In a career that spanned five decades, Arnold Palmer has been the subject of a number of best-of-all-time lists.
It’s no wonder.
For almost half a century the 77-year-old golf legend has dominated the sport of golf. He has graced, among others, the covers of magazines like Golf Digest and Golf World, he’s been written about on countless talk shows and he’s been inducted into many organizations including the World Golf Hall of Fame.
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In 2006, Palmer took to the golf course as host of the annual Arnold Palmer Invitational, where he’s won 54 times. His lasting legacy on the course – as a golfer and a golfer-turned-businessman – includes not only his countless victories on the golf course, but also his sponsorship with clubs such as Titleist, Bridgestone and Ping.
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Though Palmer is known for his competitive nature and determination, it wasn’t always that way. Although his father forced him to play the game at a young age, Palmer’s more-than-roaring success on the course is the result of plenty of dedication and hard work.
When Golf Digest first profiled Palmer in 1967, Palmer’s own words were pretty damn honest.
“I won a lot of tournaments and won championships before I knew what a club was,” Palmer said. “I figured I could memorize it, stick it in my pants and hit a ball over and over and over again.”
Palmer, who now lives in Tampa, Fla., has won more tournaments (seven) and more PGA Tour titles (78) than any other golfer in history. And even if you’ve never heard of him, you’ve probably heard his voice – and so have many others. He’s the voice of golf.
His voice is usually heard ahead of the open of the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup Playoffs at the Tour Championship this week.
At last year’s tournament, (PGA Tour Insider) Jerry Barber and Rich Fields called Palmer’s honorary start on the course. Palmer called them “the greatest team in golf history.”
“Everyone wants to say I’m the best golfer of all time, but I don’t have the measurements to back it up. They did for guys like Hogan and Snead and everyone else who’s ever played,” Palmer said. “I’ve played in over 1,400 tournaments, won eight majors, 25 tournaments on the PGA Tour, so my numbers are solid. That’s all I have.”
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