Arnold Palmer: Wikis


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Arnold Palmer
Personal information
Full name Arnold Daniel Palmer
Nickname The King
Born September 10, 1929 (1929-09-10) (age 80)
Latrobe, Pennsylvania
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Nationality  United States
Residence Latrobe, Pennsylvania
Orlando, Florida
College Wake Forest University
Turned professional 1954
Current tour(s) PGA Tour (joined 1955)
Champions Tour (joined 1980)
Professional wins 94
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour 62 (5th all time)
Champions Tour 10
Best results in Major Championships
(Wins: 7)
The Masters Won: 1958, 1960, 1962, 1964
U.S. Open Won: 1960
Open Championship Won: 1961, 1962
PGA Championship T2: 1964, 1968, 1970
Achievements and awards
World Golf Hall of Fame 1974 (member page)
PGA Tour
leading money winner
1958, 1960, 1962, 1963
PGA Player of the Year 1960, 1962
Vardon Trophy 1961, 1962, 1964, 1967
Bob Jones Award 1971
Old Tom Morris Award 1983
PGA Tour Lifetime
Achievement Award
Payne Stewart Award 2000

Arnold Daniel Palmer (born September 10, 1929) is an American golfer who is generally regarded as one of the greatest players in the history of men's professional golf. He has won numerous events on both the PGA Tour and Champions Tour, dating back to 1955. Nicknamed "The King," he is one of golf's most popular stars and its most important trailblazer because he was the first star of the sport's television age, which began in the 1950s. He is part of "The Big Three" in golf along with Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player who are widely credited with popularizing and commercialising the sport around the world.

Palmer won the PGA Tour Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998, and in 1974 was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.


Career outline

Palmer, while enlisted in the Coast Guard in 1953

Palmer was born in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. He learned golf from his father Deacon Palmer, who was head professional and greenskeeper at Latrobe Country Club, allowing young Arnold to accompany his father as he maintained the course.[1] He attended Wake Forest University, on a golf scholarship. He left upon the death of close friend Bud Worsham, and enlisted in the Coast Guard, where he served for three years and had some time to continue to hone his golf skills. Palmer gathered himself, and returned to competitive golf. His win in the 1954 U.S. Amateur Championship made him decide to try the pro tour for a while, and he and new bride Winifred Walzer (whom he had met at a Pennsylvania tournament) traveled the circuit for 1955. Palmer won the 1955 Canadian Open in his rookie season, and raised his game systematically for the next several seasons.

Palmer's charisma was a major factor in establishing golf as a compelling television event in the 1950s and 1960s, setting the stage for the popularity it enjoys today. His first major championship win at the 1958 Masters cemented his position as one of the leading stars in golf, and by 1960 he had signed up as pioneering sports agent Mark McCormack's first client. In later interviews, McCormack listed five attributes that made Palmer especially marketable: his good looks; his relatively modest background (his father was a greenkeeper before rising to be club professional and Latrobe was a humble club); the way he played golf, taking risks and wearing his emotions on his sleeve; his involvement in a string of exciting finishes in early televised tournaments; and his affability.[2]

Palmer is also credited by many for securing the status of The Open Championship (British Open) among US players. After Ben Hogan won that championship in 1953, few American professionals had travelled to play in The Open, due to its travel requirements, relatively small prize purses, and the style of its links courses (radically different from most American courses). Palmer was convinced by his business partner Mark McCormack that success in the Open - to emulate the feats of Bobby Jones, Sam Snead and Hogan before him - would truly make him a global sporting star, not simply a leading American golfer. In particular, Palmer travelled to Scotland in 1960, having already won both the Masters and U.S. Open, to try to emulate Hogan's feat of 1953, of winning all three in a single year. He failed, losing out to Kel Nagle by a single shot, but his subsequent Open wins in the early 1960s convinced many American pros that a trip to Britain would be worth the effort, and certainly secured Palmer's popularity among British and European fans, not just American ones.

