SI Vault
Dan Jenkins
September 01, 1969
Perhaps never again will there be a golfer with the universal appeal of Arnold Palmer. For more than a decade he has been a classic hero: bold, reckless, even foolhardy—traits that have cost him titles at times but have won him the admiration of the world. Who cares if the shot must go under a limb yet carry the pond? Go for it. Charge! On the tee he hammers at the ball the same way we do, straining to get every last yard out of it. Then he strides down the fairway, hitching at his pants, impatient to get on to the next shot. On the greens he agonizes over his putts and when they drop, his joy is unrestrained (right). Lately the moments of joy have been infrequent, and two weeks ago, after a disastrous opening round of 82 in the PGA, he withdrew from competitive golf to give his hip a rest. This month Arnold Palmer turns 40 (see cover), and so it seems appropriate to honor on the following pages this most photogenic of athletes—not to signal an end to the Age of Palmer, but to salute it.
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September 01, 1969

Thanks For The Memories

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There have been other major victories, as we know, and scores of lesser ones, and precisely because of him the tour has tripled, quadrupled in money. He has become, they say, something more than life-size, something immeasurable in champions, even though he is turning 40, the hip hurts, and the big ones are slipping away. If this is true, it is not because of what he has won but rather because of the pure, unmixed joy he brought to trying.

Hell, Arnold. Lately, you've even given a nobility to losing. So for all of us in the Army, I say happy 40th and thanks for those 1960s.

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