Arnie: Definitive film on life, legacy of Arnold Palmer

By Golf Channel Public RelationsMarch 5, 2014, 5:50 pm

Golf Channel’s primetime television event, "Arnie," begins with the questions: “How do you tell a story of a life that’s larger than life? How do you find a way to put together all the memories, all the accomplishments, all the impact? And do what a story is supposed to do? And ensure it lasts forever? Someday – even decades – maybe centuries from now, they’ll hear the name Arnold Palmer and they’ll want to know everything.”

"Arnie" showcases how the golfing legend revolutionized and transcended the game to become one of the most beloved figures in sports history. The three-night television event will air on consecutive nights at 10 p.m. ET from Sunday, April 13, following Golf Channel’s "Live From the Masters," through Tuesday, April 15.

Golf Channel spent the last year traveling with Palmer, collecting interviews from more than 100 people, sifting through hundreds of hours of archived film – including hours of Palmer family video that has never been seen before – and shooting in locations around the world to create television’s definitive story of the most influential man to ever pick up a golf club.

“Mr. Palmer is an American icon, but what makes him so special is that he is absolutely genuine, especially through his ability to truly connect with everyone he meets,” said Mike McCarley, Golf Channel president. “To document the full impact of his life and legacy would be virtually impossible; however this project is an ambitious attempt to capture the influence he has in golf and sports as part of popular culture.”

"Arnie" spans Palmer’s entire life to the present, from his early childhood through his amateur and professional golf careers, his various off-the-course enterprises and the legacy he has left in his wake. Throughout this project, golf’s iconic legends, family, business partners, colorful personalities and two U.S. Presidents recount the great stories that created the cultural phenomenon around the man affectionately known as “The King.”

“… that’s the secret to life, you know, to have something to look forward to every day and every minute. And it’s the next shot he’s thinking about and that’s something we can all really remember about our lives is on the golf course. You’ve already made the ones you made, you can’t undo them, take the next shot, make it work, that’s the way Palmer made us feel.” – President Bill Clinton

"Arnie" was produced by 13-time Emmy Award winner and former NBC Sports feature producer Israel DeHerrera, whose work has been seen on broadcasts of Super Bowls, Olympics and golf’s major championships; and written by Peabody Award recipient and 18-time Emmy Award winner Aaron Cohen, associated with acclaimed sports documentaries for HBO, as well as for NBC, ESPN, NFL and MLB. Additionally, five-time Emmy Award winner Mason Seay is associate producer. Seay’s late father, Ed, was Palmer’s course design business partner for more than 30 years.

“Instead of just telling an incredible story, we wanted to capture special moments to showcase what Mr. Palmer has meant to the game of golf and why he has been so beloved for more than 60 years,” DeHerrera said.

The three parts of "Arnie" feature:

  • “Arnie & His Army” – Sunday, April 13 at 10 p.m. ET following "Live From the Masters" – This first episode recalls the people who influenced Palmer and instilled the values of integrity and human kindness that helped make him the man he has become both on and off the golf course, with special tribute to his parents Deacon and Doris. This retrospective ranges from stories of Deacon teaching him how to grip a golf club to his early days on the PGA Tour with his first wife, Winnie, as they raised a family together to those who helped build Palmer into a worldwide brand. And this brand was built around a man who never fails to acknowledge his fans or sign an autograph, an autograph famed for always being legible. Palmer believes if you are going to take the time to sign, make it right, which is a philosophy he has ingrained in other sports superstars. The first hour also delves into Palmer’s influence on sports marketing. Before Michael Jordan and Nike there was Arnold on his tractor touting the benefits of Pennzoil motor oil. He was the first athlete who had any kind of significant influence on popular culture, an influence that continues to this day. In fact, his range of influence has been unrivaled – evidenced in part by the fact that he could perform as a spokesperson for Pennzoil while, concurrently, serving as an ambassador for the luxury Rolex brand.

“The first time I saw Arnold Palmer was at the Ohio Amateur in 1955 and it was pouring rain and I looked outside and there was this guy out on the range hitting these screaming long irons, and I asked the pro, ‘Who is that?’ and he said ‘That’s Arnold Palmer.’ And I said, ‘Oh, that’s Arnold Palmer.’” – Jack Nicklaus


  • “Arnie & His Majors” – Monday, April 14 at 10 p.m. ET – The second episode remembers Palmer’s competitive career, his go-for-broke style and his ups and downs at golf’s major championships. Covered are his amateur victories, including the U.S. Amateur in 1954, which he calls his most important win ever; his four Masters titles in a span of seven years; the thrill of his U.S. Open victory and how winning the Open Championship in 1961 at Royal Birkdale changed that major championship forever in the minds of American players. Also explored is Palmer’s challenging history with the PGA Championship – the only major he never won.

“Some people have forgotten about his career a little bit, and they just know he’s ‘The King,' they don’t realize, that this guy was amazing, he played like a Seve Ballesteros, Lanny Wadkins, myself, and Phil Mickelson all wrapped up into one. There wasn’t a flag stick he wouldn’t go at; there wasn’t a drive he didn’t try to squeeze out there in a tight area. My dad told me if you want to be the best, you’ve got to be willing to do what other guys aren’t willing to do, and that was Arnold Palmer.” – Johnny Miller


  • “Arnie & His Legacy” – Tuesday, April 15 at 10 p.m. ET – The concluding hour delves into the legacy of Arnold Palmer and his influence on popular culture, which stretches beyond the links. Despite his last win on the PGA Tour coming 40 years ago, according to The Golf Digest 50 money list, Palmer had his best-year ever in earnings in 2013 and was the third-highest earner off of the golf course, behind only Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson. This placed Palmer second behind Michael Jordan on Forbes’ list of highest-paid retired athletes in 2013. The Arnold Palmer brand has launched a wide range of businesses, including a lifestyle designer label in the Asian marketplace with more than 400 retail outlets, a self-titled iced tea-lemonade beverage, golf course design and management firms, and even a cable television network by co-founding Golf Channel nearly 20 years ago. And his long-standing relevance in popular culture continues to have an impact, evident by the fact that he was just as likely to have his photo taken with Hollywood starlet Esther Williams as a 17-year-old in 1947 as he was with supermodel Kate Upton as an 83-year-old in 2013. He has always had the ear of golfing U.S. Presidents starting with his special friendship with President Dwight Eisenhower and the admiration of Hollywood icons like Bob Hope and Johnny Carson. And Palmer has reached the echelons of the rich and famous without compromising his core values throughout his life, which are on display with his many charitable endeavors that have raised millions of dollars for charities, including the world-renowned Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies in Orlando and hosting the PGA Tour’s Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard at his Bay Hill Golf Club and Lodge.

ARNIE Video Trailer

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What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

The Ryder Cup topped his list.

Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

“Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”



McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

“The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

More bulletin board material, too.

Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

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Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

“I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.