Golf would be my ticket somewhere, I told myself. I just couldn't say where it would lead me
Known as The King of his game, Arnold Palmer was the most successful and famous golfer of his generation.
Palmer dominated the game in the 1960s, elevating the sport to an unprecedented level of popularity worldwide. Prior to his rise to fame, golf was seen as a game exclusively for the privileged few who could afford the expensive fees required by private member clubs.
Palmer grew up in relatively humble circumstances in Pennsylvania, but his father was the head groundskeeper at a golf club – young Arnold learnt the game from him as he maintained the grounds.
Even after joining the US Coast Guard in 1951, Palmer’s passion for the game shone through – he built a nine-hole golf course during his training in order to keep his skills sharp. After leaving the service in 1954 he turned pro, and made an immediate impression, winning his first tournament in 1955. Over the next ten years Palmer would go on to win 7 masters tournaments, a period of dominance that has rarely been matched.
Revered for his skill and the way he opened up the game to inspire people to take up play on more accessible public courses, Palmer was also a philanthropist behind charitable foundations with a focus on child and family wellbeing and support. He left over ten million dollars to charity in his will.