Goodbye, Mr. Golf

Arnold Palmer Dies At Age 87

A Brief One from Doug Draper

Posted September 26th, 2016 on Niagara At Large

The year 2016 is continuing to take a depressingly high toll when it comes to heavy weights and legends in a number of fields.

In the area of pop music, we’ve seen the loss of David Bowie, Prince, Eagles co-founder Glenn Frey, Earth, Wind & Fire bandleader Maurice White and Beatles producer George Martin, just to name a few.

Arnold Palmer, as many will remember him on those black & white television screens back in the late 1950s and early to mid 60s when he dominated as a player

Arnold Palmer, as many will remember him on those black & white television screens back in the late 1950s and early to mid 60s when he dominated as a player

We’ve lost towering voices for peace and human rights like Elie Wiesel and Ursula Franklin, beloved comedian and actor Gene Wilder and one of the most brilliant and daring play writes of the past 50 years, Edward Albee.

In the world of sports, we’ve lost Muhammid Ali, whose heroism as a person all but eclipsed his remarkable boxing career, then we lost Mr. Hockey Gordie Howe and now, Mr. Golf (or “the King of Golf,” as many also called him) Arnold Palmer, who died this September 25th at age 87.

Arnold Palmer’s impact as a cultural icon and on the game he was one of the undisputed masters of can hardly be over-estimated.

Coming on the scene in the decades following the Second World War when there was still a thriving middle class of young adults with leisure time and looking for fun things to do, Arnold Palmer possibly did more to turn large numbers of people on to buying a set of golf clubs than practically anyone else in the game.

As we remember him more recently, still out on the golf course, playing the perfect TV pitchman for products

As we remember him more recently, still out on the golf course, playing the perfect TV pitchman for products

For a long time, it was hard to find a golf ball on the market that didn’t have his name on it, with Jack Nicklaus coming a close second.

Still appearing in television commercials right up until now, Palmer remained one of those bigger-than-life, household names who, like singer Frank Sinatra and comedian George Burns, began to seem like they would be around forever, which is why many of us may find ourselves needing a reminder, well beyond today, that he is gone.

Gone with him, of course, is so much of the off time and the affluence a broad spectrum people living at levels below the 1 per cent had to take up and play the game of golf. It has gone back to being more of the elitist past time or excuse for holding a board meeting outdoors that, on this North American continent at least, it always was.

Goodbye Arnie. You had a hell of a good round!

(Just as a p.s., I rhymed off a number of names here, knowing that, while this post is about the passing of Arnold Palmer, readers may feel there are significant others I should not have left out. Feel free to name them below, if you like.)

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