Arnold Palmer, My Dad, And Me (reposted from 9/25/16)

People are sharing memories of Arnold Palmer, who passed away at 87.

When I think of Palmer, I think of my dad, eleven years gone.

You’ll probably understand: I never met Arnold Palmer, and I was never much of a golfer. But he meant the world to me because he meant so much to my dad.

As a kid, I would sit on the brown plaid Sears sofa with my dad watching those battles between Palmer, Nicklaus, Player, et. al.

Televised PGA golf was a bond between a shy kid and a dad of few words. This was before “mancaves” and multiple-TV households. If you wanted to watch TV, there was one set. If golf was on, that’s what you were watching.

He’d say very little, and I’d say even less.

What he did say I’d always remember: Palmer’s a gentleman. Let your game speak for itself. Look at that swing.

I didn’t realize it until much later, but at the time we were watching the PGA on the woodgrain console Zenith TV set, Palmer was already past his prime. The biggest wins were years in the past. But the excellence, the poise and the example was live and in living color.

When we learned of this quiet man’s passing, I felt sad. And grateful.

Grateful for a son’s time with his dad.

I’d like to think the legendary golfer, and the man who described himself as just a “duffer”, are upstairs there comparing notes, and swings, right now.

Thanks, gentlemen, for how you played through.

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