Arnold Palmer, the man who transformed golf into a billion dollar industry died on September 25, 2016 aged 87 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Tributes have been flooding in from friends and colleagues, sportsmen and fans alike as the entire golf fraternity mourns the death of the golf legend.
He was dubbed “The King” by his loyal fans, Arnie’s Army. Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player, all strong rivals by then, were part of “The Big Three” in golf in the 1960s. Popularizing and commercializing this noble sport is credited to the three particularly Palmer who among other things, designed more than 300 golf courses in 37 states, 25 countries all over the continent except Africa and Antarctica. The Chinese for example have Palmer to thank for negotiating the deal that saw the building of the modern course in the history of China in 1988.
Jack Nicklaus speaks of the “The King” as a great golfer. An icon and a legend. He noted:
“Arnold transcended the game of golf. He was more than a golfer or even great golfer. He was an icon. He was a legend.”
Palmer’s strong business acumen is evident in his diverse golf related businesses. He was the owner of Bay Hill Club and Lodge and Arnold Palmer and design Company. In 2001 he started a beverage business branded Arnold Palmer which combines sweet iced tea and lemonade.
There’s no doubt that one of the greatest golfers has fallen and he will surely be missed by many. The PGA Tour tweeted that:
“we have lost a great friend and giant in our sport with the passing of Arnold Palmer. You will be missed.”
At the Rydercup at Heseltine, golf fans paid tribute to the King with his successes in the tournament regarded as a trailblazer.
Once his rival turn friend, Jack Nicklaus spoke of their rivalry in the game saying that:
“We had a great rivalry. We spent more time trying to beat each other than we did trying to beat the field.”
Throughout his life, Arnold Palmer won 7 major titles, 62 PGA Tour (5th all time), 2European Tour, 2 PGA of Australasia and 10 Champion Tour.
As the world celebrates the legend’s life as a general in golf, it needs to remember that generals never die, they just fade away.