In honor of the late Arnold Palmer, the Masters will give each patron who enters Augusta National on Thursday a special commemorative "Arnie's Army" badge. Chairman Billy Payne wore one during his press conference today at the new media building.
"On behalf of our members and our patrons, we are honored to make a significant contribution to the Arnold Palmer Charitable Foundation, and tomorrow morning, for the Honorary Starter's Ceremony, we will once again proudly summon Arnie's Army and provide every one of our patrons on the ground a special commemorative badge that I am wearing today," Payne said.
Payne also spoke about Palmer's contributions to the game and to the Masters: "For the first time in over 60 years, our sport is without its preeminent hero; a man whose greatness as player and a champion was exceeded only by his qualities as a man. Arnold Palmer let us all into his life; not from the distance that is typically maintained between a superstar and a fan, but into his life, close‑up, so that we could literally push him to greatness and regale in his accomplishments as though they were our own. During his extraordinary life, Arnold Palmer and Augusta National connected in so many wonderful ways. His four victories, the Arnold Palmer Tribute Monument on the 16th tee, his annual participation in our Honorary Starter ceremony, even his membership into our Club, all of them, outward displays of our love and affection for this very special man."