The CSGA Links Volume 4 Issue 6 October, 2016 - Page 31

Remembering The King A winner on the PGA Tour 62 times, including two Insurance City Open’s, Arnold Palmer had an unrivaled impact on the game of golf. A rnold Palmer, a three-time USGA champion and seventime major champion whose charismatic and charming personality helped popularize golf in the late 1950s and early 1960s, passed away on Sunday, Sept. 25 in Pittsburgh, Pa., at the age of 87. “Arnold Palmer will always be a champion, in every sense of the word,” said Mike Davis, executive director/CEO of the USGA. “He inspired generations to love golf by sharing his competitive spirit, displaying sportsmanship, caring for golfers and golf fans, and serving as a lifelong ambassador for the sport. Our stories of him not only fill the pages of golf ’s history books and the walls of the museum, but also our own personal golf memories. The game is indeed better because of him, and in so many ways, will never be the same.” Some golfers collected more wins and major championships, but few could rival Palmer’s popularity among the masses. His go-for-broke style of play appealed to fans and his ability to engage with people inspired legions of followers that dubbed themselves “Arnie’s Army.” Palmer was the first iconic superstar of sport’s television age, which began in the 1950s, and he connected with people like no other golfer before him. Because of Palmer, who came from humble beginnings in Latrobe, Pa., the game transitioned from an upper-class pastime to a sport accessible to the middle and working classes. “Arnold’s place in history will be as the man who took golf from being a game for the few to a sport for the masses,” said Jack Nicklaus, eight-time USGA champion, 18-time major champion and Palmer’s fiercest rival. “He was the catalyst who made that happen.” Added two-time U.S. Open champion Lee Trevino: “Arnold is the greatest role model that any sport ever had. Study that man. Look at the way he loves the game, conducts himself and treats other people. Arnold Palmer is the one you want to be like.” Palmer claimed seven major titles, including the 1960 U.S. Open in dramatic fashion when he carded a final-round 65 at Cherry Hills Country Club in suburban Denver to overcome a seven-shot deficit. He won four Masters (1958, 1960, 1962 and 1964) and two British Opens (1961, 1962). The only missing title from the career Grand Slam was a PGA Championship, in which he tied for second three times. He won the Insurance City Open (now the Travelers Championship) in 1956 and 1960, both at Wethersfield Country Club, and his win in 1956 marked his first PGA Tour victory in the United States. Article by David Shefter, USGA / Photo courtesy of CBS CSGA Links // October, 2016 | 31