Who is Arnold Palmer – Majors, Wiki, Masters, Wins & More
Arnold Palmer was born on the 10th of September, 1929 and died on the 25th of September, 2016. He was a professional golfer from the United States and was considered by fans and non-fans to be one of the best of all-time in the game of golf. Palmer was nicknamed “The King” and although not the first superstar in the game of golf is the biggest for those that live in the television age.
Palmer was born in Latrobe, Pennsylvania to Milfed Jerome “Deacon” Palmer and Doris Palmer. His many great achievements in golf can be traced to the fact that he began playing the game of golf from a very young age. He learned to play from his father and had access to a golf course very early in life. Palmer’s access to a golf course early in life occurred because his father worked as a greenskeeper in Latrobe Country Club. So, as he accompanied his father on his job, Palmer learned to play golf simultaneously.
Palmer’s life was so intertwined with golf at an early age. He got a golf scholarship which allowed him to attend Wake Forest College. After attending Wake Forest College, he joined the U.S Coast Guard. He was here for a period of three years. While working at the U.S Coast Guard, Arnold Palmer did not abandon his passion for golf. He continued playing golf and got very good at the game. After his term at the U.S Coast Guard came to an end, Arnold Palmer went back to college and continued as a competitive golfer.
Palmer’s Professional Career
After playing as an amateur golfer for a long time, Arnold Palmer decided to become a professional in November 1954. This took place after he became champion of the 1954 U.S Amateur which was hosted in Detroit. Although he had always nursed the idea of becoming a professional golfer, his victory at the 1954 U.S Amateur in Detroit was a propelling force for him to finally become a professional golfer. According to him, he needed an extra level of confidence to become a professional golfer and becoming an Amateur champion was what gave him the confidence he needed.
Becoming a professional golfer meant Arnold Palmer could no longer continue with a day job. Due to this, he had to quit his job as a paint seller. This was followed by participation at the Waite Memorial tournament which took place in Shawnee-on-Delaware, Pennsylvania. While at this tournament, Arnold Palmer met Winifred Walzer who he was married to for 45 years before she passed on.
Arnold Palmer’s Career as a Professional Golfer
One year after becoming a professional golfer, Arnold Palmer had his first tour win. This took place in the 1955 rookie season. His first tour win as a professional golfer came in the Canadian Open and he got $2,400 for this. Although golf in Arnold Palmer’s days was not as popular as it is at the moment, Palmer played the game with a lot of charisma. This charisma attracted a lot of attention from the media, hence, making a place for the game of golf on television. So, if you think golf is one of the popular games on the face of the earth, you should thank Arnold Palmer for this.
Although Palmer had his first victory in a championship in 1955, he had to wait for three years before winning a major championship. The Masters Tournament which took place in 1958 was Palmer’s first major championship. For his victory at this championship, Arnold Palmer earned $11,250. This win secured his place as one of the biggest golf players of his days and of all time. Also, as a result of his victory, he was signed by Mark McCormack, a pioneering sports agent at the time.
Palmer’s Participation in Golf Business
Although Palmer made a big name for himself as a golf player, he did not stop at that. He went on to take part in golf as a business venture. After becoming really successful as a golfer, Palmer became a businessman. As a businessman, Arnold Palmer was the owner of the Bay Hill Club and Lodge which was located in Orlando, Florida. This building serves as the meeting point for the PGA Tour’s Arnold Palmer Invitational which used to be known as the Bay Hill Invitational until its name was changed in 2007. He also played a major role in the establishment of The Golf Channel. That’s not all. As a golf businessman, Palmer played a major role in the development of the first golf course that was built in China. Due to his role in the negotiation of the deal which birthed the first golf course in China, Palmer Course Design was born in 1972. In 2006, after this company relocated to Orlando, Florida, its name was changed from Palmer Course Design to Arnold Palmer Design Company. As the owner of a firm that was into designs, Palmer was partnered by Ed Seay.
While it is general knowledge in the golf world and the entire sports world that Arnold Palmer was one of the biggest names to grace the game of golf, Palmer achieved a lot more as a businessman. As the owner of a design company, Palmer was able to design golf courses in every continent on the world apart from Antarctica and Africa. His firm designed over 300 golf courses. These many golf courses were located in 37 states, 25 countries, and 5 continents. Business in the golf world did not stop at designing golf courses for Palmer. He bought Latrobe Country Club where he learned to play golf as a boy. The purchase of this property took place in 1971. He owned this property until he died in 2016.
Palmer’s Involvement in the Automobile Sector
Arnold Palmer took a major step out of the game of golf both as a player and a businessman in 1974 when he became involved in the automobile sector in 1974. As a businessman in this sector, Palmer was partnered by Don Massey and Mark McCormack.