Palmer won seven major championships:

Palmer's most prolific years were 1960-1963, when he won 29 PGA Tour events in four seasons. In 1960, he won the Hickok Belt as the top professional athlete of the year and Sports Illustrated magazine's "Sportsman of the Year" award. He built up a wide fan base, often referred to as "Arnie's Army", and in 1967 he became the first man to reach one million dollars in career earnings on the PGA Tour. By the late 1960s Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player had both acquired clear ascendancy in their rivalry, but Palmer won a PGA Tour event every year up to 1970, and in 1971 he enjoyed a revival, winning four events.

Palmer won the Vardon Trophy for lowest scoring average four times: 1961, 1962, 1964, and 1967. He played on six Ryder Cup teams: 1961, 1963, 1965, 1967, 1971, and 1973. He was the last playing-captain in 1963 and captained the team again in 1975.

Palmer was eligible for the Senior PGA Tour (now the Champions Tour) from its first season in 1980, and he was one of the marquee names who helped it to become successful. He won ten events on the tour, including five senior majors.

Palmer won the first World Match Play Championship in England, an event which was originally organised by McCormack to showcase his stable of players. Their partnership was one of the most significant in the history of sports marketing. Long after he ceased to win tournaments, Palmer remained one of the highest earners in golf due to his appeal to sponsors and the public.

Palmer gives President Bush golf tips before being awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom

In 2004, he competed in The Masters for the last time, marking his 50th consecutive appearance in that event. After missing the cut at the 2005 U.S. Senior Open by twenty-one shots he announced that he would not enter any more senior majors. Since 2007, Palmer has served as the honorary starter for the Masters.[3] He retired from tournament golf on October 13, 2006, when he withdrew from the Champions Tours' Administaff Small Business Classic after four holes due to dissatisfaction with his own play. He played the remaining holes but did not keep score.[4] Palmer's legacy was reaffirmed by an electrifying moment during the 2004 Bay Hill Invitational. Standing over 200 yards from the water-laden 18th green, Palmer, who is known for his aggressive play, lashed his second shot onto the green with a driver. The shot thrilled his loyal gallery and energized the excitable Palmer. He turned to his grandson and caddie, Sam Saunders, and gave him a prolonged shimmy and playful jeering in celebration of the moment.

Palmer has had a diverse golf related business career including owning the Bay Hill Club and Lodge, which is the venue for the PGA Tour's Arnold Palmer Invitational (renamed from the Bay Hill Invitational in 2007), helping to found The Golf Channel,[5] and negotiating the deal to build the first golf course in the People's Republic of China. This led to the formation of Palmer Course Design in 1972, which was renamed Arnold Palmer Design Company when the company moved to Orlando Florida in 2006. Since 1971 he has owned Latrobe Country Club, where his father used to be the club professional.

In 2000, Palmer was ranked the sixth greatest player of all time in Golf Digest magazine's rankings.[6]

According to Golf Digest, Palmer made $1,861,857 in 734 PGA Tour career starts over 53 years; he earned an estimated $30 million off the course in 2008.[7]

He now resides near his golf course, Arnold Palmer's Bay Hill Country Club and Lodge, in Orlando, Florida which was originally designed by Dick Wilson.


