful honor to receive from an organization that so generously gives to such an admirable cause." said Palmer. "I am so pleased, especially for the relationship our hospital and community hope to establish with the T.J. Martell Foundation."
Posted by scurry at 04:50 PM
October 28, 2011
Two years after renovation, Bay Hill Club & Lodge's Championship Course looks better than ever
Courtesy of OrlandoGolf.com - By Jason Scott Deegan, Senior Staff Writer
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Even two years later, the renovation of the Bay Hill Club & Lodge continues to be praised and cherished.
Critics have blasted changes at some other high-profile tournament courses -- notably Dubsdread at Cog Hill Golf & Country Club near Chicago and the West Course at the Wentworth Club in England -- but not Bay Hill.
Members, guests, managers and, most important, the PGA Tour pros who tee it up every March in the Arnold Palmer Invitational, have embraced Palmer's thoughtful work to the bunkers and green complexes. The new grass on the greens, Emerald Bermuda, has been deemed "the right fit" by all. The renovation, which was completed Sept. 10, 2009, gives the King another reason to celebrate his birthday each year.
"The most telling things are the greens," said Roy Saunders, the vice president at Bay Hill. "That is where you receive your criticism or accolades. Everybody loves the greens. The grass is really doing very nicely. They have really matured well this summer. They are thick, smooth and roll nice."
Bay Hill's tournament-quality greens
With the new grass, members and guests enjoy tournament-quality greens almost year-round. Matt Beaver, Bay Hill's superintendent, said today's greens require less off-season maintenance, reducing the number of annual aerifications from three or four down to two.
Bay Hill General Manager Ray Easler said the greens receive shots better. He also noted their more-subtle slopes are a fairer test of golf.
"It takes a couple years for new greens to take hold, so you can manicure them how you like," he said. "This grass has done a great job the past couple years. We are really pleased with the choice.
It is a strong grass. It takes the heat and maintenance well. It takes over-seeding extremely well, and it comes back. That's all in the plus column."
Rewind to 2010 during the first Arnold Palmer Invitational, where players were immediately smitten with the changes.
Phil Mickelson, normally quite outspoken, said "everything was changed for the better." Mickelson was especially happy the fourth and 16th holes transitioned back into the risk-reward par 5s of the past.
Ernie Els, the 2010 champion who has taken heat for his work as a designer at Wentworth Club, was especially kind, calling the course brilliant.
"The shaping is different," Els said then. "The bigger bunkers, you know, they have the edges that flow through the bunkers. I think it's very well designed. Some of the new green complexes are good. They (create) really tough pin positions. I mean, 11-under won. I know I was 14-under through 67 holes, but, you know, for a par 72, 11-under winning, that's pretty good.
"That's where, as a designer, that's where you want the winning score to be."
Bay Hill Club & Lodge: The verdict
Scott Wellington, the tournament director of the Invitational, admits he was surprised to hear such glowing reviews so early.
Flash-faced bunkers provide definition that may have been lacking. And the newly shaved areas around the greens, at holes 1-6 and 10-18, add a whole new dimension of shot-making that is easier for amateurs but requires more precision and thinking from pros.
Wellington said the revamped version of Bay Hill isn't necessarily tougher, even though the course throws more sand than ever at players. He indicated Palmer isn't looking at other changes, but added, "You never know."
"Mr. Palmer is always looking to do subtle tweaking, but to do anything significant, (I think) the golf course stands up on its own," Wellington said. "To add a tee or lengthen a tee where we have room to do that, I think those are the kinds of things Mr. Palmer looks at year in and year out."
Posted by scurry at 01:59 PM
October 25, 2011
Golf Channel features Palmer, WFU
Three days of celebrating Arnold Palmer and Wake Forest golf concluded Monday, Oct. 17 with a pro-am tournament at Old Town Club.
