Hey Golfers,
For some reason I have been thinking a lot this week about the one true King – Arnold Palmer.  Arnies Army, Letrobe, King of Cool, Class, Role Model, half and half (his signature cocktail) are all words which can be associated with the greatest athlete of the decade in the 60s.
Just look at his stats!  Arnie is 5th all-time in career wins (65), has 7 majors to his name and is a world golf Hall of Fame inductee.  He was also the first person on the PGA Tour to win over a million in earnings in 1967; incredible feats which are some of the benchmarks when comparing the young guns to golfs silver stars.
He competed in The Masters which he won 4 times until his final round in 2004.  How much does golf love Arnie you ask?  Well 3 years later he returned to Augusta as the honorary starter and to show you how much grit he still has left – Arnie (85) had been struggling with a dislocated shoulder injury this past April, and despite being in pain still hit the ceremonial tee shot along with his friends Jack Nicklaus (75) and Gary Player (79).  I complain when I slightly pull my arm from hitting a root while playing – I couldn’t imagine swinging a driver with a shoulder injury!  I hope to see him tee it up in 2016 for the opening tee shot.  It is “A tradition unlike any other.”
For those of you who have had the opportunity to see Arnold playing golf in person or on TV live consider yourselves lucky; he was the best of his time and paved the way for golfs greats like Tiger and Rory.  However, what differentiates Arnie from everyone else is his demeanor, class, and kindness.  I am not here to say that Tiger and Rory are not gentlemen however, Arnie competed at the top of his game at a time before such intense scrutiny, media spotlight, swing coaches and purses the size of some peoples life time earnings.  If you get the time, check out the 3-part documentary which was on Golf channel a few months ago titled “Arnie” – there were many things I learned by watching that which further solidified his King of Cool, kind demeanor and reputation for me.
Arnie to this day contributes to society by building children’s hospitals, creating scholarships, designing golf courses and crafting delicious Arnold Palmers.  He also takes the time to send letters to first-time winners on the PGA as well as LPGA tours; a tradition which is fading fast.
In todays world of Tigers, Watsons, Spieths, McIlroys and Fowlers we need to look back and reflect on why they are where they are today; look back at the originators of the game, and who paved the way for the competitions we now see which led to golf brands advancing the game, organizations which make it accessible to nearly everyone and golf courses we play on.  Thank you Mr. Palmer for all that you have done for the game of golf and continue to do.