At age 87, legendary golfer Arnold Palmer died Sept 25th of complications due to a heart condition. Palmer was beloved not only for his golf skills, but also for his charming personality. As you reflect on Palmer’s vast talents, here are five things you may have not known about the great Arnold Palmer.
1. Palmer The Aviator
Many may know that Palmer loved to fly and often flew his own private jet. But you may be surprised to learn that he is a record-setting aviator. In 1976 he completed an around-the-world flight in 57 hours, 25 minutes and 42 seconds, setting a new record speed.
2. He joined the Coast Guard
Although Palmer played golf for Wake Forest University, he quit the sport for three years when a close friend and team-mate died in a car crash. He then joined the US Coast Guard during his break from golf. He was discharged and became paint salesman before taking up golf again.
3. The Invention of “The Arnold Palmer”
Even if you aren’t a golf fan, you’ve probably heard of the legendary “Arnold Palmer” drink – the perfect mixture of iced tea and lemonade. But how did this drink become associated with Palmer? We may never know the true story, but many say that the drink originated at a Palm Springs restaurant. The story goes that in 1960, a woman near Palmer ordered “that Palmer drink” after hearing the golfer order the drink combo.
4. Golf Channel
Palmer played a big role in helping to secure funds for the Golf Channel and helped the channel for golf lovers launch in 1995.
5.He designed the first golf course built in China
As the first modern-day golfing establishment in the People’s Republic, Chung Shan Hot Spring Golf Club was designed by Palmer.
Chung Shan’s original 18 holes opened in 1984. A course which requires precise shot-making, it has successfully staged numerous top-level tournaments, most notable the Alfred Dunhill Cup Asia-Pacific qualifier in 1988 as well as several China Open amateur championship for men and women.