November 23, 2015

We certainly don’t need to make a case for The King, but here goes: Born in Latrobe to a father who was head professional/superintendent at Latrobe Country Club, Palmer enjoyed success as a teenager, claiming both the Western Pennsylvania Junior and the Western Pennsylvania Amateur by the time he was 18. Further triumphs followed at Wake Forest and during a stint in the United States Coast Guard. When he claimed the 1954 U.S. Amateur, Palmer was on his way. Among his achievements are 62 PGA Tour wins and seven professional majors, including the Masters in 1958, ’60, ’62 and ’64. More important is his legacy. His charisma and go-for-broke style helped popularize golf with the masses, pairing perfectly with the advent of televised golf. He singlehandedly made the British Open relevant again, after a long period where leading Americans stopped playing in it. He has earned seemingly every possible golf and civilian award, and he was the first golfer ever to be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, in 2004. He also gave us the Arnold Palmer, half lemonade, half iced tea. Palmer still maintains a summer residence in Latrobe.