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Arnold Palmer

Arnold Palmer is the most trusted name in golf. During his playing career, Mr. Palmer won 92 tournaments, including seven majors. His love of the game and hard-charging approach are legendary among those who follow his career. Beyond his magnificent golf performance record, he excels as a businessman and a golf course architect. His magnetic personality and an unfailing sense of kindness to everybody with whom he comes in contact have endeared him to millions throughout the world.


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Century Golf Partners is privileged to own the exclusive rights to operate under the Arnold Palmer Golf Management brand. Arnold Palmer Golf Management operates golf courses in the true spirit of Mr. Palmer – with integrity, consideration of others and honor of the game. Our team works tirelessly to create great golf experiences for every golfer, every day. 



Arnold Palmer is many things to many famous golf immortal and sportsman, highly-successful business executive, prominent advertising spokesman, skilled aviator, talented golf course designer and consultant, devoted family patriarch and a man with a down-to-earth common touch that has made him one of the most popular and accessible public figures in history. 

His popularity and success grew with the tremendous golf boom in the latter half of the 20th Century to heights few ever anticipated and they have been recognized in countless ways over the years. Certainly each contributed to the other, a fact given recognition when he was named "Athlete of the Decade" for the 1960s in a national Associated Press poll. Before, during and after that great decade, the famous golfer amassed 92 championships in professional competition of national or international stature. Sixty-two of the victories came on the U.S. PGA Tour, starting with the 1955 Canadian Open.


Besides the magnificent performance record, his magnetic personality and unfailing sense of kindness and thoughtfulness to everybody with whom he comes in contact have endeared him to millions throughout the world and led to the informal formation of the largest non-uniformed "military" organization in existence -- Arnie's Army. Seven of his victories came in what the golfing world considers the four major professional championships. He won the Masters Tournament four times, in 1958, 1960, 1962 and 1964; the U.S. Open in spectacular fashion in 1960 at Cherry Hills Country Club in Denver and the British Open in 1961 and 1962. He came from seven strokes off the pace in the final round in that U.S. Open win and finished second in four other Opens after that. Among the majors, only the PGA Championship eluded him. He finished second in the PGA three times. 


Arnie's springboard to professional fame and fortune was his victory in the U.S. Amateur Championship in 1954. He turned professional a few months later. His hottest period was a four-year stretch from 1960 to 1963 when he landed 29 of his titles and collected almost $400,000 at a time when the purses were minute by today's standards. He was the leading money-winner in three of those years and twice represented the in the prestigious Ryder Cup Match during that time, serving in 1963 as the victorious captain. 


It was also during this period that his rapidly-growing business interests got their start, through the impetus of Palmer himself and with the guidance and efforts of his business manager, the late Mark McCormack, and his wide-ranging organization. Arnold is president of Arnold Palmer Enterprises, a multi-division structure encompassing much of his global commercial activity that is centered in Cleveland.  He has been involved in automobile and aviation service firms over the years including a car dealership in his Latrobe (PA) hometown. 


Arnold is president and sole owner (since 1971) of Latrobe Country Club and president and principal owner of the Bay Hill Club and Lodge, Orlando, FL, which he and a group of associates acquired in 1970. Bay Hill hosts the annual Arnold Palmer Invitational Presented by MasterCard, on the PGA Tour. In 1999 Arnold and a group of investors purchased the famed Pebble Beach golf complex on the California coast. He also is tournament professional and member of the Board of Directors of Laurel Valley Golf Club, Ligonier, PA, with which he has been affiliated since its founding in the late 1950s. 


Palmer is consultant to The Golf Channel in Orlando, which went on the air on cable networks in January, 1995. Another important facet of his activities involves the Arnold Palmer Design Company, which is based at the Bay Hill Club and Lodge. Since the mid-1960s, Palmer has put his stamp on more than 200 new courses throughout the nation and world. His modest business empire and golfing activities keep Palmer on the move much of the year, most of the travel in his Cessna Citation X jet aircraft. He was recognized in 1999 for his contributions to aviation and his Western Pennsylvania community when the Westmoreland County Airport at Latrobe was renamed the Arnold Palmer Regional Airport. He is a member of the Westmoreland County Airport Authority. 


