Arnold Palmer News: Archives
ARNOLD PALMER STATEMENT RE DEATH OF JIM FLICK
November 06, 2012
“Jim Flick and I became good friends during our college days at Wake Forest. In fact, we were roommates for a short period of time after Bud Worsham died. I followed Jim’s activities and fine career as a golf instructor and we communicated through the years quite a lot. I’m very sorry that this has happened and extend my sincere sympathy to the Flick family.”
Posted by scurry at 12:15 PM
Ace Number 20 for Arnold Palmer
November 08, 2011
ORLANDO, FL - Golf legend Arnold Palmer sunk his 20th career hole-in-one on the 7th hole of the Charger Course at Bay Hill today.
Palmer, 82, was playing a friendly round with Dick Ferris, Bill Damron, Bruce Walters and Will Carey.
The Callaway staff pro icon teed up on the 163-yard hole with a brand new Callaway Razr XF 5-iron, the first time he used that set of clubs.
"Wow, that felt good!" said Palmer.
Of his 20 lifetime aces, Palmer made three in PGA Tour events, four on the Senior (now Champions) Tour, and one in Japan. His last hole-in-one came eight years ago, also at Bay Hill. "My first one came at Latrobe Country Club when I was in high school on a short par-3," Palmer recalled. "I think I've made three of the 20 on that same hole. In the early days I was hitting wedges on that hole and now I'm hitting 8-irons."
"It was into a cross-wind from the left. The ball landed 10 feet short and politely rolled up into the hole," Palmer explained. "I enjoyed the new irons very much. It was the first time I used them and I made a hole-in-one, so it was quite a surprise. I'm actually going out to hit some more balls today because I'm excited to play with this new equipment."
The hole-in-one was part of an impressive round of golf. Palmer carded a 79—going out in 40 and coming home in 39—to best his age by three shots, but said the hole-in-one put a dent in his wallet. "It cost me quite a lot of money (at the 19th hole)...and I didn't mind one bit," Palmer quipped.
The golf legend then posed the question, "I wonder how many aces we've all had?"
They have made 50 aces among them.
Posted by scurry at 07:31 PM
PALMER ATTENDS THE 2011 BOB HOPE CLASSIC
January 18, 2011
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
AVIATOR ARNOLD PALMER HONORED AT NBAA 2010
September 14, 2010
WASHINGTON, DC – The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) today announced that, as part of the 63rd Annual Meeting & Convention this October 19-21 in Atlanta, GA, Arnold Palmer and five other Americans prominent in aviation will be presented with Wright Brothers Master Pilot Certificates and Palmer will be further honored with the NBAA 2010 Meritorious Service to Aviation Award.
According to the FAA's web site, "The Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award recognizes pilots who have demonstrated professionalism, skill and aviation expertise by maintaining safe operations for 50 or more years."
FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt will present the certificates in person to Palmer, Neil Armstrong, Gene Cernan, Bob Hoover, Clay Lacy and Russ Meyer.
"Our congratulations to these individuals on this well-deserved recognition," said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. "Each of these distinguished figures has made indelible contributions to business aviation, and we are delighted that they will stand together and be recognized for reaching a milestone in flight as part of our Convention."
Palmer, an American icon and esteemed businessman, has spent a lifetime promoting business aviation. He currently serves as a spokesman for the No Plane No Gain advocacy campaign, and has addressed NBAA's Annual Meeting & Convention on several occasions, each time highlighting the benefits the industry brings to the nation's economy and transportation system.
After receiving his Master Pilot Certificate at Wednesday's event, Palmer will be honored with NBAA's 2010 Meritorious Service to Aviation Award. That recognition will be accompanied by a video greeting from fellow No Plane No Gain spokesman Warren Buffet, who will welcome Convention attendees and congratulate Palmer on his recognition from NBAA.
About the NBAA
Founded in 1947 and based in Washington, DC, the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) is the leading organization for companies that rely on general aviation aircraft to help make their businesses more efficient, productive and successful. The Association represents more than 8,000 companies and provides more than 100 products and services to the business aviation community, including the NBAA Annual Meeting & Convention, the world's largest civil aviation trade show. Learn more about NBAA at www.nbaa.org.
Posted by scurry at 04:42 PM
Emulate the greats, says Palmer to young players
September 02, 2010
Golf icon thinks technology now makes the game too fast
By Mark Lamport-Stokes, Reuters
Some of the game's younger players need to do more to try to emulate Phil Mickelson when it comes to engaging with the fans, says golfing great Arnold Palmer.
World number two Mickelson, a winner of four major championships, is renowned for the amount of time he spends signing autographs and interacting with the galleries.
In the eyes of many, the left-hander has become the modern-day equivalent of fellow American Palmer, arguably the most charismatic player ever.
"Phil Mickelson has done a great job with the fans and that's good for the game," Palmer, 80, told Reuters in a telephone interview on Wednesday. "The fact that he relates to them so well is just fantastic.
"We just need to get more young players who can relate. I think they are starting to get the message but we could improve upon that and they could improve upon that with their relations with the galleries."
Palmer, a seven-times major champion, had no peers as a fan favourite and always went to great lengths to ensure every person waiting in line ended up with a cherished autograph.
With his swashbuckling style, prodigious length off the tee, bold putting and affection for the galleries, he did more than any other player to popularise the game with the advent of television.
"It's very important to relate to the fans because that will bring people to talk about it and that's what we always need in the game of golf," Palmer said.
While Palmer felt on-course public relations could be improved in the modern game, he was energised by the number of young guns who had burst on to the world stage in recent months.
"All these young players who are coming along, such as Matt Kuchar, Ryo Ishikawa and Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland, who is so good at 21 years old," he said.
"It excites me to see the potential that he (McIlroy) has and what could happen. I am watching a lot of these young players. It's fun and it's something that can create great relationships between our nations on the international scene."
McIlroy won his first PGA Tour title at the Quail Hollow Championship in May after closing with a course record 10-under-par 62 and has been widely tipped by his peers as a future world number one. He is currently ranked seventh.
Palmer, who was a member of the so-called Big Three with fellow golfing greats Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player, had no doubt about the one thing he would like to change most in the modern game.
"Because of technology, the players of today hit it too far," Palmer said. "That should be one of the major things on our agenda, to slow the golf ball down so that we don't tilt the scale.
"We have so many great golf courses but, as the players start hitting it so far, they are outdating our golf courses. We need to see if we can't just keep it in the range that we have known it for so many years."
Palmer also spoke to Reuters about his latest role with Centocor Ortho Biotech Inc. and the non-profit organization Us TOO International to help raise awareness of advanced prostate cancer.
"People should be aware of what the potential is for prostate cancer and what the potential is for a cure and to live a happy life," said Palmer, who was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1997.
"When it was discovered that I had it, I was able to get treated with very good results. Without having done that, it might have gotten away."
Every year, approximately 8,000 cases of prostate cancer are diagnosed at an advanced stage and Palmer does not under-estimate the value of his work with the My Prostate Cancer Roadmap program (http://www.myprostatecancerroadmap.com/).
"A lot of people shy away from even talking about cancer and more particularly prostate cancer," he said. "We want people to pay attention, get their checkups, see their doctors and have the necessary tests that will tell them that they are either free or that they need to continue and do more.
"If I could have every man do that, it would be something that I would feel is a major accomplishment."
© Copyright (c) Reuters
Posted by scurry at 05:28 PM
PALMER ATTENDS U.S. OIL OPEN WHICH RAISES OVER $2.2 MILLION TO HELP FIGHT POVERTY
August 13, 2010
HOLLANDTOWN, WI - Arnold Palmer joined Nancy Lopez at this year's U.S. Oil Open where the event raised more than $2.2 million for charity, a record for the 25th annual event.
Despite soggy conditions, 800 golfers teed off at several local courses with the goal to raise money to help fight poverty.
