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Monday, September 26, 2016

Make Mine An Arnold Palmer

Make Mine An Arnold Palmer
What makes an athlete great?  Pure talent, winning, many years in the spotlight, records, all these and more.  What makes an athlete the greatest?  That is a tough one.
Mohammed Ali was the greatest in the boxing world because he said he was.  But it was more than that.  He may not have been the most dominant boxer of all time, you could make a case that he was, but he definitely made boxing more interesting than any boxer before or after his era.
Golf just lost its greatest of all time.  Arnold Palmer won a lot of tournaments, but others have won more.  He won many majors, but others have won more.  He turned millions of non-golf fans into golf fans…no one before or after has made a greater impact on the popularity of golf.
Jack Nicolaus was great and he had many fans, but he won so often and so easily, many fans wanted to see him fail.  Tiger played perhaps like no one before him, but he had his detractors, especially after his personal life made the front pages.  Not everyone rooted for Tiger.
Everyone wanted to see Arnold win.  He played on the edge.  He always went for the toughest shot, and the biggest drive.  His swing was not classic and pretty, it was rough but effective.  Arnold might fail but he never quit and he often snatched victory from the jaws of defeat.  He did it with style, but with a working class determination in a country club sport. 
Arnold hit the golf world as TV was beginning to showcase the game and people suddenly wanted to watch a game that prior had only snob appeal.  Arnie brought the game to the common folk.  Suddenly the public courses were packed and everyone was taking up the game.  New golf courses were built all over the country and everyone was part of Arnie’s Army.  He was the face of golf for decades, even after his prime playing days.
Search Google for bad things peoples have said about Arnold Palmer and you will find nothing.  He was a gentleman, a businessman, a role model, a legend.
We lost a great one at 87 yesterday.  Ice tea and lemonade might not be my favorite drink, but if you ask me who was the greatest most influential man in golf for the longest period of time, I say,
“Make mine an Arnold Palmer!”

17 comments:

  1. About the only people who might call him out on anything are those who;d think his promoting Pennzoil is a bad thing.
    They wouldn't get any bacon from me.

    You do.

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  2. He was a beautiful man & a true gentleman. Many years ago, the wife of the pro at our local golf course had twin boys; their middle names are Nicklaus & Palmer!!

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  3. A great man, indeed. My man used to rave about him.

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  4. He was one of the good guys. May he rest in peace.

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  5. i knew him by name only. but nice to hear such kudos these days. we need more like him, then.

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  6. If every sports figure was a true sport like he was, the world would be a better place.

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  7. As a golfer and as a man he has always been heald in the highest esteem. That can't be said of many of the greatest sportsmen anymore...

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  8. You summed him up very nicely. We need more guys just like him in this world. It would be a better place.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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  9. He made golf the sport it is today. Before Arnie's Armies, golf was a rich man's game with little general appeal. He made it popular for the every man and woman.

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  10. I've yet to hear anyone say a negative thing about him.

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  11. It's been so long since I'd seen him play that I was struck by what an ugly swing he had. Amazing how he got results with it. But he did, over and over again. He and Ben Hogan were my favorites in my youthful days chasing the little white ball.

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  12. I know nothing about sports, and even less about golf, but even I heard of Arnold Palmer and knew he was a class act.

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  13. As one of the common folk, I remember watching Arnold Palmer on TV when I was a kid. I'd never heard of his drink, though. Probably because I've never been a tea drinker.

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  14. I was a small kid and my Dad and Granddad took me to a tournament in Denver. We were standing next to the green when Arnie played through. As he walked off the green, he passed close by us, stopped and walked over to me, shook my hand and said "Hi, I'm Arnold Palmer." I thought that was the coolest thing ever.
    Sorry to here he passed, but I'm sure he's playing golf wherever he is.

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