Palmer was born on September 10, 1929, in Latrobe, a small industrial town in Western Pennsylvania at the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains some 50 miles east of Pittsburgh. He still lives there during the warm months of the year, but spends the fall and winter months at his homes at Bay Hill and at the Tradition Golf Club in La Quinta, California. He has numerous active and honorary memberships in clubs throughout the world, including famed Augusta National in, St. Andrews in, Pine Valley in New Jersey, Winged Foot in New York and Oakmont in Pittsburgh. 


The golfing great has been the recipient of countless honors, the symbolic plaques, trophies and citations scattered throughout his personal, club and business worlds, the epitome coming in 2004 when he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George W. Bush at a White House ceremony. He has received virtually every national award in golf and after his great 1960 season both the Hickok Professional Athlete of the Year and Sports Illustrated's Sportsman of the Year trophies. He is a charter member of the World Golf Hall of Fame and a member of the American Golf Hall of Fame at Foxburg, PA, and the PGA Hall of Fame in Florida. He is chairman of the USGA Members Program and served as honorary national chairman of the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation for 20 years. He played a major role in the fund-raising drive in the 1980s that led to the creation of the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and Women in Orlando, now a part of the Arnold Palmer Medical Center. A long-time member of the board of directors of Latrobe Area Hospital, he staged a major annual fund-raising golf event for that institution for six years that led to the formation of the Latrobe Area Hospital Charitable Foundation. 


The saga of Arnold Palmer began when he was four years old, swinging his first set of golf clubs, cut down by his father, Milfred J. (Deacon) Palmer, who worked at Latrobe Country Club from 1921 until his death in 1976, much of that time as both golf professional and course superintendent.  Before long, Arnie was playing well enough to beat the older caddies at the club.  He began caddying himself when he was 11 and worked at almost every job at the club in later years. 


The strongly-built young man concentrated on golf in high school, soon was dominating the game in Western Pennsylvania and twice won the Pennsylvania high school championship He won his first of five West Penn Amateur Championships when he was 17, competed successfully in national junior events and went to Wake Forest University (then College), where he became No. 1 man on the golf team and one of the leading collegiate players of that time. Deeply affected by the death in an auto accident of his close friend and classmate, Bud Worsham, younger brother of 1947 U.S. Open Champion Lew Worsham, Arnold withdrew from college during his senior year and began a three-year hitch in the Coast Guard. His interest in golf rekindled while he was stationed in Cleveland.  He was working there as a salesman and playing amateur golf after his discharge from the service and brief return to Wake Forest when he won the U.S. Amateur in 1954 following his second straight victory in the Ohio Amateur earlier that summer.


It was during that period that he met Winifred Walzer at a tournament in Eastern Pennsylvania. They were married shortly after he turned professional in the fall of 1954 and Winnie traveled with him when he joined the pro tour in early 1955.  Mrs. Palmer died of cancer on November 20, 1999.  Mr. Palmer and his second wife, Kathleen (Kit) Gawthrop, were married in a private ceremony in Hawaii on January 26, 2005.  He underwent successful prostate cancer surgery in 1997 and has become a strong advocate of programs supporting cancer research and early detection.


The Palmer family consists of two daughters -- Peggy Palmer Wears and Amy Palmer Saunders, who lives and, with husband Roy, oversees operations at the Bay Hill Club and Latrobe Country Club; four granddaughters, Emily Schneider, Katherine Anne Spears, Anne James and Anna Flexer Wears; two grandsons, Samuel Palmer Saunders and wife, Kelly, and William Gray Palmer Wears, and ten great grandchildren.  Mr. Palmer’s second wife has three children – son Al Gawthrop III and daughters Lynn Bouck and Blair Miller, all living in the Denver area – and eight grandchildren.  Arnold's brother, Jerry, who succeeded their father as course superintendent at Latrobe CC, was general manager for many years and now is a member of his personal office staff, and sisters, Lois Jean Tilley and Sandra Sarni, live in their home area in Western Pennsylvania.  Their mother, Doris, passed away in 1979 after a long, brave battle against crippling arthritis.