A long list of Wake Forest pros came out to support Palmer, including Bill Haas and Webb Simpson, who just finished Nos. 1 and 2 in the FedEx Cup race. Other pros included: Jay Haas, Scott Hoch, Bill Andrade, Kyle Reifers, Jay Sigel, Robert Wrenn, Laura Diaz, Morris Hatalsky and John Maginnes, along with basketball star Chris Paul.
Simpson’s team — he was paired with amateurs John Spanos, Todd Goergen and Pete and Burney Jennings — won the title.
The event capped a weekend that included Bill Haas opening the gate at the football game and the golf complex being named for Palmer during a Sunday reception.
Golf Channel features Palmer, WFU
The Golf Channel’s Win McMurry caught up with Palmer and the tour pros who have followed in Palmer’s footsteps. Bill Haas, the reigning FedEx Cup champion, talks about Palmer’s passion for Wake Forest: “It’s not often you can talk about golf and a school and you get choked up. It’s amazing how he cares about Wake Forest, and it makes you realize that this place is a special place. It’s more than a university to a lot of people, and just like him, we’re all proud to be a Wake Forest Demon Deacon.”
See more from the Golf Channel
Palmer picks Deacons duo
Arnold Palmer has one way to settle any debate about this season’s PGA Tour player of the year.
“I’d make Bill (Haas) and Webb (Simpson) co-players of the year,” Palmer, 82, said during the pro-am. “Of course, I’m a little biased toward the Wake guys. But they are both great guys, and I’m so happy to see them doing so well.”
Read about Palmer, Simpson and Haas in the Winston-Salem Journal
Posted by scurry at 05:58 PM
October 20, 2011
"Arnold Palmer Day" celebrated on Hilton Head
Golfing legend's victory at the inaugural Heritage Classic helped put the island on the map. Now, Palmer returns with his design team to unveil its stylish renovation of the Wexford Plantation golf course - and mayor proclaims Oct. 20th a day to remember
HILTON HEAD, SC - Hilton Head Island Mayor Drew Laughlin has ordered an Arnold Palmer.
Mayor Laughlin proclaimed October 20, 2011 "Arnold Palmer Day" on Hilton Head in conjunction with Palmer's return to the island for the grand reopening of the Wexford Plantation golf course.
"Our town and community are committed to excellence in all that we do," said Mayor Laughlin, "and nothing exemplifies this better than Arnold Palmer and Wexford's new golf course."
Thursday morning, Palmer landed on the island aboard his Cessna Citation, accompanied by members of his design team, and following a tour of the new Wexford golf course that now bears his name, struck a ceremonial tee shot and entertained during a lunch and media event.
Palmer first made his mark on Hilton Head in 1969, when he captured the PGA TOUR's inaugural Heritage Classic on then brand-new Harbour Town Golf Links - his victory lending invaluable credibility to a tournament, a golf course and an entire island.
Now, Arnold Palmer Design Company (APDC) has added to his legacy on the island again by putting its signature stamp on the Wexford Plantation golf course. In this dynamic pairing, Palmer and his team brought their design style to a unique and elegant, 525-acre golf, yachting and tennis community in the heart of Hilton Head's bustling south end.
The 18-hole Wexford course was originally designed by Willard C. Byrd and opened in 1983. Wexford celebrated its first 25 years in the spring of 2008 and recently spent $3.9 million renovating its comfortably elegant, traditionally Coastal-style clubhouse strategically located facing Broad Creek's Marshlands and Wexford's picturesque private marina isolated by one of only three lock systems on the east coast of the United States. The club shut down its golf course for renovation in April and has now reopened as an Arnold Palmer Signature Course.
The new design winds through a magnificent display of stately southern residences within the plantation and is brilliantly blended with the natural setting to provide a meticulously maintained journey through tall, majestic Oaks and stately Pines, over intimate ponds and next to expansive Coastal Marshland to offer a unique but special experience.
Following the APDC renovation, each hole at Wexford now presents a distinctive look, challenge, or strategy in the form of risk and reward situations, heroic shots, preferred angles of approach or delicate plays that require thought, imagination and a deft touch. Width may be friend or foe depending on the slopes and angles between a golfer and their target.