  • Palmer is a major contributor to health and wellness, founding both the Arnold Palmer Pavilion at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children in Orlando, Florida. The Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children is a world-class medical facility, which was originally known as the "Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and Women." In 2006 a new campus was built adjacent to the original building, the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies, named after his wife Winnie, creating separate pediatric and obstetrics hospitals.
  • Palmer is a freemason.[8]
  • Palmer is an aircraft pilot and bought the first Cessna Citation X. He set a speed record with that aircraft on a 5000m closed course.[9]
  • Palmer is an Honorary Board Member of the humanitarian aviation organization Wings of Hope[10]
  • Palmer was the first man in golf to win $1 million in career earnings.(see 1963 in the Timeline of Golf History 1945 - 1999)
  • The 1960 Masters Tournament, originally broadcast in black and white and recorded on kinescope was re-broadcast on CBS, Sunday, April 8, 2007, one hour before the final round of the 2007 Masters Tournament. The documentary, Jim Nantz Remembers marked the first time a major sports event had been re-broadcast using colorization. It included additional commentary by Arnold Palmer. The broadcast was shown to Arnold Palmer at the Bel-Air Golf Club in February, 2007. It was the first time Arnold had ever seen the broadcast and with the latest and most sophisticated colorization technology of Legend Films, the colorization matched perfectly the color reference material for the entire round.[11] [12]
  • Palmer's birthday was used in Season 3 of MacGyver (Episode: Lost Love II). Peter Thornton liked golf and had set the passcode to the Mink Dragon exhibit to be Arnold Palmer's birthday, 9-10-29.
  • Currently, Arnold Palmer is a member at Oakland Hills Country Club, the host of the 2008 PGA Championship.
  • In the spring of 2008 Arnie & Jack was released. The book chronicles the careers and rivalry of Arnold Palmer and longtime friend Jack Nicklaus.[13]
  • One of Palmer's favorite drinks is a combination of half iced tea and half lemonade, a drink which is often referred to as an "Arnold Palmer" in his honor. It is now available under the name "The Original Arnold Palmer Tee" [14]
  • A street in the Brier Creek Country Club located in Raleigh/Morrisville, North Carolina, is named after him. The street boasts upscale homes, with some with tax values over 1 million dollars.
  • Oak Valley, a development in Advance, NC has an Arnold Palmer golf course and one of the more exclusive housing areas is called Palmer's Ridge and the street is Arnold Palmer Dr. This is located not far from Wake Forest Univ.
  • Palmer Hall, a freshman dormitory on the campus of Wake Forest University is named in honor of Arnold Palmer
  • Arnold Palmer also owns two Cadillac dealerships in the Charlotte, North Carolina area.
  • Provided his name to the collegiate golf event known as the Palmer Cup.

Amateur wins (2)

  • 1953 Evergreen Pitch and Putt Invitational
  • 1954 U.S. Amateur

Professional wins (94)


PGA Tour wins (62)

