Putting Practice With Arnie
When I was a kid, Arnold Palmer was our hero. We paid extra attention to the Masters in the even years, ’cause he always won then. We were mad they hadn’t kept the PGA a match play event. Everyone knew no one could beat Arnie one-on-one.
Mr. Palmer turns 80 on September 10. The USGA has set up a message board so anyone can send him a birthday greeting and a favorite Arnold Palmer memory. Given that Arnie has answered every piece of fan mail sent his way since 1950 something, I thought that was the least we could do. I sent in one about putting practice with Arnie. If y’all have some favorite Arnie stories, I hope you will send them in too.
The link is: www.usgamuseum.com/arnoldpalmer
Here is my blip on his radar:
An imaginary sports announcer droned in the background. “Folks it’s Arnold Palmer to win the Masters. This crowd is hushed.”
I’d stand over the putt knock-kneed, as much like Arnie as I could. I’d draw back and putt, and then agonize. Was it gonna go in? Plunk! “Yes. Yes! Arnold wins again!!” the announcer would shout.
Then I’d putt another ball. This time it was Casper. The announcer would speak again. “Billy Casper for the Masters, folks.” If the ball got ready to drop, the imaginary announcer suddenly would say, “Wait. Wait a minute… No, sports fans.. I’ve made a mistake! That was Arnie. It was Arnie! Arnie wins again.”
I made a bunch of putts and I missed a bunch too, but in my putting practice Arnie never lost.