Sep 27

Arnold Palmer: The King

I was thinking that I was going to write a post pertaining to Ryan Moore and how I thought he would be an excellent pick for the United States Ryder Cup team this week. Here is a guy who makes solid swings, has match play experience and isn’t afraid of the big stage. Then as I was checking my Ipad Sunday night before going to bed I learned of the passing of Arnold Palmer.
I never got the chance to actually meet Arnold Palmer but I did see him play. The summer of 1990 I was fortunate enough to land a job at The Ridgewood Country Club. I was a part of the Greens and Grounds crew. Ed Walsh was the superintendant t at the time and he decided at the recommendation of a friend to hire me for the summer to work on the golf course. This turned into a summer I would not forget. The Big Four at the time were on the Senior Tour for the first time. Jack Nicklaus and Lee Trevino just turned 50. Gary Player was 55 and Arnold was 60 and carrying the early days off the Senior Tour. During the prep for the event and the actual tournament week all of us on the crew would compare notes on who was out on the course and what players were talking about. Watching Arnold Palmer play that week for a 22 year old whose job was to walk mow four of the greens used during competition was an experience my kids are tired of hearing about, but one I will never forget.
Like many I have read, watched and listened to many terrific stories about Arnold Palmer through various news outlets along with social media. The terrific playing career the Arnold Palmer amassed with his seven major victories and 62 PGA tour victories is one that will never be forgotten. One interesting interview I heard yesterday was from Jim Nantz on a local New York radio show. Nantz had recounted a story about the 2007 White House Dinner for Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip. Arnold and his wife Kathleen were invited to attend. The Queen and Prince also were guest at another State Dinner hosted at the White House in May 1991. Nantz mentioned that there were very few people that attended both events; the Queen and Prince, Henry and Nancy Kissinger, Dick and Lynne Cheney and Arnold. There is even a dinner table picture from the 1991 State Dinner on the White House website that shows Arnold and Winnie sitting at the same table with George HW Bush and Barbara along with the Queen and Prince. It is no wonder that we all heard the accolade these past few days that “We all wanted to be Arnold Palmer .” I can only imagine the conversations at the dinner table at the White House for those evenings. The generous, thoughtful and benevolent man that Arnold Palmer was will always continue to cast its shadow on so many parts of society. Rest in peace.

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