— sam snead
holding a bunker rake instead of a pitchfork. “He looks doddering,”Watson said.“If they had only shot him sneaking a peek out of the corner of his eye at Kate – eyes twinkling – that would have been all right.That would have been Arnie.”
He earned $40 million that year without taking an official swing, and another $40 million the next. Palmer’s net worth as of last year was an estimated $680 million. His original money man, contemporary Mark McCormack, sport’s first super agent, was at least a co-builder of his great friend’s great brand. McCormack died in 2003. He went in for a face-lift and didn’t come out.
Palmer made his side money in advertising, architecture, clothes, cars, motor oil, catsup, dry cleaners, umbrellas, everything. He actually guest-hosted for Johnny Carson on “The Tonight Show.” It was a wooden performance but the audience enjoyed him. He walked through a movie scene from “Call Me Bwana” for Bob Hope. His pals ranged from Bing Crosby, Perry Como and James Garner to Mrs Simpson’s husband, Edward, the former King of England. A lot of pros have played golf with presidents, but only Palmer answered the doorbell at his home to find Dwight Eisenhower on the porch saying,“Happy birthday.”
Palmer maintained two residences, Bay Hill and Latrobe. The portrait Norman Rockwell painted of him was in Latrobe. To revisit his boyhood, all Arnold had to do was swivel the chair in his Latrobe office and gaze out the window. Since 1971, he owned the golf course where his father had been an employee who never set foot in the locker room, the dining room or the bar unless specifically invited by a member. Pap and he walked that hillside over there, shot pheasants, rabbits and squirrels, cleaned them in a nearby stream, and soaked them in salt water overnight. On the edge of the hill, an old oak tree fell over.The trunk was crumbling and honeybees moved in. “‘Now, Arnie,’ my dad says,‘we’re going to take this honey home to your mother.’ But he says,‘We have to get two five-pound bags of sugar.When we take the honey out, we’re going to put those two bags of sugar right there, so the