At Home With Arnold Palmer

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When Golf Magazine photographer Angus Murray and I first arrived at Palmer's residence in Latrobe, Pa., to conduct the interview for the September issue, we weren't sure we'd found the right house. The home is very nice, but not flashy, and there are several in the tightly packed, wooded community. Then we noticed that famous logo over the entrance, and knew we were at the right place. This photo is from the first series of shots Murray took on this afternoon. Palmer was fiddling with the club over his shoulder and looking a little uneasy when Murray suddenly said, "OK Arnie, let's see that winning smile." Bingo.
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Palmer's memorabilia room is lined with honors, including a Claret Jug and Ryder Cup, and letters from former U.S. presidents, including a framed note and $10 bill from Dwight Eisenhower (far left), who sent it to Palmer after losing a bet to the golfer.
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Among the memorable moments from our sit-down: Me: You've just come in from a long day on the course. What are you drinking? Palmer: (no hesitation) Ketel One on the rocks. Me: Wait, what what happened to the 'Arnold Palmer'? Palmer: I have one of those before I start.
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After we wandered into his workshop, Palmer spontaneously grabbed a driver and re-gripped the club. He said he still enjoys tinkering with equipment.
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One wall of Palmer's workshop contains shelves filled with hundreds of putters. Arnie said he has enjoyed experimenting with flatstick designs over the years. These days, he prefers playing a two-ball putter.
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Among the memories in Arnie's office: his first pair of golf shoes cast in bronze. Palmer wore a hole through his right shoe from following through on his swing.
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In front of Palmer's office desk is a table with 62 medals under glass, one from each of his PGA Tour victories. (Apparently when you win a PGA Tour event, you get a medal. I had no idea.) Palmer took me through some of the highlights, then motioned to two empty spots on the left side of the display, where there were a couple of patches of green felt. "Know why those are empty?" he asked me slyly. "I wanted to have room, just in case I win a couple more."
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Palmer said that he spends most of his workdays in his office — when he's not out playing golf.