Daniel Palmer Michael Palmer Biography & Facts
Arnold Daniel Palmer (September 10, 1929 – September 25, 2016) was an American professional golfer who is widely regarded as one of the greatest and most charismatic players in the sport's history. Dating back to 1955, he won numerous events on both the PGA Tour and the circuit now known as PGA Tour Champions. Nicknamed The King, Palmer was one of golf's most popular stars and seen as a trailblazer, the first superstar of the sport's television age, which began in the 1950s.
Palmer's social impact on golf was unrivaled among fellow professionals; his humble background and plain-spoken popularity helped change the perception of golf from an elite, upper-class pastime of private clubs to a more populist sport accessible to middle and working classes via public courses. Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, and Gary Player were "The Big Three" in golf during the 1960s; they are credited with popularizing and commercializing the sport around the world.
In a career spanning more than six decades, Palmer won 62 PGA Tour titles from 1955 to 1973. He is fifth on the Tour's all-time victory list, trailing only Tiger Woods, Sam Snead, Jack Nicklaus, and Ben Hogan. He won seven major titles in a six-plus-year domination from the 1958 Masters to the 1964 Masters. He also won the PGA Tour Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998, and in 1974 was one of the 13 original inductees into the World Golf Hall of Fame.
Palmer was born on September 10, 1929 to Doris (née Morrison) and Milfred Jerome "Deacon" Palmer in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, a working-class steel mill town. He learned golf from his father, who had suffered from polio at a young age and was head professional and greenskeeper at Latrobe Country Club, which allowed young Palmer to accompany his father as he maintained the course.Palmer attended Wake Forest College on a golf scholarship. He left upon the death of close friend Bud Worsham and enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard, where he served for three years, 1951–1954. At the Coast Guard Training Center in Cape May, New Jersey, he built a nine-hole course and had some time to continue to hone his golf skills. After Palmer's enlistment term ended, he returned to college and competitive golf.Palmer won the 1954 U.S. Amateur in Detroit and made the decision to turn pro in November of that year. "That victory was the turning point in my life," he said. "It gave me confidence I could compete at the highest level of the game." When reporters there asked Gene Littler who the young golfer was that was cracking balls on the practice tee, Littler said: "That's Arnold Palmer. He's going to be a great player some day. When he hits the ball, the earth shakes."After winning that match, Palmer quit his job selling paint and played in the Waite Memorial tournament in Shawnee-on-Delaware, Pennsylvania. There, he met his future wife, Winifred Walzer, and they remained married for 45 years until her death in 1999.On November 17, 1954, Palmer announced his intentions to turn pro. "What other people find in poetry, I find in the flight of a good drive," Palmer said.
Palmer's first tour win came during his 1955 rookie season, when he won the Canadian Open and earned $2,400 for his efforts. He raised his game status for the next several seasons. Palmer's charisma was a major factor in establishing golf as a compelling television event in the 1950s and 1960s, which set the stage for the popularity it enjoys today. His first major championship win at the 1958 Masters Tournament, where he earned $11,250, established his position as one of the leading stars in golf, and by 1960 he had signed up as pioneering sports agent Mark McCormack's first client.In later interviews, McCormack listed five attributes that made Palmer especially marketable: his good looks; his relatively modest background (his father was a greenskeeper before rising to be club professional and Latrobe was a humble club); the way he played golf, taking risks and wearing his emotions on his sleeve; his involvement in a string of exciting finishes in early televised tournaments; and his affability.Palmer is also credited by many for securing the status of The Open Championship (British Open) among U.S. players. Before Ben Hogan won that championship in 1953, few American professionals had traveled to play in The Open, due to its extensive travel requirements, relatively small purse, and the style of its links courses (radically different from most American courses). Palmer wanted to emulate the feats of his predecessors Bobby Jones, Sam Snead and Hogan in his quest to become a leading American golfer.In particular, Palmer traveled to Scotland in 1960 to compete in the British Open for the first time. He had already won both the Masters and U.S. Open and was trying to emulate Hogan's 1953 feat of winning all three tournaments in a single year. Palmer played what he himself said were the four best rounds of his career, shooting 71-69-67-69. His scores had the English excitedly claiming that Palmer may well be the greatest golfer ever to play the game. British fans were excited about Palmer's playing in the Open. Although he failed to win, losing out to Kel Nagle by a single shot, his subsequent Open wins in the early 1960s convinced many American pros that a trip to Britain would be worth the effort, and certainly secured Palmer's popularity among British and European fans, not just American ones.Palmer was greatly disappointed by his runner-up finish in the 1960 British Open. His appearance overseas drew American attention to the Open Championship, which had previously been ignored by the American golfers. Palmer went on to win the Open Championship in 1961 and 1962, and last played in it in 1995. Martin Slumbers, chief executive of The R&A, called Palmer "a true gentleman, one of the greatest ever to play the game and a truly iconic figure in sport". His participation in The Open Championship in the early 1960s "was the catalyst to truly internationalize golf," said European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley.Palmer won seven major championships:
Masters Tournament: 1958, 1960, 1962, 1964
U.S. Open: 1960
The Open Championship: 1961, 1962Palmer's most prolific years were 1960–1963, when he won 29 PGA Tour events, including five major tournaments, in four seasons. In 1960, he won the Hickok Belt as the top professional athlete of the year and Sports Illustrated magazine's "Sportsman of the Year" award. He built up a wide fan base, often referred to as "Arnie's Army", and in 1967 he became the first man to reach $1 million in career earnings on the PGA Tour. By the late 1960s Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player had both acquired clear ascendancy in their rivalry, but Palmer won a PGA Tour event every year from 1955 to 1971 inclusive, and in 1971 he enjoyed a revival, winning four events.
Palmer won the Vardon Trophy for lowest scoring average four times: 1961, 1962, 1964, and 1967. He played on six Ryder Cup teams: 1961, 1963, 1965, .... Discover the Daniel Palmer Michael Palmer popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Daniel Palmer Michael Palmer books.