Earnings - Regular PGA Tour                           $2,130,239
Earnings - Senior PGA Tour                             $2,277,972
Earnings - Foreign/International/Non-Tour       $2,345,108
Total Competitive Earnings                              $6,753,319

  • (Excludes pro-ams, skins game)


VICTORIES: 92 (Tour-61; Foreign/International:19; Seniors:12)



  • Best 18-hole Round: 62, 1959 Thunderbird Invitational, Fourth Round; 1966 Los Angeles Open, Third Round

  • Best Opening Round: 64, 1955 Canadian Open; 1962 Phoenix Open; 1970 Citrus Open; 1970 Greensboro Open; 1971 Westchester Classic

  • Best Second Round: 63, 1961 Texas Open

  • Best Third Round: 62, 1966 Los Angeles Open

  • Best Fourth Round: 62, 1959 Thunderbird Classic

  • Lowest Score, First 36 Holes: 130, (67-63), 1961 Texas Open

  • Lowest Score, First 54 Holes: 195, (64-67-64), 1955 Canadian Open

  • Lowest 72-hole Score: 265, (64-67-64-70), 1955 Canadian Open

  • Biggest Victory Margin: 12, 1962 Phoenix Open

  • Most Consecutive Birdies: 7, 1966 Los Angeles Open, third round

  • Holes-in-One: 19, three in PGA Tour Events, four on Senior PGA Tour, one in Japan

  • All-Time Low 18-hole Score: 60, Latrobe Country Club, September 1969



  • PGA Player of Year - 1960 and 1962

  • PGA Tour Leading Money Winner - 1958, 1960, 1962, 1963

  • Vardon Trophy - 1961, 1962, 1964, 1967

  • Ryder Cup Team - 1961, 1963, 1965, 1967, 1971, 1973; Capt. - 1963, 1975

  • Chrysler Cup Team and Captain (Senior Golf) - 1986-90

  • Presidents Cup Captain - 1996

  • UBS Cup Team and Captain - 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004



  • 1955 - Canadian Open

  • 1956 - Insurance City Open, Eastern Open

  • 1957 - Houston Open, Azalea Open, Rubber City Open, San Diego Open

  • 1958 - St. Petersburg Open, Masters Tournament, Pepsi Open

  • 1959 - Thunderbird Invitational, Oklahoma City Open, West Palm Beach Open

  • 1960 - Bob Hope Desert Classic, Texas Open, Baton Rouge Open, Pensacola Open, Masters Tournament, Open Championship, Insurance City Open, Mobile Open, Cup (Partner: Sam Snead)

  • 1961 - San Diego Open, Phoenix Open, Baton Rouge Open, Texas Open, British Open Championship, Western Open

  • 1962 - Bob Hope Desert Classic, Phoenix Open, Masters Tournament, Texas Open, Tournament of Champions, Colonial National Invitational, British Open Championship, American Golf Classic, Cup (Partner: Sam Snead)

  • 1963 - Los Angeles Open, Phoenix Open, Pensacola Open, Thunderbird Classic, Cleveland Open, Western Open, Whitemarsh Open, Australian Wills Masters, Cup (Partner: Jack Nicklaus)

  • 1964 - Masters Tournament, Oklahoma City Open, Piccadilly World Match Play Championship, Cup Partner (Jack Nicklaus)

  • 1965 - Tournament of Champions

  • 1966 - Los Angeles Open, Tournament of Champions, Australian Open, Houston Champions International, PGA Team Championship (Partner: Jack Nicklaus), Cup (Partner: Jack Nicklaus)

  • 1967 - Los Angeles Open, Tucson Open, American Golf Classic, Thunderbird Classic, Piccadilly World Match Play Championship, World Cup (Partner: Jack Nicklaus), World Cup International Trophy (Individual Title)

  • 1968 - Bob Hope Desert Classic, Kemper Open

  • 1969 - Heritage Classic, Danny Thomas Diplomat Classic

  • 1970 - PGA Team Championship (Partner: Jack Nicklaus)

