Arnie’s legacy continues to inspire young and old
He would have turned 90 years old last week…and the golf world still worships the late Arnold Palmer.
While Tiger Woods is often accredited with the boom in golf around the world, most professionals would agree it was ‘Arnie’ who really got their ball rolling.
Arnold Palmer (Credit: PGA Tour)
And three years after his death, Palmer’s legacy lives on – not just through the annual Arnold Palmer Invitational on the USPGA Tour – but inside and outside of the ropes as the modern game continues to grow and thrive.
Aussie Adam Scott probably summed up Palmer better than most when he suggested Palmer was just the coolest guy who got on with everyone.
“He was 80 years old and he got along with 20-year-olds, and 20-year-olds wanted to hang around him,” said Scott.
“He liked telling some stories and having a good time, and I think he genuinely kind of loved living life. And that is appealing to a lot of people.”
Former US Open champion and Ryder Cup captain Jim Furyk agreed:
“You had big names back then in professional golf,” he said.
“[Sam] Snead, [Ben] Hogan and a bunch down the line. But Arnie was the King.”
“I think he and Jack [Nicklaus] made a lot of decisions for the betterment of the game, for the betterment of all golf professionals, when they were the two biggest names in golf and probably had the opportunity to benefit themselves a little bit more if they wanted.”
“But they chose the right way, and the correct way.”
Another former US Open champion Justin Rose was also a fan.
“He kind of made everyone feel special when he was around people,” said Rose.
“That was his greatest skill. His record speaks for itself, and he had a great and loyal army of fans. But it was the one-to-one interactions that made him different.”
“For such a legend, he never got too big-time that his time was more important than anybody else’s.”