Remembering Arnold Palmer 1929-2016
Arnold Palmer and my father were born in the same year. By the time I was a kid, in a Sports Illustrated childhood, Palmer was on the down side of his prime, but I knew him from articles and television like he was an uncle. Golf is an old man’s game, so Palmer played and his fans watched even as he doddered up to the tee in his eighties and whacked away. All his adult life he stayed in the public eye. He was a fixture on television–the winning businessman pitching consumer products with a country Pennsylvania accent–until he died. My twenty-one year old son orders Arnold Palmers, half lemonade and half iced tea.
Arnold Palmer was the blue-collar rival of the superior Jack Nicklaus and the debonair Gary Player, dressed in black.