Arnold Palmer is regarded as one of the best golfers in the history of the sport. While he didn’t win the same number of major tournaments as colleague Jack Nicklaus, Palmer was one of golf’s elite stars. A seven-time major winner, Palmer won four Masters tournaments during his career. While Nicklaus was able to win golf’s grand slam, Palmer was not. The PGA Championship was the bane of Palmer’s career and winning the tournament was always just out of his reach. The legendary golfer finished second three times at the tournament.
Palmer’s professional golf career began in 1954. It took Palmer just a year to claim the first of his 62 PGA Tour wins. In 1958, Palmer claimed his first green jacket, winning by one stroke on the hallowed greens of Augusta.
It would be the early 1960s that Palmer found his most success on the golf course. Between 1960 and 1963, Palmer won an incredible 29 PGA tournaments. He recorded five major victories during that span. In 1960 and 1962, Palmer was named the PGA Player of the Year, and he was also the Tour’s leading money winner during that time.
Palmer won at least one PGA Tour event in 16 consecutive years between 1955 and 1971. Palmer went on to play on the Senior PGA Tour. There, he collected five of the competition’s major trophies.
Off the golf course, Palmer was just as important as on it. He had several golf businesses that generated him millions of dollars when not playing the sport. Due to his off the course business interests and play on the PGA Tour, it is claimed that no other golfer raised the profile of the sport as Palmer. It was Palmer who took golf into the mainstream and onto magazine covers across the United States. His ability to connect to others helped millions learn to play the sport for fun and leisure.
Palmer died in September 2016 at the age of 87. His passing was due to heart problems. Palmer left the world of golf in a much stronger position than when he first entered it. Thanks to “The King”, golf had grown into one of the most popular sports in the world.