It’s quite possible that Arnold Palmer was the best-known golfer of all time. He had a home here in Orlando for a very long time and he was well-loved in this part of the world.
Although he was a true legend in the game of golf, he was just as well-known for being a wonderful human being and giving away vast sums of money. The Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children here in Orlando is such a part of our community. I had so many fares to or from that place in my taxi driving years. And The Bay Hill Invitational is a huge event in Central Florida. Arnie, as his friends and fans often called him, just might have been our most beloved celebrity around here; God knows we have plenty. Especially in the world of sports.
I haven’t played golf in over 30 years, but it’s such a fine sport. It’s lots of fun to watch. (I enjoy living on the seventh fairway of one of our many, many country clubs in Florida, but that’s as close as I get to the action.) Now that he’s passed, many will point out that Mr. Palmer had thousands of admirers who have no connection to the game of golf. That’s his greatest legacy. Rest in Peace, Arnie.
By the time you’ve read this, there will be hundreds of obituaries on Mr. Palmer. Here’s one that came out right away, as Golfweek pretty much scooped the rest of the world.
Photo credit Benjamin Lawrence Basile