No. Date Tournament Winning Score Margin of
1 Aug 20, 1955 Canadian Open -23 (64-67-64-70=265) 4 strokes United States Jack Burke, Jr.
2 Jul 1, 1956 Insurance City Open -10 (66-69-68-71=274) Playoff United States Ted Kroll
3 Jul 29, 1956 Eastern Open -11 (70-66-69-72=277) 2 strokes United States Dow Finsterwald
4 Feb 25, 1957 Houston Open -9 (67-72-71-69=279) 1 stroke United States Doug Ford
5 Mar 31, 1957 Azalea Open Invitational -6 (70-67-70-75=282) 1 stroke United States Dow Finsterwald
6 Jun 9, 1957 Rubber City Open Invitational -12 (71-66-67-68=272) Playoff United States Doug Ford
7 Oct 30, 1957 San Diego Open Invitational -17 (65-68-68-70=271) 1 stroke Canada Al Balding
8 Oct 20, 1958 St. Petersburg Open Invitational -12 (70-69-72-65=276) 1 stroke Canada Al Balding, United States Dow Finsterwald
9 Apr 6, 1958 The Masters -4 (70-73-68-73=284) 1 stroke United States Doug Ford, United States Fred Hawkins
10 Jun 29, 1958 Pepsi Championship -11 (66-69-67-71=273) 5 strokes United States Jay Hebert
11 Jan 25, 1959 Thunderbird Invitational -18 (67-70-67-62=266) Playoff United States Jimmy Demaret, United States Ken Venturi
12 May 11, 1959 Oklahoma City Open Invitational -15 (73-64-67-69=273) 2 strokes United States Bob Goalby
13 Nov 29, 1959 West Palm Beach Open Invitational -7 (72-67-66-76=281) Playoff United States Gay Brewer, United States Pete Cooper
14 Feb 7, 1960 Palm Springs Desert Golf Classic -22 (67-73-67-66-65=338) 3 strokes United States Fred Hawkins
15 Feb 28, 1960 Texas Open Invitational -12 (69-65-67-75=276) 2 strokes United States Doug Ford, United States Frank Stranahan
16 Mar 6, 1960 Baton Rouge Open Invitational -9 (71-71-69-68=279) 7 strokes United States Jay Hebert, United States Ron Reif,
United States Doug Sanders
17 Mar 13, 1960 Pensacola Open Invitational -15 (68-65-73-67=273) 1 stroke United States Doug Sanders
18 Apr 10, 1960 The Masters -6 (67-73-72-70=282) 1 stroke United States Ken Venturi
19 Jun 18, 1960 U.S. Open -4 (72-71-72-65=280) 2 strokes United States Jack Nicklaus
20 Aug 7, 1960 Insurance City Open Invitational -14 (70-68-66-66=270) Playoff United States Bill Collins, United States Jack Fleck
21 Nov 27, 1960 Mobile Sertoma Open Invitational -14 (68-67-74-65=274) 2 strokes United States Johnny Pott
22 Jan 15, 1961 San Diego Open Invitational -17 (69-68-69-65=271) Playoff Canada Al Balding
23 Feb 12, 1961 Phoenix Open Invitational -14 (69-65-66-70=270) Playoff United States Doug Sanders
24 Feb 26, 1961 Baton Rouge Open Invitational -22 (65-67-68-66=266) 7 strokes United States Wes Ellis
25 Apr 30, 1961 Texas Open Invitational -10 (67-63-72-68=270) 1 stroke Canada Al Balding
26 Jun 25, 1961 Western Open -13 (65-70-67-69=271) 2 strokes United States Sam Snead
27 Jul 14, 1961 The Open Championship -4 (70-73-69-72=284) 1 stroke Wales Dai Rees
28 Feb 4, 1962 Palm Springs Golf Classic -18 (69-67-66-71-69=342) 3 strokes United States Jay Hebert, United States Gene Littler
29 Feb 11, 1962 Phoenix Open Invitational -15 (64-68-71-66=269) 12 strokes United States Billy Casper, United States Don Fairfield,
United States Bob McCallister
30 Apr 9, 1962 The Masters -8 (70-66-69-75-68=280) Playoff United States Dow Finsterwald, South Africa Gary Player
31 Apr 29, 1962 Texas Open Invitational -1 (72-70-72-69=273) 1 stroke United States Joe Campbell, United States Gene Littler,
United States Mason Rudolph, United States Doug Sanders
32 May 6, 1962 Tournament of Champions -12 (69-70-69-68=276) 1 stroke United States Billy Casper