LPGA legend Nancy Lopez attended last year and invited Palmer to join her this year. Both legends spoke at the banquet dinner.
"It's a great pleasure to be here with Nancy Lopez and to support this wonderful program," said Palmer. "I understand that over the years, 25 to be exact, they have really done great things for the local community and local charities and that's why I'm here."
"It's important because we need an uplift right now in this economic situation and anything I can do to help push that, I'm trying to do," added Palmer.
The money will be donated to the Basic Needs Giving Partnership with the J.J. Keller Foundation and other local area community foundations with the purpose of fighting the root causes of poverty in northeast Wisconsin.
Posted by scurry at 09:36 AM
Arnold Palmer at Greenbrier to Watch Grandson Sam Saunders
July 29, 2010
Courtesy of PGATOUR.COM
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W. Va. -- The first time Arnold Palmer played at The Greenbrier was 55 years ago.
The legendary Sam Snead had invited Palmer, who was actually the king-in-waiting back then, to play in his pro-am. Palmer walked away with his first paycheck, too -- and given the times, it was a pretty big one at just under $10,000.
"That really afforded me the opportunity to continue to play the TOUR," Palmer, who later played in two World Cups with Snead, recalled on Thursday. "It was fun being with Sam and playing with him. He never spent a lot of money, though. He was close with the buck."
The King flew back to the mountains of West Virginia on Thursday morning to watch his grandson, Sam Saunders, play in The Greenbrier Classic.
Palmer walked several holes with Saunders before having lunch with Jim Justice, the jocular owner of The Greenbrier. Palmer marveled at the way the tournament has come together in a little more than 14 months.
"What a man," he said. "He's a great guy -- I think he hired me (at lunch)."
After lunch, Palmer joined his grandson on the range for a skull session. Then he spent some time in the tower with GOLF CHANNEL announcers Nick Faldo and Rich Lerner before hopping in a golf cart and entertaining several print reporters before darkening clouds began to creep over the mountains.
Saunders has played in six PGA TOUR events this year, making the cut in three and earning $95,226. His grandfather knows he's got plenty of talent -- Palmer says the big-hitting Saunders just needs to put it all together at the same time.
"When I stand there and watch him you wouldn't believe how well he hits it," Palmer said. "It's fantastic and certainly it's just a question of translating that to that golf course right there. ... If he did that, he'd be right there every day and every tournament he plays."
Palmer, who says he would love to caddy for his grandson in a tournament someday, tries to maintain as low a profile as possible when he's watching Saunders play. He understands the pressure his legacy may put on Saunders but he doesn't talk to his grandson about it.
"I don't ask him those questions," Palmer said. "I try to steer clear of that. I think he's very aware of the situation he's in, and I think he'll be able to handle it very well."
Saunders, for his part, says he's gotten used to the near-constant questions about his grandfather, perhaps the most beloved player in the game. "It's part of the deal," he said. "Some day when I play my game it will speak for itself.
Read the full story on PGATOUR.com by Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM Chief of Correspondents
Posted by scurry at 06:17 PM
PALMER AWARDED HONORARY DEGREE FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF ST. ANDREWS
July 14, 2010
ST. ANDREWS, SCOTLAND – Arnold Palmer and fellow golfers Tom Watson and Padraig Harrington were awarded honorary Doctor of Law degrees by the University of St Andrews in recognition of their outstanding achievements and contributions to the sport of golf in front of a capacity audience of 1,000 in Younger Hall.
The University of St. Andrews ceremony was complete with traditional robes, Latin conferment and a bagpipe procession down North Street to St. Salvator's Quad.
The degrees were conferred by University Chancellor Sir Menzies Campbell.
Palmer told the audience:
"I'm pleased to be here and thankful for the opportunity to see what I have seen today."
"Little did I think that in 1960 when I told my father and a friend I was coming to the Open and they said ‘really, are you ready?' what might happen 50 years later.
"It is a thrill to be back here and a real honor to be recognized by the University of St Andrews. Walking down the street in St Andrews I feel like I'm at home. Thank you all."
Tom Watson, a five-times Open winner, spoke about how as a youngster he had idolized Arnold Palmer and that the "King" had been the inspiration for his legendary battles with fellow St Andrews graduate Jack Nicklaus.
Turning to Palmer during the ceremony, Watson said: "I want to tell you…The reason I beat Jack all those times was because he beat you too many times Arnold!"
"This is indeed an honor and I'm very humbled to be here in St Andrews. St Andrews University is one of the world's greatest seats of learning. I am just a golfer and I stand here before my idol Arnold Palmer."
When asked about his seventh honorary university degree after the ceremony Palmer said, "This is certainly one that'll be very favored in my collection."
During another interview Mr. Palmer was asked how he was hitting the ball at the moment. His response of "I'm hitting it so well I can hear it land!" had people in roaring in laughter.
Founded in the 15th century, St Andrews is Scotland's first university and the third oldest in the English speaking world.
Posted by scurry at 05:30 PM
PALMER AT ST. ANDREWS
July 07, 2010
ST. ANDREWS – Two-time British Open Champion Arnold Palmer will captain one of the seven teams in the Champions Challenge to be held on the eve of next week's 139th British Open Championship at St Andrews.
The four-hole Champions Challenge will be played over the first, second, 17th and 18th holes of the Old Course on 14 July, with the best individual score at each hole counting as the team score.
Palmer's team consists of former Bay Hill member Ian Baker-Finch, defending Open champion Stewart Cink and long-time Orlando area (Isleworth) resident Mark O'Meara.
The winners will receive a check for £50,000 ($75,480) to be donated to charities of their choice.
"We anticipate a very special occasion," said the organising R&A's director of championships David Hill.
"I am sure all supporters of the Open championship will be excited by the prospect of seeing so many legends of the game."
The day prior, Palmer and two other multiple winners of the British Open will be honored by Scotland’s oldest university and the third oldest in the English speaking world.
Palmer will join fellow American Tom Watson and Ireland’s Padraig Harrington at a ceremony at 3:00 p.m. Tuesday, July 13, when they will be awarded honorary degrees by the University of St. Andrews in the town’s Younger Hall.
Posted by scurry at 06:08 PM
ARNOLD PALMER ATTENDS THE ANNUAL U.S. OPEN ROLEX DINNER
June 14, 2010
PEBBLE BEACH, CA – For more than 30 years, Arnold Palmer has made an appearance for Rolex at their annual U.S. Open dinner for partners and guests, which is somewhere at or near the famous event on the Monday night of Open week.
This year the dinner will be staged at the Beach Club at Pebble Beach and hosted by Allen Brill, President and CEO of Rolex USA.
During the last few years, Jim Nantz has emceed the event and conducted a conversation with Palmer to entertain guests.
"Rolex is one of my long-standing partners and I look forward to the event each and every year." said Palmer.
"Being on the board at Pebble Beach and working on the course for this year's Open makes it even that more special."
Posted by scurry at 05:30 PM
ARNOLD PALMER INTERVIEW ON PEBBLE BEACH
June 02, 2010
LATROBE, PA - Arnold Palmer discusses the recent changes to the Pebble Beach Golf Links that he and his golf course design company recently performed for the upcoming 2010 U.S. Open.
The primary purpose of the course renovation was to maintain Pebble Beach's historic value.
"It's been a great privilege for me to be on the board at Pebble. And of course my position as a board member is looking after the golf course and the operations that concern the golf course. We tried to really keep it, much as the intentions for maintaining the historic value of the golf course. And of course for me to be doing it, it has been a lot of fun." said Palmer.
"We're extremely pleased to have the Open coming and to work with the USGA. We think it's going to be one of the great Opens of all time."
In looking at old photos of the course, Palmer and his design team "put the golf course where it was when it was beginning." said Palmer. "We tried to restore the greens to their original positions." Play will be shaped in the U.S. Open this year with the changes to the fairways and "will force the players to go closer to the ocean."
