Arnold Palmer Biography

The phenomenon of Arnold Daniel Palmer came along just in time to show the masses of televisionwatching sports fans that golf could produce an interesting personality: a champion who was also personable; a master of his sport who also brought drama to the course by valor and an ability to work miracles of play. Of course, he was a consummate golfer. In I960, he was 14th going into the final round at the US Open. He birdied six of the first seven holes, scored a US Open recordmatching 30 for the first nine holes, and finished the second nine in 35, for a 65, the lowest final round ever shot by a US Open winner to his time. His total for the four rounds was 280. two strokes ahead of the thenamateur Jack Nicklaus. He was born in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, where his father was a greenskeeper and club professional at the local golf course. He became a caddie at the course when he was 11. In 1946, he entered his first national contest, a juniors tournament. He joined the Coast Guard when his best friend was killed in an auto accident, and when he was discharged, he became a sales representative. But he continued playing golf, and in 1954 he won the National Amateur Championship and he became a pro. He and his new wife Winnie scraped and scrambled to survive, but the money would come. In 1958, he led the PGA with $42,607 in winnings. He set a singleseason record of over $125,000 in 1963, and his business interests — a company that manufactured golf clubs and clothing; a chain of putting courses; his own writing, teaching and appearances in the media — made him even more. His personal income was over $1 million per year, but his golf started to suffer. He had numerous slumps in the late 1960s. He rallied — 1971 was a landmark year. He won four big tournaments that year; his earnings went past the $200,000 mark, and he was named "Athlete of the Decade." Arnold Palmer continues to be one of the most listened to and august voices of the game of golf. Palmer had 60 pro career wins and was the first golfer to exceed $1 million in career earnings. He won the Masters at Augusta in 1958, I960, 1962 and 1964. He won the British Open in 1961 and 1962. He was PGA Player of the Year in 1960 and 1962. In 1954, he won the US Amateur championship; he won the US Open in 1960.

On the Seniors tour, by 1994. he had 10 career wins; including two Championships in 1980 and 1984; and one Senior US Open in 1981. He has often been a spokesman for the game, and for two decades was golling's most recognizable player, thanks to his warmth and dramatic personality. His following was so large that he patented the name for them; "Arnie's Army." Fans felt that they shared every moment of tension, relief,, disappointment and triumph with him. Ruggedlooking, slender Arnold Palmer was "easy to read" on the course.

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