“Very sad day with the loss of Arnold Palmer. He was an icon, a legend, and the first golfer to cross over from our sport to the greater media world. Troon and our associates will miss, but always appreciate, Arnie.” – Dana Garmany, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
During his career, “The King,” Arnold Palmer had a litany of golf accomplishments and reached milestones that any aspiring tour pro would take in a heartbeat. Mr. Palmer’s playing record included 62 PGA TOUR wins and 8 major titles (including four Masters victories). He was a four-time winner of the Vardon Trophy (for lowest scoring average on TOUR) and played on six Ryder Cup teams. Palmer was the first professional golfer to earn $1 million for his career and was one of the 13 original inductees into the World Golf Hall of Fame. His playing resume is longer than the longest par five he ever conquered.
Mr. Palmer’s legacy off the course (and beyond golf) are far greater than any major or win total. While others may have more major victories, there is arguably no one that has had a greater impact on the game and the industry than Arnold Palmer. His influence evolved the “business of golf” and his reach in philanthropic fashion created a tremendous positive impact in the communities where he lived, worked and played. Below are some quick highlights of the impact Mr. Palmer had on the business side of golf:
- He was one of the first golfers to have a broad appeal to golfers and non-golfers alike. He became a spokesman/ambassador for a wide-range of products and companies, including golf equipment, automobiles, oil and car rental companies. This paved the way for the golfers of today to have appeal both on and off the course.
- He played an integral role in the creation of the Golf Channel. Today, few sports have an entire 24 hour network devoted to their game.
- In the late 80s Mr. Palmer played a key role in the fundraising that created the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children. Since then, nearly 200,000 children have been born at this Orlando hospital.
- In the early 2000s, Arnie’s Army Battles Prostate Cancer was launched and has helped raised more than $3 million for prostate cancer research.
- Palmer was a recipient of the highest civilian awards given in the United States. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2004 and the Congressional Gold Medal.
- According to a recent tribute by USA Today, Palmer was close friends with many past Presidents, including Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush.
- Mr. Palmer and his golf course design group were involved in the design of over 300 golf courses around the globe. Among them, 10 are Troon-managed or affiliated courses that were either designed-by or in collaboration with Arnold Palmer including Classic Club, CA – Photos above feature Mr. Palmer at the 2006 opening of the Classic Club, Kapalua – Bay Course, HI – Arnold Palmer & Francis Duane, La Cantera Resort & Spa, TX – Palmer Course, King & Bear at World Golf Village, FL – (Arnold Palmer & Jack Nicklaus), among others.
- For these, and many of his other accomplishments both on and off the course, Mr. Palmer won the PGA TOUR Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998.
While we mourn the loss of “The King,” we also can’t help but reflect on his legacy and pay tribute to the many ways Mr. Palmer has had a tremendous impact on the game.
These photos are compliments of Kapalua.