The most dramatic hole changes were:
- Hole #1 - Restored green & greenside bunkering to original from 1918 photo
- Hole #3 - Added bunkers on the right side of the fairway; turns hole visually to the left
- Hole #4 - Added a trio of new bunkers short and left of the green
- Hole #6 - Reconfigured bunkering left of fairway to tighten landing area
- Hole #18 - Replaced pine in front of the green with cypress
A total of 4 greens and 16 bunkers were rebuilt, altered or installed. 11 tees were enhanced and 6 holes have new or adjusted trees.
The total length of the course is now 7,014 yards with an average green size of 3,500 sq. ft.
So how will PGA TOUR players fare with the changes at this year's U.S. Open? "I would look for the scores to be pretty good. Moving the hitting areas to the ocean on 9 of the holes is going to have some effect and the fact that some of the greens are smaller will also have an effect. I look for a great tournament. I think the excitement of seeing the guys scoring well at Pebble will be good, but they'll be some disasters too." said Palmer.
[Click here to download a Quicktime of the whole interview. ] Length 20 Min / 48MB
Palmer discusses the Pebble Beach renovation
Courtesy of the USGA
Posted by scurry at 03:12 PM
Big 3 Golf Legends Palmer, Nicklaus, Player Team Up for Charity Event at The Olde Farm
May 28, 2010
BRISTOL, VA. - Three of the world's renowned golf legends are coming to Bristol, Va., this summer to join forces and raise money for children attending Mountain Mission School, located in Grundy, Va. On June 8, The Olde Farm will host golf's Big 3, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player, in a charity event to benefit the children and establish a sustained endowment for Mountain Mission School.
The Big 3 for Mountain Mission Kids, sponsored by Johnson & Johnson, is a unique, one-day golf event featuring a 19-hole scramble match pairing Nicklaus, Palmer and Player competing with three different amateur sponsor teams on each hole.
The Olde Farm club grounds will open at 9 a.m. on June 8, with introductions and a Big 3 warm up beginning at 12:30 p.m. The 19- hole scramble kicks off at 1 p.m., concluding at 5:30 p.m. with a presentation ceremony on the 19th hole.
Tickets are available for the June 8 event by visiting www.thebig3forthekids.com, calling 276-669-1042 or e-mail Ajessee@theoldefarm.com.
Posted by scurry at 12:11 PM
GREATER PITTSBURGH GOLF PREMIERE AT PALMER'S LATROBE COUNTRY CLUB TO RAISE FUNDS FOR THE AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY
May 20, 2010
LATROBE, PA – On Monday June 7, Arnold Palmer will be the Premiere Honoree for the Greater Pittsburgh Golf Premiere which raises funds for the Western Pennsylvania Region of the American Cancer Society.
The upscale golf outing and dinner will be hosted at Mr. Palmer's summer home course Latrobe Country Club.
The event is the second Western PA Premiere. The first in 2009 was at Sewickley Heights CC in Pittsburgh and it honored Pittsburgh TV news anchor Peggy Finnegan and the area's most famous and successful woman amateur golfer Carol Semple Thompson.
The 2010 event is expected to raise more than the $130,000 made in 2009.
Posted by scurry at 05:15 PM
PALMER TO RECEIVE HONORARY DEGREE FROM UNIVERSITY OF ST. ANDREWS
May 11, 2010
ST. ANDREWS, SCOTLAND – Arnold Palmer and two other multiple winners of the British Open will be honored by Scotland’s oldest university on the eve of the 139th Open Championship at St. Andrews. Palmer will join fellow American Tom Watson and Ireland’s Padraig Harrington at a ceremony on Tuesday, July 13, when they will be awarded honorary degrees by the University of St. Andrews in the town’s Younger Hall.
The University will award the degree of Doctor of Laws honoris causa in recognition of their achievements and outstanding contributions to the game of golf.
The awards ceremony - a traditional feature of Open Week in St Andrews - will take place at 3 p.m. on July 13th in the University's graduation venue at Younger Hall in North Street, St Andrews.
The degrees will be conferred by University Chancellor Sir Menzies Campbell.
Members of the public are warmly invited to attend the ceremony. Tickets are free and interest may be registered by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
University Principal Dr Louise Richardson said : "Individually and collectively, Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson and Padraig Harrington exemplify excellence, drive and achievement at the highest levels of professional sport."
"This will be an opportunity for St Andrews and Scotland to honour their determination and achievement in the game of golf and the pursuit of excellence. We are absolutely delighted that they have agreed to accept these Honorary Degrees at the home of golf on the eve of the 150th anniversary of the Open Championship."
Founded in the 15th century, St Andrews is Scotland's first university and the third oldest in the English speaking world.
The University is one of Europe's most research intensive seats of learning. It is one of the world's top rated for research, teaching quality and student satisfaction and is consistently ranked among the UK's top five universities.
Previous recipients of Honorary Degrees from St Andrews include golf legends Jack Nicklaus, Seve Ballesteros, Gary Player, Colin Montgomerie, Nick Faldo, Peter Thomson and Peter Allis. All have been invited to this year's ceremony to witness their fellow professionals receive their degrees.
Posted by scurry at 09:09 AM
PALMER ATTENDS 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF QUAIL HOLLOW
May 04, 2010
CHARLOTTE, NC – Golf legend Arnold Palmer will be attending a dinner honoring the 50th anniversary of Quail Hollow Club on May 6. Palmer was personally invited by his long-time close friend John Harris.
The club has hosted a number of PGA TOUR events - Kemper Open '69-79; World Seniors Invitational '80-89 and the TOUR returned to Quail Hollow in 2004. The 2010 championship will have been played the week before the anniversary celebration.
The course was originally designed by golf course architect George Cobb in 1961 to capture the beauty as well as challenging terrain of the Piedmont region.
From 1985 to 1986, Palmer and his golf course design company made modifications to holes 3, 7, 9, and 17.
Palmer, a long-time Quail Hollow member, has many friends at the club and for years had a home on the 15th hole. Palmer was part owner of the city's only Cadillac dealerships for many years and his name remains on the dealership through a licensing agreement to this day.
"I'm looking forward to catching up with a lot of my old friends." said Palmer.
Posted by scurry at 04:34 PM
ARNOLD PALMER PRESENTS JIM NANTZ WITH THE 2009 NATIONAL SPORTSCASTER OF THE YEAR AWARD
May 03, 2010
SALISBURY, NC – May 3, 2010, golf legend Arnold Palmer presented Jim Nantz with the 2009 National Sportscaster of the Year award in Salisbury, NC. The award is given by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association.
"He's been a friend, a great broadcaster and a great guy. Jim has been so good to the sports industry and the golf industry." said Palmer in his speech.
This marks the fifth time and third consecutive year, Jim will be honored with this prestigious award (1998, 2005, 2007 and 2008).
"He's very special to me," Nantz explained. "And when I won this award I called him and said, 'Arnold, I would give anything if you would come to Salisbury on May 3 and present the National Sportscaster of the Year Award to me.' I expected him to say something like, 'I'll check the calendar.' But he said, 'I'll be there.' It took him a millisecond to say yes. That's Arnold Palmer."
At the NSSA Awards Dinner, Bob Ryan of The Boston Globe will receive the National Sportswriter of the Year award; baseball's Peter Gammons and football's John Madden will be inducted into the National Sportscasters and Sportwriters Association Hall of Fame.
Posted by scurry at 06:29 AM
PALMER ATTENDS 2010 KENTUCKY DERBY
April 23, 2010
LOUISVILLE, KY – Golf legend Arnold Palmer and his wife Kit will be attending, for the first time ever, the 136th Kentucky Derby on May 1, 2010.
The Kentucky Derby is one of the USA's oldest thoroughbred horse races which first began in 1875.
