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Golf Legend Arnold Palmer Dies at 87

By: Golfshake Editor | Mon 26 Sep 2016

Post by Golf Writer Kieran Clark

Arnold Palmer, the seven-time major champion and figure whose popularity and charisma revolutionised golf during the 1950s and '60s, has sadly passed away at the age of 87. Transcending sport and nationality, there has never been a more universally beloved figure in the game, with "Arnie's Army" faithfully supporting their man throughout his long career. 

Renowned for his warmth and respect for those who watched him, Palmer signed every autograph with full attention, and looked people in the eye with a kind smile. With his surge to the top of the game coming during the early years of televised coverage, this swashbuckling, and effortlessly cool American was the perfect icon to transform the sport he loved.


His appearances in the Open Championship - first in 1960 at St. Andrews - rejuvenated golf's most historic championship, with a record of playing in 50 consecutive Masters Tournaments maintaining his presence with the players of today. His aura was felt annually during the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill, where he would greet the eventual champion after their round. That was a prize more meaningful than the trophy.

Through his Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and (named after his late first wife) Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies, thousands of lives have been touched and saved, with his support and generosity for that cause being the most special of his many achievements.

In more recent years, he would hit the ceremonial tee shot ahead of the Masters at Augusta, with Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player ultimately joining him on that tee each April, reuniting the "Big Three". Though grouped with those two legends of the game, Arnold Palmer was in a bracket of his own, alongside the likes of Muhammad Ali, who died earlier this year.

There are great sportsmen, and then there are icons. Arnold Palmer was both. He was one of those great figures you almost believed to be immortal. And in many ways he forever will be. What a life. What a legacy. Forever, the King.

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