“ Lives of great men all remind us, we can make our lives sublime, and ,departing , leave behind us, footprints on the sands of time”-(H.W.Longfellow) Such was the life of Arnold Palmer, the world famous golfer, who breathed his last at the age of 87, on 25th September 2016. Arnold palmer was many things to many people -world famous golfer, highly successful business executive, a prominent brand ambassador, skilled aviator, talented designer & consultant of golf courses, devoted family patriarch and above all a genuine human being whose charismatic personality, compassion and thoughtfulness to everybody led to the formation of the largest, non-uniformed army of followers-Arnie’s Army!
The story of this super hero began when he was three years old. His tough disciplinarian and loving father, Deacon Palmer placed Arnold’s little hands around the shaft of a self-cut-down golf club and said.” Hit it hard, boy. Go find it and hit it hard again”. Palmer never did it any other way. His father was the only instructor he ever had and before long, young Arnold was playing well enough to beat the older caddies at the club. He began caddying himself when he was 11 and worked at almost every job at the club in later years.
Consistently chasing his dream to play the game of Golf with unmatched perfection, Arnold Palmer eventually bought the Latrobe Country Club where he grew up and built his home and some guest cottages there. He was named ‘Athlete of the Decade’ for the 1960s. Before, during and after that great decade, this famous golfer won 92 championships in professional competition of national & international stature! He received virtually every national award in golf and put his stamp on about 300 new golf courses throughout the world!
Also Read: Why Arnold Palmer Was The Muhammad Ali Of Golf
Arnold Palmer was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth. His life’s eventful journey from a humble beginning to a legendary end stands testimony to the legacy he has left behind for the world to follow. He lifted the game of Golf to a newfound visibility and popularity virtually by himself. His own words- “The most rewarding things you do in life are often the ones that look like they cannot be done……I’ve always made a total effort, even when the odds seemed entirely against me, I never quit trying. I never felt I didn’t have a chance to win”- reveal his diligence, determination, untiring zeal and confidence. He single-handedly proved to the world that success depends less on physical strength than upon the strength of mind and character.
Arnold Palmer’s trait of doing ordinary things in an extraordinary manner is another thing that the world remembers today. Whether it be the choice of the 4-coloured golf umbrella as his company’s logo or the effort to keep his signature consistently clear and legible or his passion to spend hours at his workshop examining the golf clubs manufactured-everything points to his belief in doing things the ‘fair way’ for the common good of all.
Palmer may have been the first athlete to make a million dollars playing golf and the first golfer to fly around in his own jet aircraft but what the world has received from him is his unique contribution as a sportsman par excellence. With Golf making a dramatic come-back in the Rio Olympics, Arnold Palmer’s clarion call to Arnie’s Army seems to be echoing as a call to the world at large- “I believe Arnie’s Army knows that in order to make a better future for all of us, the children need our support. We need to ensure a bright future full of opportunities for everyone. Golf gave me the opportunity to make a significant impact in the world, to invest in a better tomorrow. But now I’m calling on you-all of you-to join me again. We have work to do. Join Arnie’s Army”!
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