The public memorial for legendary golfer Arnold Palmer took place Tuesday at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. Palmer died September 25 at the age of 87.
• Captain Pete Luster, Co-Pilot of N1AP (circling the Basilica prior to the service – Cessna C750)
• U.S. Coast Guard Color Guard and Brass Quintet (Song: “Fanfare for the Common Man” by Aaron Copland)
• Archabbot Douglas R. Nowicki, O.S.B., Saint Vincent College (Scripture Reading: Psalm 23)
• Saint Vincent College Singers, including soloist Alyce McCann (Song: “You are Mine” by David Haas)
• Charlie Mechem, former LPGA Commissioner (Master of Ceremony)
• Tim Finchem, PGA Tour Commissioner
• Sam Saunders, Arnold Palmer’s grandson
• Vince Gill, country music artist (Song: “Go Rest High on That Mountain” by Vince Gill)
• Russ Meyer, Chairman Emeritus, Cessna
• Jim Nantz, broadcaster, CBS Sports
• Peter Dawson, former Chief Executive of the Royal & Ancient Golf Club
• St. Vincent College Singers, U.S. Coast Guard Brass Quintet, local string quartet (Song: “America the Beautiful”)
• Jack Nicklaus, World Golf Hall-of-Famer
• Annika Sorenstam, World Golf Hall-of-Famer
• Charlie Mechem, former LPGA Commissioner
• Vince Gill, country music artist (Song: ”You’ve Got a Friend” by Carole King)
• Archabbot Douglas R. Nowicki, O.S.B., Saint Vincent College (Memorial Commendation)
• Saint Vincent College Singers and U.S. Coast Guard Brass Quintet (Song: “Battle Hymn of the Republic”)
• (Guests will exit and reassemble outside Saint Vincent Basilica for flyover)
• Captain Pete Luster, Co-Pilot of N1AP (Performing flyover – Cessna C750)
With his dominance in golf and distinctive style, Palmer helped turn the sport from a country club pursuit to one that became accessible to the masses.
He won more than 90 golf tournaments, including the Masters four times, the U.S. Open in 1960, and the British Open in 1961 and 1962.
Palmer became the first person to make $1 million playing golf.
“I would like to be remembered for bringing golf to a worldwide audience,” he told CNN in 2012. “Players today have no boundaries.”
He and his two great rivals in the “Big Three” — Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus — helped take the sport around the globe in the 1960s, capitalizing on the ever-growing reach of television. Golf grew into made-for-television events and with it came massive sponsorship and prize money.
After learning to play golf at age 3, Palmer never stopped.
It was not only his knack for golf that won him legions of adoring fans.
Long before the age of social media, Palmer was the first golfer to attract his own special following — “Arnie’s Army” — diehard fans who surrounded every green to cheer him on, win or lose.
He had charisma combined with good looks and style.
GQ Magazine named him one of the “50 most stylish men of the past 50 years” and Esquire had him in a list of the “75 best-dressed men of all time.”
Golfers are rarely remembered for their fashion sense, usually the exact opposite. But Palmer insisted on a consistent style throughout his career.
“It was not something I really planned,” he told CNN in 2012. “I liked a sharp crease in my slacks, my shoes polished to shine, while my shirts were conservative with a straight collar.”
Palmer even had a drink named after him — a mix of lemonade and sweet tea that he used to take on the golf course with him in a thermos.
A PGA tour competition was renamed for Palmer, in 2007. The Arnold Palmer Invitational is played every March in Orlando.
He also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2004 and the Congressional Gold Medal in 2012.