APDC also renovated the Wexford driving range and golf practice area, mirroring the renovation of the golf course by adding enhanced tee space and target greens, while also improving visibility.
APDC has developed a worldwide reputation for designing golf courses that are unique and special. The firm is known for using the natural beauty of the land making each golf course compelling and authentic, featuring its own characteristics - a trait that made the company particularly attractive to the Wexford membership owners.
Considering Wexford's diverse membership - plenty of working professionals, 100-plus children, active boaters, tennis players, croquet players, golfers and retirees - the club wanted a golf course where three generations of members can play and have fun. APDC oversaw a fun and imaginative, complete remodel of the golf course.
Without sacrificing its character, APDC has allowed the Wexford golf course to fit the property naturally and provide the layout a more timeless feel and style. Palmer's design company has transformed the playing strategy, characteristics and look of the Wexford layout, while also incorporating design changes that have improved drainage and will reduce maintenance costs.
"Our intent was to create a new design in the spirit and tradition of America's classic golf courses and bring a modern interpretation or twist to their enduring standard and a few select template holes such as The Road Hole, Redan, Alps or Biarritz," said APDC Senior Architect Brandon Johnson, lead designer on the Wexford project.
Added APDC Senior Architect Thad Layton "Wexford is by no means a replica course, we take inspiration from certain places and our inspiration for the Wexford Plantation remodel is founded in traditional and classic Golf Course Architecture."
The Wexford renovation encompassed repositioning and reorienting tee complexes, significant bunker removal and strategic old/new bunker placement and modifying, along with tree removal, to increase sun exposure and widen fairway corridors. APDC also added more character to the greens and surrounding complexes, which now provide an enjoyable challenge featuring roll-offs, roll-ons and strong visuals.
"We wanted to give the golfer several options of play off the tee and around the greens to cause him or her to think about their upcoming shot," Johnson said. "By significantly reducing the amount of bunker space, repositioning them in more visible and strategic locations and widening the fairways we were able to add a previously missing strategic element to the golf course while allowing more room and avenues of play for the higher handicap player."
Since its inception in 1972, APDC has designed approximately 300 golf courses around the world that are acclaimed for their individually unique styles. In addition, the company is widely recognized among the preeminent experts in the field of renovation work, highlighted by its remodeling of world-renowned tournament venues such as Pebble Beach and Bay Hill.
While Wexford will stand as the only Arnold Palmer Signature Course on Hilton Head, this will not be Palmer's first design in the Lowcountry. APDC also designed Crescent Pointe in Bluffton, S.C., along with internationally renowned Old Tabby Links on nearby Spring Island.
"We are delighted to be back in the Lowcountry to create a special and unique golf experience for the membership at Wexford," said Mr. Palmer. "We hope the strategy, options and variety of play challenge your intellect and allow you to find the best ways to navigate the course based on your personal game. Wexford is a special place to us and we enjoyed the responsibility of remaking this exceptional club."
Posted by scurry at 01:46 PM
October 17, 2011
New Arnold Palmer Beverage
The unique combination of half tea and half lemonade was made famous by legendary golfer Arnold Palmer. His namesake beverage is now available in a "spiked" version - Arnold Palmer Hard.
Arnold Palmer Hard is a malt beverage, produced by the Mississippi Brewing Company and distributed by Hornell Brewing Company - parent company of AriZona Beverages. The new addition to Mr. Palmer's classic drink line consists of iced tea and lemonade, and contains five percent alcohol by volume. Launching in 24 oz. cans from Rexam, this refreshing, non-carbonated beverage has 110 calories per 8 oz. serving.
Arnold Palmer Hard is currently available in Arizona, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon and Pennsylvania and will continue to roll out nationally.
For more information visit the official website www.arnoldpalmerhard.com or Facebook.
Posted by scurry at 04:27 PM