  • 1971 - Bob Hope Desert Classic, Citrus Open, Westchester Classic, PGA Team Championship (Partner: Jack Nicklaus), Lancome Trophy

  • 1973 - Bob Hope Desert Classic

  • 1975 - Spanish Open, British PGA Championship

  • 1980 - Canadian PGA Championship, PGA Seniors Championship

  • 1981 - USGA Senior Open Championship

  • 1982 - Marlboro Senior Classic, Denver Post Champions of Golf

  • 1983 - Boca Grove Senior Classic

  • 1984 - PGA Senior Championship, Doug Sanders Celebrity Pro-Am, Senior TPC, Quadel (Boca Grove) Classic

  • 1985 - Senior TPC

  • 1986 - Unionmutual Classic

  • 1988 - Crestar Classic


Total Victories: 92




  • Charter member, World Golf Hall of Fame, Pinehurst, NC , 1974 

  • American Golf Hall of Fame, Foxburg, PA

  • PGA Hall of Fame, Palm Beach Gardens, FL , 1980 

  • All-American Collegiate Golf Hall of Fame, Man of Year, 1984 

  • Ohio Golf Hall of Fame, 1992 

  • Phoenix Open Hall of Fame 

  • Bob Jones Award, Golf Association, 1971 

  • Walter Hagen Award, International panel of selectors 

  • William D. Richardson Award, Golf Writers Association of , 1969 

  • Charles Bartlett Award, Golf Writers Association of , 1976 

  • Herb Graffis Award, National Golf Foundation, 1978 

  • Gold Tee Award, Metropolitan (NY) Golf Writers Association, 1965

  • Golf Digest “Man of Silver Era”, 1975

  • Old Tom Morris Award, Golf Course Superintendents Association of , 1983 

  • Golfer of Century, New York Athletic Club, 1985 

  • Commemorative Honoree, 1987 Golf Digest Commemorative Seniors Tournament

  • Golfer of Decade (1958-67), Centennial of Golf, Golf Magazine, 1989

  • American Senior Golf Association National Award, 1989

  • Chicago District Golf Association Distinguished Service Award, 1989

  • Ambassador of Golf Award, World Series of Golf, 1991

  • Bing Crosby Award, Metropolitan (NY) Golf Writers Association, 1992 

  • Memorial Honoree, Memorial Tournament, 1993

  • PGA of Distinguished Service Award, 1994

  • Distinguished Service Award, Tri-State Section, PGA of , 1996 

  • Centennial Award, Golf Associations of Philadelphia , 1996 

  • Francis Ouimet Award, Francis Ouimet Caddie Scholarship Fund, Boston , 1997 

  • Lifetime Achievement Award, PGA Tour, 1998 

  • Golfer of Century, Western Pennsylvania Golf Association, 1998

  • Donald Ross Award, American Society of Golf Course Architects, 1999 

  • Golf Newsmaker of Century, Golf World, 1999

  • Ike Grainger Award, USGA, 2000

  • Golf Family of Year, National Golf Foundation, 2000

  • Payne Stewart Award, PGA Tour, 2000 

  • Dave Marr Award, Novell Utah Showdown, 2000 

  • National Golf Course Owners Association Award of Merit, 2001 

  • Golden Anniversary Award, Metropolitan (NY) Golf Writers Association, 2001 

  • Tri-State PGA Hall of Fame, 2002

  • 50th Anniversary ACC golf team, 2003 

  • Dave Marr Shell Award, Houston, 2004


General Sports

  • Associated Press Athlete of Decade – 1960-1969

  • Hickok Professional Athlete of Year – 1960

  • Sports Illustrated Sportsman of Year – 1960

  • Dapper Dan Award, Pittsburgh – 1960 

  • Pennsylvania , Western Pennsylvania , Westmoreland County , Cambria County, North Carolina , Florida 

  • Sports Halls of Fame

  • Wake Forest Hall of Fame 

  • Sports Appreciation Trophy, Atlanta AC CC, Atlanta , 1990

  • Athletes Who Changed Game, Sports Illustrated’s 20th Century Sports Awards, New York , 1999

