One of the greatest golfers of all time offers up some stories and advice.
Palmer (A Golfer’s Life, 2000, etc.) is one of the best and best-loved of all golfers. The “King” (he admits he doesn’t like this moniker) feels this slight book is particularly important to him. Now 86, he realizes there are things “I still wanted to say to my friends in golf and to fans of the game in general.” The book is very conversational, as if he were right there talking to you. Packed with stories and a few tips, it’s divided into three sections: Golf, Life, and Business. The chapters are short, some only a couple pages. Palmer begins with his “tough, taciturn disciplinarian” father, a greenskeeper (and later the pro) at the Latrobe Country Club in Pennsylvania. He showed a 3-year-old boy how to grip a club, stand, swing, and, most importantly, show good sportsmanship. Palmer adhered to most of this advice, especially the last one. He has always been gracious in defeat, and the fans—Arnie’s Army, a phrase born in 1959—love him for it. He chides young pros who chicken scratch their signatures for fans; take your time and do it right, he says. He admits to being a “strong-minded person and maybe a bit stodgy.” One of his “most favorite personal golf memories” was the day he shot 60 at Latrobe. He’s made 20 aces and owns 2,000 putters and 10,000 clubs. The golfer he holds in the “highest esteem of all” is Byron Nelson, but the player he always wanted to beat—“to a pulp”—was Jack Nicklaus. Palmer’s advisers were against him starting the Golf Channel. He said: “Let’s do this.” And that famous tea and lemonade drink? He “concocted it one afternoon with the help of my wife.”
A heartfelt, sincere, mini–self-portrait by a man who epitomizes class.