In Memoriam: Arnold Palmer

Maggie Leone '17, Sports Editor

On September 25th, 2016, the sports world lost a hero and a legend.  Known simply as “The King,” Arnold Palmer was very influential among golfers, athletes, and people in general.  He was loved and admired by generations of golfer and non-golfers alike.  Born in Latrobe, Pennsylvania in 1929 as the son of a greenskeeper, Palmer grew up on the golf course at Latrobe Country Club and eventually earned a golf scholarship to Wake Forest University.  He left school when his friend Bud Worsham died in 1950 and enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard.  Three years later, Palmer returned to college and the game of golf.  He turned professional after winning the U.S. Amateur in Detroit.  Throughout his career, he had ninety-five professional and seven major wins.  He won PGA Player of the Year in 1960 and 1962, as well as many other awards; he was inducted into the Golf Hall of Fame in 1974.  Arnie designed more than three hundred golf courses in thirty-seven states, twenty-five countries, and five continents.  He purchased Latrobe Country Club in 1971 and owned it until his death.  

Professional golfer, rival, and close friend Jack Nicklaus once said of the man: “Arnold transcended the game of golf. He was more than a golfer or even great golfer. He was an icon. He was a legend. Arnold was someone who was a pioneer in his sport. He took the game from one level to a higher level, virtually by himself.”  Children as well as people his own age idolized Palmer, proving how great of a person he truly was.  He really took the time to acknowledge his fan base, known as Arnie’s Army, and interacted with them as he would with friends.  He made sure his signature was always legible when he autographed things, showing that he actually appreciated every second spent with his fans.  His death is a great loss to many and he will be greatly missed.  Like others who have reached icon status, his legacy will carry on for generations to come.