The race is known in the United States as "The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports" or "The Fastest Two Minutes in Sports" for its approximate duration, and is also called "The Run for the Roses" for the blanket of roses draped over the winner.
"I'm pretty excited to attend this event so steeped in American tradition." said Palmer.
"My wife Kit has good Irish luck. Maybe she'll pick the winner."
Posted by scurry at 04:39 PM
PALMER DRAINS 65-FOOT PUTT AT THE 2010 MASTERS PAR-3 TOURNAMENT
April 10, 2010
Four-time Masters Champion Arnold Palmer hit the first tee shot of the 74th Masters Tournament Thursday morning with his longtime friend and competitor Jack Nicklaus.
Joining Palmer and Nicklaus on Wednesday for the Par-3 Tournament was Gary Player, completing golf's legendary "Big 3".
The Par-3 Tournament is a Masters tradition that gives golfers a chance to relax with their families on the day before the major event.
The first tee held much fanfare with the legends having a jovial time, each taking a mulligan.
On the 9th hole of the Par-3 Tournament Palmer drained a 65-foot snake. "The putt made my week." said Palmer. The beautiful line conjured up over 50 years of memories, most especially those from 1958, 1960, 1962, and 1964 when Palmer won his green jackets.
During the press conference Palmer was asked How do you feel about the reception you get walking from the clubhouse all the way to the tee box and the fans just adore you?
"Well, that's wonderful and it's a great feeling and just typifies Augusta and what happens here, the politeness of the crowds, it's just overwhelming. I look forward to it. I think about it before I get here, I get nervous, even now, and I'm not playing anymore. So you know what it was like when I was playing."
For live coverage of the 74th Annual Masters Event visit www.masters.com.
Posted by scurry at 10:30 AM
PALMER AT THE 2010 MASTERS
April 07, 2010
Arnold Palmer’s string of consecutive playing appearances in the Masters Tournament ended at 50 when he competed for a final time in the 2004 championship, but Arnold Palmer will be in Augusta, Georgia, again this April, a stop he has made every year since 1955.
As he does every year, Palmer attended the Champions Dinner on Tuesday in the historic Augusta National clubhouse. Angel Cabrerra, the defending champion, hosted the dinner, at which virtually all of the living former winners of the classic event, playing or non-playing, gathered.
Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. EST on ESPN, Palmer will play the annual Par 3 event with Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player.
Palmer serves as the Honorary Starter on Thursday, April 8 at 8:00 a.m. EST and joining him this year will be his long-time rival and friend Jack Nicklaus, each hitting tee shots on the first tee to launch the 2010 Masters. Palmer is the sixth person to serve as Honorary Starter in the long history of the Masters, which began in 1934. Jock Hutchison and Fred McLeod inaugurated the role in 1963. Byron Nelson and Gene Sarazen took over in 1981 and Ken Venturi filled in for Nelson in 1983. Sam Snead joined Nelson and Sarazen in 1984. The position was vacant since Snead died following the 2002 Masters until the 2007 event when Palmer assumed the role for the first time.
"As you know, Augusta is one of my favorite places and the Masters has meant so much to me personally throughout my career. I have always been treated so warmly there by the patrons. I hope in some way I can show my gratitude to the fans who have followed and supported me these many years” said Palmer. "It's an extra pleasure to have my old friend Jack joining me on the first tee this year."
Posted by scurry at 11:14 AM
Arnold Palmer Isn’t Your Typical Business Jet Traveler
February 01, 2010
Business Jet Traveler
Interview by Stephen Pope
Arnold Palmer isn’t your typical business jet traveler. A curiosity about airplanes–and a fear of flying on early airliners–led him to the pilot’s seat in 1956. He was just 27 then, but his aggressive play on the golf course and magnetic personality already were hinting at the greatness to come. Palmer won his first major two years later at the 1958 Masters in a dramatic televised finish that made him a household name and gave rise to a legion of fans known as “Arnie’s Army.”
A lifetime later, Palmer, now 80, has amassed about 18,000 hours at the controls of more aircraft types than even he can recall. He has owned 10 airplanes, progressing from his first, a 1961 Aero Commander 500, to his current ride, a Cessna Citation X twinjet he bought in 2002. He still flies the Citation X with longtime chief pilot Pete Luster about 150 to 200 hours a year, including for regular trips between his homes in Latrobe, Pa. (where he grew up the son of the golf pro and head groundskeeper at Latrobe Country Club), and Bay Hill Club and Lodge, the golf course he owns in Orlando, Fla.
Read the full story
Posted by scurry at 11:37 AM
PALMER RECEIVES CONGRESSIONAL GOLD MEDAL
September 30, 2009
WASHINGTON D.C. – Today at 1:30pm, Arnold Palmer will stop at the White House where President Barack Obama will sign into law The Congressional Gold Medal honoring the golf legend.
Photo Credit: White House/Samantha Appleton
President Barack Obama signs the Arnold Palmer Gold Medal Act in the Oval Office, Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2009. Looking on from left are: Rep. Tim Murphy of Pennsylvania, Arnold Palmer, Mrs. Kathleen Palmer, Rep. John Tanner of Tennessee, Sen. Mark Udall of Colorado, Sen. Mel Martinez of Florida and Rep. Joe Baca of California (at front). Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton.
The award will make Palmer the first sports person in history to receive all 3 of the United States highest civilian honors including the National Sports Award from former President Bill Clinton in 1993 (a one-time award) and the Presidential Medal of Freedom from former President George W. Bush in 2004.
"I don't know that I've done anything to deserve it, but I accept," Mr. Palmer said yesterday from his office at the Bay Hill Club in Orlando, Fla. "That's pretty fantastic."
The Congressional Gold Medal was first given to George Washington in 1776 and to 141 exemplary Americans since. "I didn't know George Washington," Palmer said with a grin. "But if I did, I would shake his hand and say, 'You're the first, and I won't be the last.'"
Palmer will become the fifth athlete to receive the honor from Congress, which is considered the highest expression of national appreciation for achievements and contributions. Byron Nelson is the only other golfer to receive the medal, which was given posthumously in 2006.
The Arnold Palmer Gold Medal Act, H.R. 1243, was introduced by Congressman Joe Baca (D-California) and first passed the House of Representatives in April and was unanimously passed by the Senate on Palmer's 80th birthday on September 10th. U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez, R-Fla., who lives in Orlando, sponsored the Senate bill nominating Mr. Palmer for the medal. Such bills must be cosponsored by at least two-thirds of the members of the House and 67 in the Senate before even being considered in the respective chambers.
"Arnold Palmer is a legend and a giant among golfers," said Rep. Baca. "Arnold elevated the game of golf both at home and abroad, and is respected across the globe. He won 92 championships in professional competition, but even more significant, he is an exemplary American who always gave back to others."
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 the March of Dimes, 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 celebrated it's 20th anniversary on its namesakes' birthday this year.
Adding to the historical significance, one year later to this day, Coast Guardsman vet Palmer received the prestigious Lone Sailor Award in Washington by the U.S. Navy Memorial to Sea Service veterans "who have excelled with distinction at their respective careers while exemplifying the core values of Honor, Courage and Commitment." Palmer told the crowd, "Those three words are what life is all about as far as I'm concerned."
"It's pretty good stuff," Palmer said. "Quite overwhelming."
Posted by scurry at 12:28 PM
Arnold Palmer to Present Winnie Palmer Award To Aide Doc Giffin at Met Golf Writers Dinner
April 28, 2009
Golf legend Arnold Palmer will present the Winnie Palmer Award to his long-time assistant Doc Giffin at the 2009 Metropolitan Golf Writers Association’s 58th National Awards Dinner on Tuesday, June 16, at the Hyatt Regency Greenwich in Old Greenwich, Connecticut.
