Tributes To Arnold Palmer, Golf's Biggest Legend

Feels like just about everybody has an Arnie story. Although I never met The King, I too have one.

I was lucky enough to play Bay Hill in 2011 with a college roommate and his dad. We had the first tee time of the day, 7 AM. It was mid-winter and I hadn’t played in months. As a golf nut and avid Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2009 player, I was very familiar with Bay Hill. Teeing off, I was nervous as shit.

The first is a dogleg left par 4. I teed up my rock and promptly snap-hooked it into the left trees. The greenskeeper happened to be driving by; he stopped and yelled, “Two off the first tee!” I laughed but shrugged off the notion. I told him my buddy would never allow that.

“Son, it’s not a suggestion,” he said. “It’s a local rule. Mr. Palmer doesn’t believe in warming up, so at Bay Hill everybody gets a breakfast ball.”

Sure enough I teed up another, avoided the left trees, and made a par. Never got to meet The King, but he made me laugh and made my morning a hell of a lot better without being anywhere near me, an ability people from all walks of life are taking to publicly commenting on since the devastating news broke last night. Him being casual about the rules because he hated warming up, yet standing as one of the game’s all time greats is vintage Arnie. One of the richest, most famous sports figures on the planet for decades, yet remained true to his roots as the son of a greenskeeper. What a legend.

RIP Arnie. Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods and Bobby Jones are huge names, but Arnold Palmer is truly the biggest legend in the history of the game. Long live The King.

Van Pelt story.

giphy

03-12-13-palmer-swing

Mr. Palmer’s parking spot #ArniesArmy

A photo posted by Golf Channel (@golfchannel) on

No better way to showcase that you’re a great dude than by repping The King.

ArnoldPalmer-King-White

Rep The King

PS — Hey US Ryder Cup team, no pressure this weekend.