This week is all about honoring the late Arnold Palmer, the King, the legend, the golfer. No one has left more of an impact on golf than this man.
As a man who won the Masters tournament 4 times, you might think that he has some secret winning formula for Augusta. In reality, he was just a talented and determined golfer who knew his way around a golf course.
Recently, while looking through some memorabilia, Callaway discovered Arnie’s Masters yardage book, clad with handwritten notes. This never before seen relic is a sight to behold and is every pro and golf nerd’s wet dream.
Each page is filled with little notes and tidbits about the hole, he even noted the ball washer beside the 12th hole tee-box. Plus he made this himself, stapled the yellow pieces of paper together, and created this one of a kind yardage book. His attention to detail is what made him so incredible, whether that was on the course or signing every single fan’s stuff at the end of a round. Four green jackets and adoring fans everywhere are a testament to that fact.
The 1958 Masters was the first major he won, winning by only one strokes against Doug Ford and Fred Hawkins. Two years later he did it again the same exact way, beating out Ken Venturi by one stroke. In 1962 he pushed out Gary Player and Dow Finsterwald in a playoff match to win for the third time. The fourth and final time Palmer won the Masters, he won by 6 strokes against Dave Marr and Jack Nicklaus. At that point he was probably using this yardage book and knew exactly what to do.
Everything he did, he did with passion. This is where Arnold Palmer and Tiger Woods were on the same wavelength, and what made them so popular. The two of them went into every tournament with the spirit of winning and wouldn’t let up until they did. One of the best quotes from Arnold Palmer is, “you must play boldly to win” and that’s exactly what he did.
Although Arnie never gave up, and even went in to a tournament always knowing he had a chance to win, he was humble, one of the most admirable qualities in a professional athlete. He always had a lighter side to him, smiling away and making jokes.
“I have a tip that can take five strokes off anyone’s golf game: it’s called an eraser.”
Phil Mickelson told David Feherty his secret to winning three green jackets, but Arnie didn’t need a secret to win. You should never underestimate the power of will, the King didn’t.