It is hard to imagine there has ever been a golfer to whom people wanted to listen more than Arnold Palmer.
Here are some examples of Palmer’s sage advice and thoughts
1. More than a swing
I have seen thousands of fantastic golf swings over the years, but a good swing does not guarantee anything.
In my youth I worked on a golf course and I pushed mowers. They didn’t have motors and the tractors didn’t have power steering. I was the motor and I was the power. That was my fitness regimen.
3. Total effort
I’ve always made a total effort, even when the odds seemed entirely against me. I never quit trying; I never felt that I didn’t have a chance to win.
4. Hit it in the hole
Every time I’ve ever hit a shot, I tried to hit it in the hole. That includes a tee shot on a par-5. I think this might be one of the best thoughts you can have when playing golf.
5. Golf as a team sport
The four-round, stroke-play format remains the ultimate individual test in golf, but there is certainly more room for team events at the professional level. Team golf brings added drama, which in turn attracts crowds and TV audiences, and that is what golf needs today as it competes against so many other sports and activities for people’s time and attention.
6. Golf in the Olympics
I was delighted to see golf make such a successful return to the Olympics. I would have jumped at the opportunity to compete for Olympic gold (and if the IOC opts for an over-80s section I’m in!)
7. A fond farewell
(1995 [British] Open)
Memories were flooding my brain and emotions were washing over me like you can’t imagine. I was also thinking how it all seemed to pass in the blink of an eye.
8. The global player
I entered the 1960 [British] Open Championship primarily because I did not feel you could ever call yourself a great champion if you didn’t play internationally, and particularly in the Open Championship.
9. Paying attention
When you golf, you need to pay attention to your own game. Other than being friendly and personable, you need to keep your mind on what you’re doing, not the other guys.
10. The golf ball
I think the golf ball should be slowed down. I think we should stick to the stuff that’s always been there and not tinker too much with a game that’s always been so great at its most basic levels.
11. President Eisenhower
President Eisenhower, as it turned out, swung a golf club with great conviction, if not tremendous dexterity.
12. A great evening
A great evening is a couple of drinks, dinner with friends or loved ones, a few more drinks and then early to bed. It’s the same as it was 40 years ago only with maybe a couple more drinks and a little later in the evening.
13. The Congressional Gold Medal
It was the most prestigious honor I’ve ever received. Its recipients are among the most impressive people in American history. George Washington was first and I won’t be the last.
14. Staying positive
Be careful not to allow a big loss to rattle your confidence and interfere with your focus. You just want to get on with it and not worry about it. You have to look at the positive side: there must be something good about the experience of losing and how you handle it. That’s very important.
15. Life at 85
I’ll be old one of these days.
16. Palmer’s best tip
This is one of the best scoring tips I can offer… Jack Nicklaus still abides by the advice: I had found over the years that my worst putt from the fringe is at least as good as my best chip.
17. Common courtesy
Golf, more than any game on Earth, depends on simple timeless principles of courtesy and respect. I don’t think it’s by accident that golf is the most polite and well-mannered game I know, a sport where every man or woman rises on the merits of his or her own skills and personal integrity.
18. Driven to success
When people ask what’s driven me all these years, I always give the same answer: it’s you.