  • Top 10 Male Athletes, 50th Anniversary, Atlantic Coast Conference, 2003 

  • Roy Firestone Award, Los Angeles , 2004

  • Alfond Award of Excellence, Rollins College , Orlando , 2004



  • Arthur J. Rooney Award, Catholic Youth Association, Pittsburgh , 1977

  • Dapper Dan Man of Year, Pittsburgh , 1960 

  • Lowman Humanitarian Award, Los Angeles

  • Distinguished Pennsylvanian, 1980

  • Partner in Science Award, March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation

  • Theodore Roosevelt Award, National Collegiate Athletic Association

  • Business Leaders Award, Northwood Institute

  • National High School Sports Hall of Fame 

  • Ellis Island Medal of Honor, New York , 1986

  • Gold Medal, Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters, 1988

  • Order of Eagle Exemplar, Sports Academy , 1989 

  • Van Patrick Career Achievement Award, Dearborn, MI , 1990

  • Eagle on World Award, Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of  New York , 1990

  • Pathfinder Award, Youthlinks Indiana , 1992 

  • Outstanding American Award, Los Angeles Philanthropic Foundation, 1992

  • National Sports Award, Washington , 1993

  • Sports Legends Award, Juvenile Diabetes Association, Pittsburgh , 1993 

  • Humanitarian Award, Variety Club International, 1993

  • “Good Guy” Award, American Legion National Commanders, 1993

  • Man of Year, Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce, 1994

  • Ford Achievement Award, Dearborn, MI , 1994

  • Golden Plate Award, American Academyh of Achievement, 1995

  • History Makers Award, Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania , 1995

  • Community Service Award, Latrobe Chamber of Commerce, 1995 

  • Reagan Distinguished American Award, Jonathan Club, Los Angeles , 1996 

  • Lifetime Achievement Award, March of Dimes Athletic Awards, 1998 

  • Caritas Award, Richstone Family Center , Los Angeles , 1998 

  • Spirit of Hope Award, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, 1998

  • James Ewing Layman’s Award, Society of Surgical Oncology, Orlando , 1999

  • Harold A. Stewart Amicus Libri Award, Adams Memorial Library, Latrobe, 1999 

  • Patriot Award, Congressional Medal of Honor Society, 2000 

  • George Bush Three Amigos Inspiration Award, Houston, 2001

  • Great Ones Award, Jim Murray Memorial Foundation, Los Angeles , 2001

  • Paul Harris Rotary Club Award, Orlando, 2002 

  • Great American Award, Starkey Hearing Foundation, Minneapolis , 2003 

  • Presidential Medal of Freedom, White House, 2004 

  • Order of Merit, Lisbon , 2005 

  • Dapper Dan Lifetime Achievement Award, 2005

  • Spirit of Hope Award, Adelphoi , 2006

  • Mid-Florida Business Hall of Fame, Junior Achievement, 2006 



  • Honorary Doctor of Laws, Wake Forest University , Winston-Salem, NC 

  • Honorary Doctor of Humanities, Thiel College , Greenville, PA

  • Honorary Doctor of Laws, National College of Education , Evanston, IL

  • Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters, Florida Southern University, Lakeland, FL 

  • Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters, St. Vincent College , Latrobe, PA 



  • Arnold Palmer’s Golf Book, 1961 

  • Arnold Palmer’s Complete Book of Putting, 1986 

  • Portrait of a Professional Golfer, 1964

  • Play Great Golf, 1987-89 (book, videos) 

  • My Game and Yours, 1965, revised 1983  

  • The Arnold Palmer Story (video) 

  • Situation Golf, 1970

  • Arnold Palmer, A Personal Journey (by Thomas Hauser with Arnold Palmer), 1994

  • Go For Broke, 1973

  • Arnold Palmer’s Best 54 Holes of Golf, 1977

  • Arnold Palmer, A Golfer’s Life (w/James Dodson), 1999  

  • Playing by the Rules, 2002 

  • Memories, Stories and Memorabilia, 2004


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