33 May 13, 1962 Colonial National Invitation +1 (67-72-66-76=281) Playoff United States Johnny Pott
34 Jul 13, 1962 The Open Championship -12 (71-69-67-69=276) 6 strokes Australia Kel Nagle
35 Aug 12, 1962 American Golf Classic -4 (67-69-70-70=276) 5 strokes United States Mason Rudolph
36 Jan 7, 1963 Los Angeles Open -10 (69-69-70-66=274) 3 strokes Canada Al Balding, South Africa Gary Player
37 Feb 12, 1963 Phoenix Open Invitational -11 (68-67-68-70=273) 1 stroke South Africa Gary Player
38 Mar 10, 1963 Pensacola Open Invitational -15 (69-68-69-67=273) 2 strokes Harold Kneece, South Africa Gary Player
39 Jun 16, 1963 Thunderbird Classic Invitational -11 (67-70-68-72=277) Playoff United States Paul Harney
40 Jul 1, 1963 Cleveland Open Invitational -9 (68-73-65-73=279) Playoff United States Tommy Aaron, United States Tony Lema
41 Jul 29, 1963 Western Open -11 (71-68-66-68=273) Playoff United States Julius Boros, United States Jack Nicklaus
42 Oct 6, 1963 Whitemarsh Open Invitational -7 (70-71-66-74=281) 1 stroke United States Lionel Hebert
43 Apr 12, 1964 The Masters -12 (69-68-69-70=276) 6 strokes United States Dave Marr, United States Jack Nicklaus
44 May 18, 1964 Oklahoma City Open Invitational -11 (72-69-69-67=277) 2 strokes United States Lionel Hebert
45 Apr 25, 1965 Tournament of Champions -11 (66-69-71-71=277) 3 strokes Puerto Rico Chi Chi Rodriguez
46 Jan 31, 1966 Los Angeles Open -11 (72-66-62-73=273) 3 strokes United States Miller Barber, United States Paul Harney
47 Apr 18, 1966 Tournament of Champions -5 (74-70-70-69=283) Playoff United States Gay Brewer
48 Nov 20, 1966 Houston Champions International -9 (70-68-68-69=275) 1 stroke United States Gardner Dickinson
49 Jan 29, 1967 Los Angeles Open -2 (70-64-67-68=269) 5 strokes United States Gay Brewer
50 Feb 19, 1967 Tucson Open Invitational -15 (66-67-67-73=273) 1 stroke United States Chuck Courtney
51 Aug 13, 1967 American Golf Classic -4 (70-67-72-67=276) 3 stroke United States Doug Sanders
52 Sep 24, 1967 Thunderbird Classic -5 (71-71-72-69=283) 1 stroke United States Charles Coody, United States Jack Nicklaus,
United States Art Wall, Jr.
53 Feb 14, 1968 Bob Hope Desert Classic -12 (72-70-67-71-68=348) Playoff United States Deane Beman
54 Sep 15, 1968 Kemper Open -12 (69-70-70-67=276) 4 strokes Australia Bruce Crampton, United States Art Wall, Jr.
55 Nov 30, 1969 Heritage Golf Classic -1 (68-71-70-74=283) 3 strokes United States Dick Crawford, United States Bert Yancey
56 Dec 7, 1969 Danny Thomas-Diplomat Classic -18 (68-67-70-65-270) 2 strokes United States Gay Brewer
57 Jul 26, 1970 National Four-Ball Championship
PGA Players
(with United States Jack Nicklaus)
-25 (61-67-64-67=259) 3 strokes Australia Bruce Crampton & United States Orville Moody,
United States Gardner Dickinson & United States Sam Snead,
United States George Archer & United States Bobby Nichols
58 Feb 14, 1971 Bob Hope Desert Classic -18 (67-71-66-68-70=342) Playoff United States Raymond Floyd
59 Mar 14, 1971 Florida Citrus Invitational -18 (66-68-68-68=270) 1 stroke United States Julius Boros
60 Jul 25, 1971 Westchester Classic -18 (64-70-68-68=270) 5 strokes United States Gibby Gilbert, United States Hale Irwin
61 Aug 1, 1971 National Team Championship
(with United States Jack Nicklaus)
-27 (62-64-65-66=257) 6 strokes United States Julius Boros & United States Bill Collins,
New Zealand Bob Charles & Australia Bruce Devlin
62 Feb 11, 1973 Bob Hope Desert Classic -17 (71-66-69-68-69=343) 2 strokes United States Jack Nicklaus, United States Johnny Miller

