Arnold Palmer Used to Say, ‘You must play boldly to win’


Evan Schubert

Arnold Daniel Palmer passed away this past Sunday, September 25, 2016. His legacy would have been more than sufficient after his seven major championships and decades of dominance in a sport that used to be unreachable to middle and lower class citizens. Palmer’s charisma headlined the beginning of sports television and was arguably the first superstar that the era saw modernize the game. Everything about the game of golf pre-Arnold had been all tradition. The upper class, Caucasian male stood alone in, at the time, a pretentious sport. To be any degree knowledgeable of the game, it seemed you had to be in a top tax bracket. His smile and celebrity appealed to outsiders of golf and most importantly, nothing about him was traditional. He was a pop culture icon in golf shoes, he had an unprecedented stroke, and a hard nosed, high risk, high reward style of play.

Arnold Palmer has a beverage named after him (1/2 lemonade, 1/2 iced tea), and 13 U.S. streets and two airports named after him. He was an avid aviator and set the world record for the around-the-world trip at 57 hours 25 minutes and 42 seconds. His fans nicknamed him “the King’ and they earned their own nickname of “Arnie’s Army’.  A tenacious competitor and a man of the people, Palmer will also be remembered for his sense of humor. “I have a tip that can take five strokes off anyone’s game. It’s called an eraser.” And,  “One thing I’ve learned over time is, if you hit a golf ball into water, it won’t float.”

The King has been known to have given President Bush tips for his game in 2004 and Obama in 2012 and mentoring former champions, Tiger Woods and Rory Mcilroy.

‘Golf is deceptively simple and endlessly complicated’

‘What other people may find in poetry or art museums, I find in the flight of a good drive.’

‘Concentration comes out of a combination of confidence and hunger.’

‘Success in golf depends less on strength of body than upon strength of mind and character.’

‘Putting is like wisdom – partly a natural gift and partly the accumulation of experience.’

‘I’ve always made a total effort, even when the odds seemed entirely against me. I never quit trying; I never felt that I didn’t have a chance to win.’

‘The most rewarding things you do in life are often the ones that look like they cannot be done.’

‘What do I mean by concentration? I mean focusing totally on the business at hand and ‘commanding your body to do exactly what you want it to do.’