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The Virgo Golfer

The VIRGO Golf Legend: Arnold Palmer

  • Inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974
  • Major Championship Victories: 8
  • U.S. Open: 1960
  • Masters: 1958, 1960, 1964, 1966
  • British Open: 1961, 1962
  • PGA Tour Victories: 60
  • Champions Tour Victories: 10

Born on September 10, 1929, Arnold Palmer brought golf to the masses. His ability to win with boldness and charisma may have been the single biggest reason that golf's popularity exploded after 1960. No other figure in the history of golf has brought more excitement to the game than Arnold Palmer. Often exhibiting a swashbuckling style of play with his whirlybird follow-through and fierce determination on the greens, Palmer slashed at the ball with all he had. With a hitch of his pants he charged his putts and threw caution to the wind. He coined the phrase "go for broke".

Arnold PalmerPalmer is often credited by today's professionals with bringing golf into the spotlight, raising purses and making the sport more viewable on television. His reputation as a sportsman and as a "regular joe", approachable by his fans and legions of Arnie's "Army" earned him the nickname "The King". He was unlike any other player of that era.

Palmer learned the game at a young age from his father, Deacon, who was the professional at Latrobe CC, at that time a 9-hole private club. Young Arnold dreamed of playing golf for a living, and after winning the 1954 U.S. Amateur he was on his way to living his dream.

Between 1955 and 1973, Palmer won 63 PGA Tour events including seven of golf's major championships. His best year came in 1960 when he won eight official events. That was the year of his magical come from behind win at the US Open at Cherry Hills where he shot 65 to win by two after driving the green on the 349 yard first hole. The Palmer "charge" was born and for the next two years, he seemed unbeatable in the closing holes.

 

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With a muscular swing that produced a low, piercing draw, Palmer was one of the best drivers of the ball that ever played the game. Combined with a masterful putting stroke he managed to lead the PGA Tour's money list four times and in 1963 became the first player to win more than $100,000 in a single season.

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