Palmer’s bronze statue to be unveiled at Bay Hill

He was an icon in the golf world…a colossus who often stood astride the world of golf.

And he stood for everything that was good about the game as well.

Arnold Palmer Arnold Palmer (Credit: www.golffile.ie)

Now the late Arnold Palmer is set to resume that mantle with a larger-than-life statue of the great man to be unveiled at Bay Hill this weekend during the annual Arnold Palmer Invitational.

At the height of his popularity and well into his twilight years Palmer would be there to congratulate the winners of his event as they strode off the 72nd hole.

‘Arnie’ was part of the furniture at the Bay Hill Club and Lodge for near enough to 50 years.

Now his legend will live on with an impressive likeness of the man they called ‘The King’ looming over the first and 10th tee boxes at Bay Hill.

The 3.9m, 13-foot, 632 kilo bronze statue of Palmer is expected to be unveiled at 10:30am on Saturday with a sprinkling of the world’s greatest players expected to be around.

The statue is actually a replica of a similar one of Palmer at Wake Forest University displaying the unique and recognisable follow-through of Palmer’s powerful golf swing.

“There will be no ropes or fences around this statue either,” said the chief operating officer of the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Marci Doyle.

“It will definitely be approachable, just like Mr Palmer.”

Long-time sponsor of the Arnold Palmer Invitational, MasterCard, covered costs for the statue’s production, shipping and installation to honour Palmer and his legacy.

The statue, which took eight months to complete, was created by renowned sculptor Bruce Wolfe from California, who visited Palmer at his golf club in Latrobe and also gathered more than 100 photographs of the man everyone referred to as the ‘people’s champion’.