Arnold Palmer is a golfer loved the world over. In fact, the sport of golf may be in a very different place without its best ambassador. Most people remember him as the lovable grandfather of golf. He was a well spoken common man that was accessible to the masses. He even had his own drink -- a nonalcoholic 50-50 split of iced tea and lemonade, refreshing for any hot day on the course.
But it's what he did to the game that I'll remember him most for. He was a mere 5 foot 10 with a skinny waist and really thick forearms. He leveraged strength and mobility to create massive hip to shoulder separation which sent the ball flying. His no holds barred, unapologetic, power golf revolutionized the game to change the way that pros approach every hole. And with a little bit of training, you can approach golf the same way too.
And one thing's for sure, the King had Moxie. Here are the four best moments in Arnold Palmer's career:
1. Cherry Hill Comeback
Arnold Palmer trailed the leader by seven heading into the final round of the 1960 US Open. Back in Arnold's day, the final round was 36 holes on a Saturday with a break long enough for the players to grab lunch.
Two famous sportswriters, Bob Drum and Dan Jenkins, sat down with Palmer while he ate his hamburger. Palmer asked if a 65 in the final round would carry them to the championship. The sportswriters said no, you're no Hogan. Palmer then strode to the tee box of the first hole and drove the ball onto the green, sitting 346 yards away.
The comeback was on. He shot a 65 to take the lead and win the open.
2. 1954's Battle Of The Classes
Everybody loved Palmer for his down to earth demeanor that he earned growing up in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. At the age of 24, Palmer took that middle-class demeanor to the amateur championships against a millionaire playboy. Palmer beaten Bob Sweeney in Detroit, taking the amateur championship crown.
3. 1960 Masters
Palmer won the Masters by one stroke over runner-up Ken Venturi. Arnold Palmer, The King, birdied the final two holes to overtake the lead and the crown.
The 30-year-old Palmer had a hot year in 1960, winning the US open and being the runner-up at the British Open. And for the most part, he dominated the Masters. He won for rounds and it was only the second time in history someone had won the Masters wire-to-wire.
4. 1964 Masters
Palmer dominated from start to finish to win his seventh and final major championship. He became the first golfer to win four times at Augusta National, beating runner-up Nicklaus by six strokes.