Louise Suggs, the Hall of Fame LPGA great, will receive the MGWA’s Gold Tee Award; Rolex the Bing Crosby Tournament Sponsor Award and Gene Westmoreland, Met Golf Association executive, the Distinguished Service Award at the annual dinner.
The MGWA established the Winnie Palmer Award in 2000 in honor of Palmer’s late wife, who devoted much of her life to charity work for literacy programs and health care. The accolade acknowledges individuals who have consistently given their time, energy and enthusiasm for the less fortunate. Over the last 20 years, the Palmer family has been heavily involved in the establishment of hospital facilities for mothers, children and babies that are incorporated into the Arnold Palmer Medical Center in Orlando, Florida.
“Winnie’s life-long dedication to philanthropy and caring for people is something that I always admired and learned from,” said Giffin, Palmer’s personal assistant for the last 43 years. “I am particularly honored to receive this award in her name.”
Palmer last attended what has been called “golf’s social event of the year” in 2001, when he received the association’s Golden Anniversary Award with Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player. Palmer also earned the MGWA’s highest honor, the Gold Tee Award, in 1965 for career achievements that exemplify the best spirit and traditions of the sport of golf.
The MGWA’s National Awards Dinner is the largest (and longest running) golf dinner held annually in the U.S. All of golf’s governing bodies actively support the dinner—the USGA, PGA of America, the PGA TOUR and Champions Tour, the LPGA—and some 700 industry leaders and local golfers attend. Proceeds from the dinner are distributed to three Metropolitan area caddie scholarship programs and the MGA Foundation. More than $950,000 has been raised over the years for charitable endeavors.
Golf fans are encouraged to attend this popular event and join Arnold and Doc for a night of celebrating the spirit of golf and philanthropy. For advance ticket reservations or additional information, please contact Kate Keller at (914) 347-4653. Tickets also may be obtained online at www.metgolfwriters.org.
Posted by scurry at 04:06 PM
Arnold Palmer and Bob Hope
January 14, 2009
Two old friends will be getting together in the desert this week and the golf world is invited to whoop it up right along with the chuckling chums.
Arnold Palmer and Bob Hope have been linked in golf and fun for more than 50 years. The gala 50th anniversary of the Bob Hope Classic, Jan. 19-25, will be hosted by Palmer, the man who through dint of being a five-time Hope winner, could for years have practically claimed co-ownership of the tournament.
“It is very special to me to be asked to serve as host of the 50th anniversary Bob Hope Classic,” Palmer says. “I enjoyed some of my greatest success in the Hope in the early years and have loved the Palm Springs area ever since I first laid eyes on it.
“I consider it a great honor to follow in the footsteps of Bob Hope as host of this wonderful tournament, which has been a PGA Tour mainstay for so many years. I thought the world of Bob Hope and spent many priceless hours with him on and off the golf course.
“He loved the game and was a great contributor to its growth and popularity.”
The Hope, coming just two months prior to the March 23-29 Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill Club, (www.arnoldpalmerinvitational.com), puts Palmer in the unique position of hosting two marquee PGA tournaments before the season’s first major, a fact not lost on Hope organizers.
“We are privileged to have Arnold Palmer as our host for this special year and we know Bob would agree,” says Hope Classic president Dave Erwin. “There is not a more appropriate person to help us celebrate our 50th year of this wonderful event. In addition to his success here as a player, it was because of Arnold’s classic style and unmatched connection to his adoring fans that we ever reached such an honorable milestone.”
The Palmer-Hope relationship predates by nearly four years the wave of sporting and celebrity popularity that would make the Palmer name as famous as Hope’s. It was in 1954 after the Latrobe golfer’s pivotal U.S. Amateur victory that Hope invited the 25-year-old Palmer to New York to appear on the monthly “Bob Hope Show” in the then-still fledgling television industry.
“I was in awe of Bob Hope and the situation,” Palmer told Kingdom Magazine recently. “Bob made me feel like I had known him for years from that very first show. And I was surprised at how casual he was about it. He made some offhand comments about how to play golf and how good he was.”
No one, not even the soon-to-be professional himself, sensed at the time just how good Palmer was about to become.
It wasn’t until the Masters in 1958 that Palmer truly vaulted onto the national consciousness, a place from which he’s never been dislodged.
He went on to win 92 times on the PGA Tour, highlighted by seven major championships. The total ranks him fifth on the all-time winner’s list, but it was his go-for-broke style and approachable, charismatic personality that’s made him an indelible fan favorite.
Many of his career playing and course design highlights have Coachella Valley desert roots. He played his first tournament there in 1956 at the Thunderbird Invitational, a tournament that was home to his first desert win in 1959 with a come-from-behind final-round 62.
The next year he won the inaugural Palm Springs Golf Classic, the tournament that would be renamed for host and golf fanatic Bob Hope. He won the Hope again in 1962, ‘68, ‘71 and in ‘73 overtook and fended off a tenacious Jack Nicklaus for what would be his final victory of his stellar PGA Tour career.
He returned in 1986 to participate in the first Skins Game played at PGA West.
He skipped the tournament for the first time in 1997 when he underwent successful prostate cancer surgery. But he was back the next year and in 2001 he shot a 1-under par 71 to become the first player in tournament history to shoot his age.
And, competitive golf aside, Palmer’s had more than his share of memories that had nothing to do with pressure putts and high-stakes golf.
In 1963, he appeared in Hope’s popular movie, “Call Me Bwana.”
Palmer’s left his mark in other ways, as well. Arnold Palmer Design Company has designed five Palm Springs-area courses, three of which -- SilverRock Resort, Bermuda Dunes and Palmer Private at PGA West -- are in this week’s Hope rotation.
After a week of galas, golf and recollections about both Palmer and Hope, who died at age 100 in 2003, Palmer will return to Bay Hill and begin immersing himself in the upcoming Arnold Palmer Invitational. Much of the pre-tournament buzz centers on speculation if defending and five-time champion Tiger Woods will make his heralded return to Tour golf after following up his stirring 2008 U.S. Open victory with knee surgery.
“We’re sure hoping that it will be his time to make his return to professional golf,” Palmer says. “I hear he’s training very hard. I hope he’ll be ready to make his return to defend again at Bay Hill. The tournament date’s moved to the end of March and that should help our field, always a strong one, be stronger still. Also, being later in the spring will improve weather and course conditions. We’re very excited at Bay Hill.”
But first things first: Palmer will be spending time treading much-loved and familiar ground. It’s a place studded with so many Palmer courses, memories and events (and don’t forget Arnold Palmer’s Restaurant, www.arnoldpalmers.net, in La Quinta!) that reporters filing stories from the desert can be excused if the datelines refer to PALMER SPRINGS, Calif.
Because that’s what it’ll be all next week.
Posted by scurry at 02:13 PM
Arnold Palmer to Launch 2007 Masters Thursday
April 03, 2007
The question that has been posed to Arnold Palmer ever since and even before he played in his final Masters Tournament in 2004 -- Will you become the Honorary Starter? -- has been answered. Billy Payne, the new Chairman of the Masters and Augusta National Golf Club, announced Tuesday at a specially-arranged press conference that Palmer, a four-time winner of the prestigious tournament and an Augusta National member, will hit the opening shot of this year's event Thursday morning. A massive turnout is expected to witness the historic occasion. The announcement preceded Palmer's annual attendance at the Champions Dinner at Augusta National Tuesday evening.
Palmer will be just the sixth person to serve as Honorary Starter in the long history of the Masters, which began in 1934. Jock Hutchison and Fred McLeod inaugurated the role in 1963. Byron Nelson and Gene Sarazen took over in 1981 and Ken Venturi filled in for Nelson in 1983. Sam Snead joined Nelson and Sarazen in 1984. The position has been vacant since Snead died following the 2002 Masters.
