Arnold Palmer, four-time Masters champion, U.S. Open champion and one of the greatest and most popular golfers in history, has passed at the age of 87.
To put his greatness in perspective, Jack Nicklaus said of Palmer: “Arnold is the reason golf enjoys the popularity it does today. He … made golf attractive to the television-viewing public. There never has been anyone like him before in the game of golf, and there probably won’t be another like him again.”
Palmer enraptured the nation during his run in the 1960s, and was, to put it no other way, the Tiger Woods of his era. His popularity, however, sustained for five decades as he became the elder statesman of the game of golf. The green jacket, given to winners of The Masters, might as well have been his uniform.
Palmer also essentially created what is now recognized as the Grand Slam of golf — winning The Masters, The U.S. Open, The British Open and the PGA Championship. Palmer is currently 5th all-time with 62 PGA Tour wins, which is extremely impressive considering he did it in only 19 years.
And of course, his name will not only live on through his empire of golf academies, his Arnold Palmer invitational and through his iconic name, but also through “his” drink: the Arnold Palmer.