Palmer, Arnold Daniel

Palmer, Arnold Daniel, 1929–2016, American golfer, b. Latrobe, Pa. The son of a professional golfer, he won three regional titles in his youth. Turning professional after winning the 1954 U.S. amateur championship, he won the 1955 Canadian Open. Palmer won the Masters tournament in 1958, 1960, 1962, and 1964, becoming the first four-time winner; the U.S. Open in 1960; and the British Open in 1961 and 1962. A great fan favorite, followed enthusiastically by Arnie's Army, he popularized golf with his attacking style of play and personal charm, and helped make it a popular television sport. He had a noted long-term rivalry with Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player, who became known as the Big Three. In 1967 he became the first golf professional to win more than $1 million. Especially after the peak of his playing career and during his retirement, Palmer was also successful as a spokesman for a range of products and services.

See his A Golfer's Life (1999, with J. Dodson); I. O'Connor, Arnie & Jack: Palmer, Nicklaus, and Golf's Greatest Rivalry (2008).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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