"The time was right to make this decision," said Palmer, who played in 50 consecutive Masters from 1955 through 2004. "As you know, Augusta is one of my favorite places and the Masters has meant so much to me personally throughout my career. I have always been treated so warmly there by the patrons. I hope in some way I can show my gratitude to the fans who have followed and supported me these many years."
"We are absolutely delighted that Arnold has accepted our invitation to become an Honorary Starter," enthused Payne in making the announcement at the Media Center. "This is wonderful news for the Masters and his legions of fans."
Posted by dgiffin at 03:22 PM
Golf Channel to Air Hall of Fame Induction
November 04, 2006
The induction of the late Mark McCormack and Arnold Palmer's acceptance remarks on his behalf will have a place on the hour-long highlight show of the World Golf Hall of Fame ceremony to be aired by The Golf Channel at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day,
McCormack was inducted along with Vijay Singh, Larry Nelson, Marilynn Smith and the late Henry Picard at the Hall of Fame shrine at St. Augustine, Florida, on Monday, October 30. He was honored with the organization's Lifetime Achievement Award.
McCormack's handshake agreement in 1960 to serve as Palmer's business manager launched what, as International Golf Management (IMG), was to become the largest sports management firm in the world. He died on May 16, 2003.
Posted by dgiffin at 11:35 AM
"It's Time" -- Palmer Ends Tournament Career
October 16, 2006
Arnold Palmer declared that "it's time" to bow out of individual tournament golf after withdrawing from the Administaff Small Business Classic on Friday, October 13, in Houston, Texas, ending a competitive career that began in Western Pennsylvania when he was a high school amateur in the late 1940s.
"Right now, I have no thoughts of playing any more tournament golf," said the 77-year-old Palmer, who has played professionally since giving up his amateur status on November 18, 1954. "I'll play some father-son and skins game events, some charity events, and that's it."
It was not an easy decision for him, even though he had been drastically cutting back his tournament schedule in recent years and had played only one earlier tour event this season (Constellation Energy Classic in Baltimore.) He was emotional as he talked about it after, his body aching, he hit two balls in the water at the fourth hole in the Administaff tournament's opening round, stopped keeping score and accompanied playing partners Lee Trevino and John Mahaffey the rest of the way.
"To know it's really over, that's tough," he said. "It's been my life. To stand out there and not be able to make something happen is very traumatic. When the people all want to see a good shot, you know it and you can't give it to them, that's when it's time."
The legendary Hall-of-Famer never used the word, retirement. Not only will he play occasionally, as he mentioned, in team and charity events and casual golf with his friends and associates, he will remain fully active in business. Particularly with his Arnold Palmer Design Company, which has been involved with nearly 300 projects in its 35-year history and has just moved into new quarters at his Bay Hill Club in Orlando, Florida.
"I'm going to concentrate on designing and building golf courses now and really spend a lot of time doing that. That's going to be my major passion now. I have a great crew and I am going to spend a lot of my time with them."
For the record, Palmer completes his career with 92 professional victories, posted between the Canadian Open in 1955 and the Crestar Classic on the Champions (Senior PGA) Tour in 1988, and a host of amateur titles, most notably the 1954 U.S. Amateur Championship.
He won four Masters (1958-60-62-64), two British Opens (1961-62) and the 1960 U.S. Open on the PGA Tour and two Senior PGA Championships (1980-84), two Senior Players Championships (1984-85) and the U.S. Senior Open (l981) on the Champions Tour.
Posted by dgiffin at 03:29 PM
Death of Byron Nelson Saddens Arnold Palmer
September 26, 2006
Arnold Palmer expressed his deep regret on the death of Byron Nelson when informed this afternoon (Tuesday, September 26.) His comments:
"I was terribly disturbed to learn that Byron Nelson has passed (away). He was one of the great people of all time, in addition to being one of the greatest players who ever lived. His record speaks for itself. I don't think that anyone will ever exceed the things that Byron did by winning 11 tournaments in a row in one year. But, I suppose that is not the most admirable thing that he did, although it was certainly tremendous. He was a fantastic person whom I admired from the time I was a boy. He just did nothing during his long life but make great contributions to the game of golf and life itself."
Posted by dgiffin at 04:36 PM
Funds Sought for Palmer Airport statue
September 01, 2006
The Latrobe Foundation is conducting a fundraising drive to raise $35,000 to erect a statue of Arnold Palmer to grace the terminal entrance of Arnold Palmer Regional Airport in Palmer's hometown.
Contributions of $1,000 or more will be displayed with the contributor’s name adorning a plaque at the base of the statue. Contributions of $100 or more will have their names embossed on golf balls that will be used to construct a towering “Wall of Balls” near the statue.
Tax deductible contributions can be sent to the Latrobe Foundation, Palmer Statue Project, P.O. Box 143, Latrobe, Pa. 15650-0143. Be sure to write “Palmer Statue Fund” in the memo portion of the check.
Posted by crodell at 01:27 PM
Arnold Palmer to Attend Ryder Cup in Ireland
August 08, 2006
Arnold Palmer will fly to Ireland in late September to attend to course design business and spend time at the prestigious Ryder Cup as it is played in Ireland at the K Club course outside of Dublin that he and his associates designed in 1991. Palmer, who is the second most productive point-maker in U.S. Ryder Cup history, has not been on hand for Ryder Cup competition since his second captaincy in 1975 at Laurel Valley in his native Western Pennsylvania.
The legendary golfer is anxious to see how the cream of the American and European crop of pros handle the highly-regarded, parkland-style course, which his company fine-tuned for owner Michael Smurfit after the most prestigious international team competition was awarded to Smurfit and Ireland for the first time several years ago. The Ryder Cup will be played on the Palmer course, part of the 36-hole complex at the magnificent K Club resort, on September 22-24. Although the United States leads in the biennial event, 24 wins against nine defeats and two ties, the Americans have lost four of the last five meetings and have not won in Europe since a victory in England in 1993.
On the business side, Palmer will attend activities connected to two Arnold Palmer Design Company projects - St. Lucia in the eastern Caribbean and White Oak in Hendersonville, North Carolina, and make a site visit and attend a reception for Milverton, a new course being developed in Ireland. These bring to nearly 300 the number of courses designed by the Palmer company world-wide over the last 35 years.
Palmer will pilot his Cessna Citation X on its non-stop flight to Ireland, landing in Shannon for the business commitments before moving on to Dublin for the Ryder Cup.
Posted by dgiffin at 03:23 PM
Palmer to Play in 'Greats of Golf' Event in Minnesota
July 27, 2006
Arnold Palmer will make his first competitive appearance in six months when he plays in the "Greats of Golf" segment of the Champion Tour's 3M Championship August 5-7 at Minneapolis. Palmer, whose most recent appearance was in the Wendy's Champions Skins Game in early February, will join with eight of his contemporary fellow stars of yesteryear in a two-round best-ball-of-three competition. It will be integrated into the regular senior event at the TPC of the Twin Cities and they also will play in a preceding special pro-amateur event at 3M's Tartan Park Golf Course on Friday.
Don January and Miller Barber will team up with Palmer and play against the threesomes of Bill Casper-Tony Jacklin-Gene Littler and Lee Trevino-Chi Chi Rodriguez-Al Geiberger in the event. All are Hall-of-Famers and/or winners of major championships on the regular or Champions Tours. Each will lead one of the nine teams in the pro-amateur.
This will be the third staging of the "Greats of Golf" event exclusively at the 3M Championship, but Palmer's first appearance in it.
Posted by dgiffin at 02:59 PM
Palmer Withdraws from Senior Open
June 30, 2006
Arnold Palmer issued the following statement on Friday, June 30, regarding the U.S. Senior Open Championship, to be played July 7-10 at Prairie Dunes Country Club, Hutchinson, Kansas:
"It is with great regret that I have come to the very difficult decision to advise the USGA that I am withdrawing from the upcoming U.S. Senior Open at Prairie Dunes. I have spent considerable time over the past few weeks attempting without success to bring my game up to acceptable standards to play in this important national championship. In my judgment, my golf right now is far below the level that I would feel comfortable with as a bona fide contestant. I hope that the fans who have given me such wonderful support over the years will understand and accept my decision."
