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A Life Well Played: My Stories Hardcover – Deckle Edge, October 11, 2016
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From the Publisher
A Word From the Author
The people I have met have made my life special. If you’re a golfer reading this, think about how many people you’ve met and made friends with because you played golf. Then take another person who doesn’t play golf. I don’t care where you are or what sport you’re in, it can’t compare, in my mind, to golf in bringing people together. Golf is a world in itself. It’s an experience that’s really worth living.
It’s been a wonderful life, I must say, and I say so with all humility and with appreciation for the people who made it so special. I hope the following pages adequately express that sentiment and that they illuminate for you some of those important things I learned along the way.
- Arnold Palmer
Mr. Palmer and his yellow lab, Mulligan, riding around his home in Latrobe.
A publicity photo for Wilson Sporting Goods, Mr. Palmer’s first professional contract which he signed November 18, 1954.
Arnold, Winnie, Amy and Peggy at their home in Latrobe.
"A warm good-bye from the great man himself. . . . We can picture Palmer in his dotage, sitting back in an easy chair, telling us short nuggets about the life he led, still feeling, as he writes, that he wants to share what he learned with people one more time." ―Golf Digest
"The definitive final word on Palmer's legacy from the man himself. The tome's pages capture the warm, humble confidence of its author, the qualities that made Palmer not just a great athlete but a great man and role model. . . . An invaluable insight into the mind of a champion." ―Newsweek
"A fast-paced reflection from the man who many consider the gold standard of conduct in his sport, with plenty of life lessons about how to remain humble and gracious while achieving superstardom." ―Christian Science Monitor
"A treasure trove of entertaining anecdotes and timeless wisdom that readers will celebrate and cherish on the memory and impact of a true global icon. . . . Every chapter grabbed my attention. . . . I can't recommend this book highly enough." - The Sports Page Weekly
"Eminently readable and delightfully Arnie, A Life Well Played is a must for any of his many admirers." ―BookPage
"Arnold Palmer has lived an incredible life, and the King now wants to share some of what's he experienced and what he's learned along the way...With Palmer being one of professional golf's greatest success stories, he should have plenty to offer readers." -- Golf News Net
"Palmer’s story is inextricably linked to a mentoring father: in Arnie’s case, a greenskeeper and eventual club pro who first put Arnie’s hands on a golf club and told him, “Boy, don’t you ever change that.” Inevitably, this volume strikes a (hopefully premature) valedictory note, but that will make it all the more popular with the King’s still-thriving army." - Booklist
"Packed with stories and a few tips . . . . A heartfelt, sincere, mini-self-portrait by a man who epitomizes class." ―Kirkus Reviews
"The late golfer's last accomplishment in a life that, by any standard, was well-lived." ―The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
About the Author
ARNOLD PALMER is regarded as one of the greatest players in professional golf history. He won seven major championships: The Masters four times, the U.S. Open once, and the Open Championship twice. "The King" was the first superstar of the sport's television age and is one of the athletes credited with popularizing and commercializing the sport. Palmer won the PGA Tour Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998 and, in 1974, was one of the original inductees into the World Golf Hall of Fame. He passed away in 2016 after completing this book.
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Arnie writes that the biggest influence in golf and life was his father, “Paps”. He taught him to be a sportsman and good sportsmanship. He rode him hard and rarely complimented him. His parents taught him manners and respect. Other major influences on his were his first wife Winnie, agent Mark McCormack, and the game of golf.
Of the 75 stories Palmer includes here, I had many favorites. Among them were:
• His love of Latrobe Country Club (he considered Latrobe to be home), Bay Hill, and Pebble Beach.
• His thoughts about Jack Nicklaus
• Playing boldly, charging and going for broke
• Arnie’s Army
• His thoughts on civility, trust (sealing some of his most important business deals with just a handshake), and listening well.
• Signing autographs (and doing a good job of it too)
• His love and devotion to first wife Winnie
• His love of flying. He wrote that had he not made a career of playing golf, he would have most likely been an airline pilot.
• His heroes (his father, Bryon Nelson, Walter Hagen and Bobby Jones).
• His charity efforts, especially those related to children
• His relationship to Ike (Dwight D. Eisenhower)
• Golf course design. He still had plans to design the “ultimate course”
• The Golf Channel, which he co-founded
• The Arnold Palmer drink (iced tea and lemonade)
Arnie admits that he never really liked the nickname “The King”. As far as his legacy, he would like to be remembered as the caretaker of the game of golf and its integrity. He writes that he is the most thankful person because he got to live out his dream of playing golf for a living.
I enjoyed these stories from Arnie a great deal. There was no one that had a bigger impact on the game of golf than Arnie. I had the pleasure of seeing him at several tournaments, including many times at his tournament at Bay Hill, as well as when he played an opening round at a local course he designed. I highly recommend this book to all golf fans.
I recommend this only for real Palmer fans. On the golf course, Arnie always shot for the flag. At his writing desk, he laid up well short of the green.