Other wins (17)

Senior PGA Tour wins (10)

Senior majors are shown in bold.

Other senior wins (5)

Major championships

Wins (7)

Year Championship 54 Holes Winning Score Margin Runner(s)-up
1958 The Masters Tied for lead -4 (70-73-68-73=284) 1 stroke United States Doug Ford, United States Fred Hawkins
1960 The Masters (2) 1 shot lead -6 (67-73-72-70=282) 1 stroke United States Ken Venturi
1960 U.S. Open 7 shot deficit -4 (72-71-72-65=280) 2 strokes United States Jack Nicklaus
1961 The Open Championship 1 shot lead -8 (70-73-69-72=284) 1 stroke Wales Dai Rees
1962 The Masters (3) 2 shot lead -8 (70-66-69-75=280) Playoff 1 South Africa Gary Player, United States Dow Finsterwald
1962 The Open Championship (2) 5 shot lead -12 (71-69-67-69=276) 6 strokes Australia Kel Nagle
1964 The Masters (4) 5 shot lead -12 (69-68-69-70=276) 6 strokes United States Dave Marr, United States Jack Nicklaus

1 Defeated Gary Player & Dow Finsterwald in 18-hole playoff - Palmer (68), Player (71), Finsterwald (77)

Results timeline

Tournament 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959
The Masters DNP DNP T10 21 T7 1 3
U.S. Open CUT CUT T21 7 CUT T23 T5
The Open Championship DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
PGA Championship DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T40 T14
Tournament 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969
The Masters 1 T2 1 T9 1 T2 T4 4 CUT 27
U.S. Open 1 T14 2 2 T5 CUT 2 2 59 T6
The Open Championship 2 1 1 T26 DNP 16 T8 DNP T10 DNP
PGA Championship T7 T5 T17 T40 T2 T33 T6 T14 T2 WD
Tournament 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979
The Masters T36 T18 T33 T24 T11 T13 CUT T24 T37 CUT
U.S. Open T54 T24 3 T4 T5 T9 T50 T19 CUT T59
The Open Championship 12 DNP T7 T14 DNP T16 T55 7 T34 DNP
PGA Championship T2 T18 T16 CUT T28 T33 T15 T19 CUT CUT
Tournament 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989
The Masters T24 CUT 47 T36 CUT CUT CUT CUT CUT CUT
The Open Championship CUT T23 T27 T56 CUT DNP DNP CUT DNP CUT
PGA Championship T72 76 CUT T67 CUT T65 CUT T65 CUT T63
Tournament 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
Tournament 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004
The Open Championship DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP

DNP = Did not play
WD = Withdrew
CUT = missed the half-way cut
"T" indicates a tie for a place
Green background for wins. Yellow background for top-10.

Summary of major championship performances

  • Starts - 142
  • Wins - 7
  • 2nd place finishes - 10
  • Top 3 finishes - 19
  • Top 5 finishes - 26
  • Top 10 finishes - 38
  • Longest streak of top-10s in majors - 6

See also


  1. ^ The Gigantic Book of Golf Quotations, Foreword by Arnold Palmer. 2007.
  2. ^ The Wicked Game: Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods and the Story of Modern Golf, page 55. Howard Sounes, 2004. ISBN 0-06-051386-1
  3. ^
  4. ^ 'Arnie's Army' Gets Last Look at Legend New York Times, October 14, 2006
  5. ^ Arnold Palmer: Memories, Stories, and Memorabilia from a Life on and Off the Course, By Arnold Palmer. page 73.
  6. ^ Yocom, Guy (July 2000). "50 Greatest Golfers of All Time: And What They Taught Us". Golf Digest. Retrieved 2007-12-05. 
  7. ^ Golf Digest, "Palmer in his Prime," September 2009
  8. ^
  9. ^ A Golfers Life, By Arnold Palmer. 1998. pg. 332.
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ O'Connor, Ian. Arnie & Jack: Palmer, Nicklaus and Golf's Greatest Rivalry. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. 2008.
  14. ^

Barkow, Al (1989), The History of the PGA TOUR, Doubleday, ISBN 0-385-26145-4 

External links

Preceded by
Ingemar Johansson
Hickok Belt Winner
Succeeded by
Roger Maris


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