BACKGROUND INFORMATION: Arnold Palmer won the 1981 U.S. Senior Open at Oakland Hills Country Club, Birmingham, Michigan, the first year he was eligible to play in the championship. He defeated Bill Casper and Bob Stone in an 18-hole playoff. Palmer played in the next 24 Senior Opens through last year's championship at NCR Country Club, Dayton, Ohio.
Palmer's last competitive appearance was in the Wendy's Champions Skins Game at Wailea, Hawaii, in February. His most recent Champions Tour start was in the Administaff Small Business Classic at Houston, Texas, last October.
Posted by dgiffin at 11:12 AM
AP Design Company Moving to Orlando's Bay Hill
May 30, 2006
The renamed Arnold Palmer Design Company will move its offices and operations from Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, to new quarters at Palmer’s Bay Hill Club at Orlando this fall. The relocation will enable Palmer to be more active in his roles as president and chairman of the long-established golf architectural firm, which has designed more than 250 courses in 38 states and 23 countries during its 35 years of existence.
Another motivation for the move was the illness of Ed Seay, with whom Palmer formed the company in 1971. Although unable to be fully active, Seay, a past president of the American Society of Golf Course Architects, will remain involved with the company as Palmer’s personal counselor. All of the firm’s present employees were invited to continue in their present capacities at the new Bay Hill offices. The target date for the transition is October 1.
“Since my golf has not been up to the standards I have always set for myself, I have not been playing in tour events this year,” said Palmer. “So that gives me the time to be more in charge of the company and personally get more involved in the designing. This is something that I have wanted to do for many years.
“With the company right at my club in Orlando, I can be hands-on much more of the time.”
Palmer had high praise for Seay, his long-time associate in the design business.
“Ed has been my lead man in the business and I consider him one of the greatest architects of all time. He has done a fantastic job for us,” he remarked. “Now, as my consultant, I will continue to turn to him for advice on all phases of our company operations.
“We are happy that many of the key people are moving to Orlando. We will be able to continue business as usual during the transition.”
Many of the Palmer-designed courses have been the sites for tournaments on the various tours in the United States and around the world. The new Classic Club at Palm Springs, California, was the headquarters course for this year’s Bob Hope Chrysler Classic and the Palmer-designed K Club course outside of Dublin, Ireland, will be the scene of the Ryder Cup Match in September.
Another notable achievement for the company was the creation of Chung Shan Hot Spring Golf Course in southern China. It was the first new golf course in the country in more than a half century and touched off a golfing boom in that nation.
Interestingly, Palmer’s career as a course designer dates back to the early 1960s. He and his father, Milfred J. (Deke) Palmer, laid out the routing and oversaw the construction when Latrobe Country Club was expanded from nine to 18 holes. Arnold grew up at Latrobe CC, where his father was golf professional and course superintendent throughout his adult life. Arnold acquired ownership of the club in 1971, at about the same time as he and associates purchased Bay Hill.
Posted by dgiffin at 04:28 PM
Palmer to Play in U.S. Senior Open in Kansas
May 26, 2006
Arnold Palmer has submitted a entry for the U.S. Senior Open Championship, which will be played July 6-9 at Prairie Dunes Country Club in Hutchinson, Kansas. It is scheduled to be his first tour tournament start of the 2006 season.
Palmer's last competitive appearance was in the Wendy's Champions Skins Game at Wailea, Hawaii in February, where he partnered with Peter Jacobsen, and his most recent Champions Tour start was in the Administaff Small Business Classic at Houston, Texas, last October.
Palmer won the 1981U.S. Senior Open at Oakland Hills Country Club, Birmingham, Michigan, the first year he was eligible to play in the championship. He has competed in all 24 Senior Opens that followed. At Oakland Hills, he defeated Bill Casper and Bob Stone in an 18-hole playoff. He returns to Prairie Dunes for the first time since playing an exhibition match there with Jack Nicklaus in 1962.
"My golf has certainly not been up to par of late," the 76-year-old Palmer said, explaining his reluctance to enter the championship until days before the deadline. Dissatisfaction with his game was a factor in his withdrawal prior to last week's Senior PGA Championship. "Hopefully, by the time I get to Kansas, my game will be much better."
In addition to the Senior Open, Palmer has won four other senior majors and a total of 10 Champions Tour titles. He captured the Senior PGA in 1980, the year he turned 50, and in 1984 and scored back-to-back victories in the Senior Players Championship (then the Senior TPC Championship) at Canterbury Golf Club in Cleveland. He won 62 times on the regular PGA Tour and has 92 professional titles on his brilliant record. He also won the 1954 U.S. Amateur Championship at the Country Club of Detroit and is one of only two players to have won the U.S. Amateur, U.S. Open and U.S. Senior Open. Jack Nicklaus is the other.
Posted by dgiffin at 04:11 PM
Palmer Withdraws from Senior PGA Championship
May 16, 2006
Arnold Palmer has withdrawn from the field of the Senior PGA Championship, which will be played May 25-28 at Oak Tree Country Club in Edmond, Oklahoma. He issued the following statement today::
"It is with considerable reluctance that I have come to the decision to withdraw from this year's Senior PGA Championship at Oak Tree. In addition to some serious business scheduling conflicts, I have become convinced that the caliber of my game is such right now that I would not be able to compete satisfactorily in the Championship."
Palmer, a two-time winner of the Senior PGA (1980 and 1984), has only missed the Senior PGA once since he first became eligible as a 50-year-old in 1980. He did not play at PGA National Golf Club in 1986. The tournament at Oak Tree was to have been his first start on the Champions Tour this year.
Posted by dgiffin at 11:04 AM
Palmer Lives Up to 'Shoot Your Age' Event
May 09, 2006
Arnold Palmer was one of just six players among a select field of 60 senior golfers who lived up to the title in the "Shoot Your Age Championship" television special aired on CBS prior to the final round of the PGA Tour's Wachovia Championship on May 7th. The 76-year-old pro great fashioned a one-over-par 73 in the first staging of the unique event on the Palmer-designed Legends Country Club course at The Villages in Central Florida.
Leonard Luken, an 87-year-old resident of Hilton Head, SC, won the tournament when he scored an 81 for his six-stroke margin. He was the only man who had a wider difference between score and age than Palmer and two others -- 87-year-old Joe Cheves, Morgantown NC, who shot 84, and 83-year-old Loyal (Bud) Chapman, who had an 80. Players had to drop out when their scores matched their ages and just two others -- Robert Harris, 77, Boynton Beach FL (75) and Archie Swanson, 87, Crystal River FL (87) -- reached the 18th green on the Legends course at the immense, leisure-oriented residential community.
Gary Player, 70, the other pro golfing great in the field, reached his age and ended his round on the 17th green. Nancy Lopez, the LPGA Hall-of-Famer, who also designed one of The Villages courses, was on hand for the event.
Palmer, who swapped stories and needling with Player, his long-time friend, TV playing partner and frequent tournament adversary, at interviews and events prior to the tournament, was pleased to have beaten his age but was disappointed when a three-putt on the last green deprived him of a par round. "I was reasonably pleased, but I am certainly not playing the type of golf that I would like to be playing. (Overall it was) very encouraging,' Palmer remarked afterward. "I am look forward to next year."
Posted by dgiffin at 03:37 PM
Palmer Foundation Makes $2 Million Cancer Grant
May 04, 2006
The Arnold D. Palmer Charitable Trust is making a $2 million grant to the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute for the establishment of an "Arnold Palmer Endowed Chair in Cancer Prevention." This new initiative in cancer prevention enabled the UPCI to recruit Dr. Emanuela Taioli, a renowned expert in cancer risk and individual susceptibility, to head its division of cancer prevention and population science.
