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The legend of Arnold Palmer

Sameer Bahl
572   //    11 Nov 2016, 18:37 IST

Arnold Palmer relaxes as he waits for his turn

Arnold Palmer, a.k.a the “King” has left behind a legacy that will never ever be matched by any golfer no matter how great he or she may become by virtue of their achievements.
The game he leaves behind, after he died at the age of 87 in the end of September, is now a multi-billion dollar industry and he is in large parts responsible for it.  

With his dominance in golf and distinctive style, he helped in turning around the game from an elitist sport to being accessible to the masses.

He won more than 90 golf tournaments, including the Masters four times, the U.S. Open in 1960, and the British Open in 1961 and 1962.

Palmer was the first golfer to earn $1 million playing the sport.

“I would like to be remembered for bringing golf to a worldwide audience,” he told CNN in 2012. “Players today have no boundaries.”

He along with Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus as part of the “big three” took the game around the world in the early 1960's. They capitalised on the ever-growing reach of television resulting in a huge following of golf events on television.

What ensued was massive sponsorship and prize money. Therefore, Arnold Palmer was truly the catalyst that helped turn the sport from just another sport with tournaments into the sport with a variety of competitive and rewarding tours that we see today.

The Big Three who changed the sport

Superb human and true to his roots

Arnold first played Golf at the age of 4 when his father had his first golf club cut out for him. He never looked back and went on to win 92 championships of national as well as international stature.

“He was a western Pennsylvania native and coastguard veteran inspired millions of people on and off the golf course.

He leaves behind memories of a gentle human being:
“Arnold was the most charismatic, down-to-earth person I've ever been around, and I've spent a lot of time around famous people,” James Dodson, Palmer's biographer, told CNN. “ There's no public and private difference between Arnold Palmer. He was generous and kind and funny and loved to needle you.”

Also Read: European Tour cracks down on its players for not yelling “FORE”

Palmer's legacy mirrors one of his most famous quotes about golf: They're both things that are “deceptively simple and endlessly complicated.”

“The key to Arnold's appeal was that he was a yeoman -- he was one of us. He was a guy from blue-collar Latrobe, Pennsylvania, who's daddy was the greenskeeper,” Dodson said. “They were as true-blue as the sky over Latrobe, Pennsylvania.”

Palmer always wore his emotions on his sleeves. Dodson says Arnold loved who he was but not in an egotitstical way and never took anything for granted.

The above mentioned qualities meant he became an approachable superstar and when TV began becoming popular in american homes, his voice and fame as an athlete hit an all time high.

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Sameer Bahl
Massive golf aficionado, former British universities golfer at University of the Highlands and Islands, and big equipment buff. Keen follower of all sports and passions include staying fit and running. PGA Of UK Level 1 Golf Coach who can introduce the basics of the game to beginners. Proud to have played some of the top 100 golf courses in Scotland and England. Golf is great!
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