Before I head out this morning to get on the waiting list at my favorite public course here since I forgot to get a tee time, I need to send happy birthday wishes to the KING!
Happy 80th birthday to Arnold Palmer (pictured teeing off at his 50th Masters). Arnold changed golf with his image and likability. Arnie was a pioneer in player/athlete endorsements, leading the way for players of today like Tiger Woods to make millions off the course. Of course thanks to Arnie, we have The Golf Channel. We can watch golf 24 hours a day because of the king. Well, we can watch Tiger Woods 24 hours a day but I digress.
Best of all Arnie was fun to watch on the course with his passion for the game and for competition. I had the pleasure of watching Arnie play on the “Senior Tour” and also watched his practice sessions as well.
Years ago my dad was a sports writer and interviewed Mr. Palmer in his prime. My dad asked him if he could beat Arnie if he practiced as much as he did. Arnie said no.
Played craps with Arnie
Years ago a buddy of mine and I were in Mesquite Nevada golfing. In the evening we went to gamble and there was a huge crowd at the craps table. We squeezed in and started playing figuring it was a good game to get in on. At the other end of the table throwing the dice was none other than the King. He was in town designing a golf course. I’ve played that course many times.
Happy birthday to the King, Arnold Palmer. I can’t wait to get tears in my eyes once again when Arnie (and now Jack Nickalus) start off the 2010 Masters.