The announcement by Palmer and University of Pittsburgh officials preceded the annual UPCI fund-raising gala May 3 at the UPMC Sports Performance Complex on Pittsburgh's South Side, where the school's football team shares expansive, modern training facilities with the Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers. The gala, which was attended by more than 1,000 supporters and raised $8.2 million for the UPCI, was held in the beautifully-decorated indoor football practice field at the Sports Complex.
Palmer has been a strong and active supporter of cancer programs on a national scale since undergoing successful prostate cancer surgery in 1997. The dreaded disease took the life of his first wife, Winnie, in 1999 and his daughter, Mrs. Amy Saunders, recovered completely following breast cancer surgery in the mid-1990s.
Posted by dgiffin at 11:25 AM
Palmer Garners Another Prestigious Honor
April 27, 2006
Another honor recently came the way of Arnold Palmer. He was selected as one of the 100 most influential student-athletes to have participated in NCAA events during their days in college. Palmer shares this distinction with the likes of five Presidents of the United States -- Dwight Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford, George H. W. Bush and Richard Nixon. Others at the top of the list included Jackie Robinson, Arthur Ashe, Jesse Owens and John Wooden. Fellow golfers named were Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Patty Berg and Annika Sorenstam.
This list was compiled and made a part of the NCAA's 2006 Centennial Celebration.
Posted by dgiffin at 03:34 PM
Palmer to Start Light Schedule with Senior PGA
April 26, 2006
In the latest season debut in his long career, Arnold Palmer will make his first start of 2006 on May 25 in Edmond, Oklahoma, to play in the opening round of the Senior PGA Championship. As he has indicated in recent interviews, Palmer plans a limited schedule this year following that first event at Oak Tree Country Club, scene of the 1988 PGA Championship and the 1984 U.S. Amateur Championship.
He expects to enter a handful of tournaments on the over-50 Champions Tour and is undecided regarding the U.S. Senior Open in July at Prairie Dunes Country Club in Hutchinson, Kansas. His only other formal commitment to date was for the Champions Tour's Constellation Energy Classic September 15-17 at Hayfields Country Club at Baltimore.
Palmer counts two Senior PGA Championships among his 12 official victories on the Champions Tour. He won the initial one in his first season of eligibility in 1980 at Turnberry Isle Country Club, North Miami, Florida, then landed the 1984 title when the tournament was played on the Champion course at PGA National Golf Club, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. He has missed just one Senior PGA over the past 26 years.
Posted by dgiffin at 04:25 PM
PALMER TO DINE WITH FELLOW MASTERS CHAMPIONS
March 29, 2006
His string of consecutive playing appearances in the Masters Tournament ended at 50 when he competed for a final time in the 2004 championship, but Arnold Palmer will be in Augusta, Georgia, again this April, a stop he has made every year since he and his late wife, Winnie, arrived there in their car and trailer in 1955 for his first one.
As he did last year, Palmer will go to Augusta Tuesday, April 4, to attend the Champions dinner that evening in the historic Augusta National clubhouse. Tiger Woods, the defending champion, hosts the dinner, at which virtually all of the living former winners of the classic event, playing or non-playing, will gather. As tradition dictates, Augusta National Chairman William (Hootie) Johnson will be the only non-champion on hand.
Interestingly, Palmer and Woods each hold four Masters titles, trailing only Jack Nicklaus with his six championships in the history of the 73-year-old tournament, established in 1934 by the legendary Bob Jones and his close friend and confidante, Clifford Roberts.
Palmer expects to visit with his many friends among his fellow members Wednesday before departing the scene and returning to his home base at Bay Hill in Orlando.
He still recalls with pleasure his first trip to Augusta for the tournament. He and Winnie had traveled the PGA’s Winter Tour in two different trailers – a way of life they jettisoned weeks later when they returned to their home in Latrobe, Pennsylvania – and had yet to score his first professional victory. He received his invitation to the Masters that year as the current U.S. Amateur Champion.
The Palmers parked in a location near Daniel Field, Augusta’s non-commercial airport, where little more than a decade later, they would be landing in the first of the jets which he has owned and piloted ever since.
As for Palmer’s playing plans this year, his first tournament start may be in the Senior PGA Championship the last full week of May at Oak Tree Country Club in Edmond, Oklahoma. He won that championship twice in Florida – at Turnberry Isle Country Club in North Miami in 1980 and PGA National Golf Club in Palm Beach Gardens in 1984. The 1980 win was his first as a senior.
Posted by dgiffin at 12:50 PM
It's Arnie's Place in Name and Spirit
March 16, 2006
PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem confirmed that the Bay Hill Invitational will be renamed after this week to become the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard.
"We are particularly excited about this development for the future of the tournament here at Bay Hill," Finchem said. "Arnold, of course, is inextricably related to this championship. He created it. He and Jack Nicklaus created the PGA Tour; I often say, if it wasn't for Arnold, I wouldn't have a job."
Palmer founded the Bay Hill Invitational 27 years ago, when it was named the Bay Hill Citrus Classic. Under Palmer's guidance, the tournamenthas evolved into one of the Tour's premier events.
The name change occured after a suggestion by Palmer's daughter, Amy Saunders. Finchem concurred and made the change official. Importantly, I think what's happened here with the development of the tournament under Arnold's tutelage is very special," Finchem said. "It is one of those things that's a part of the texture and the fabric of the PGA Tour."
The name change is, in a word, a formality as Palmer has been the overseer of the tournament since he moved the event across Orlando from Rio Pinar to the Bay Hill Club in 1979.
"If it can be what I had hoped this tournament would be over the years, I'll be very happy for it," Palmer said.
When asked if we can expecct his comeback in the first-ever Arnold Palmer Invitational, Palmer responded, "I won't have any problem with that at all. I can promise you that. So it's pretty easy for me to say I will not miss trying to play."
Regarding his opinion of the condition of the course for this year's event, Palmer put it bluntly, "I suppose that the bottom line for our purposes is that the golf course is the best this year that it has ever been."
Players will notice that the rough is precariously deep, but the fairways are not narrower from regular member play. Palmer has allowed the rough to grow to 3 1/2 inches, topping it off last Sunday. It will not be mowed throughout the tournament. According to Palmer, the greens and fairways have responded to off-season treatments very well and the length of the golf course is unchanged. The greens will be running "a modest 11 or 12 on the speeds."
"We have kept it muc the same as it has been over the past few years," he said. "We haven't really tried to change the character of the golf course." Palmer takes great care not to trick up his prized golf course, leaving the classic layout alone for the membership, while providing the professionals a demanding challenge.
"Well, I really have to analyze the situation and look at it from all aspects of the game of golf," Palmer said. "One of the things we continually try and do is grow the game, and grow it not for the professionals necessarily, certainly in their interest, but grow the game for the people who go out and play the game and enjoy playing it."
So far, Palmer's plan for Bay Hill has worked even though the average driving distance on the Tour has risen over the past few years with the advancement of equipment technology.
"Last year, I was very happy with the consistency of how the golf course was treated by these long hitter, 12-under-par," he said. "If we can keep in that area, that doesn't change much in 50 years; it's still running around the same number."
Bob Byman won the first Bay Hill tournament with a 278 total in 1979.
It's a delicate balance, but one Palmer pays close attention.
"So I have to look at it from the point of view that I love the game and I don't want to ruin it for the guys who go out and shoot 80 or 85," He said. "I want them to be able to enjoy it and I want them to feel like they can go out and improve their games just like the professionals can improve theirs."
The game is in good hands with Palmer and renaming the tournament will remind us all of that.
Posted by scurry at 08:32 AM