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Golf Talk Live - Arnold Palmer Transcript Segment 1

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WHEN HE WAS 30, HE WAS WINNING MAJOR CHAMPIONSHIPS AGAINST YOUNG CHILDREN. NOW THAT HE'S 70, HE STILL OUT-DRIVES THE KIDS. AND SOMETIMES TO AMUSE HIMSELF, HE LETS ONE OF THEM WIN A SKIN.

VISIT WITH ARNOLD PALMER FOR A WHILE FOR HIS PAL, GARY PLAYER, DROPS BY TO WREAK HAVOC ON THE PROCEEDINGS ON GOLF TALK LIVE.

IT BEGAN AS A FAINT RUMBLE.

LIKE A SMALL ROCKSLIDE IN THE ALLEGHENY MOUNTAINS OF WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA WHERE HE WAS BORN, HE WON THE U.S. AMATEUR, AND MET AND MARRIED WINNIE IN 1954.

HE HAD NO MONEY, AND THERE WAS NOTHING ELSE HE LOVED ENOUGH TO TRY.

BUT ARNOLD PALMER HAD DREAMS. AND HE BEGAN TO MAKE THEM COME TRUE.

PALMER LEARNED WHAT LITTLE HE DIDN'T ALREADY KNOW ABOUT WINNING AND WINNING ON TOUR. HE TESTED THE COMPETITION AND ADAPTED TO THE DEMANDS OF EACH NEW COURSE AS HE AND THE TOUR CHASED THE WARM SUN AROUND THE COUNTRY.

THE WINS MULTIPLIED, AND MONEY AND ENDORSEMENTS RUSHED IN
THERE WAS A CHISELED LOOK TO HIS FACE AND BODY AS THOUGH HE HAD BEEN CARVED FROM THOSE MOUNTAINS BACK HOME.

AND AS WE GREW TO KNOW HIM, WE SETTLED ON HIS BASIC DECENCY, WIN OR LOSE, AS THE FOUNDATION OF HIS STRENGTH, AS THE SOURCE OF HIS APPEAL.

WE FELL IN LOVE WITH HIS STYLE, WITH HIS 'LET'S GO FOR IT TODAY' ATTITUDE 'AND IF WE BLOW IT THERE'S ALWAYS TOMORROW.'

THERE'S AN UNWAVERING SET OF VALUES, AN UNQUENCHABLE THIRST TO WIN, A CLEAR TRAIL FOR US TO FOLLOW.

AND THERE'S A FRIEND WHO WANTS ONLY TO BREAK YOUR HEART AND YOUR WALLET WITH THE MAGNIFICENCE OF HIS GAME.

ARNOLD PALMER
PETER KESSLER
WELCOME TO GOLF TALK LIVE AS THIS NIGHT AND THIS GUEST MARK THE BEGINNING OF THE SIXTH YEAR OF THE GOLF CHANNEL.

I'M PETER KESSLER AND OUR GUEST, THE MOST CELEBRATED PLAYER IN THE HISTORY OF THE GAME, ARNOLD PALMER.

ARNOLD PALMER
HI PETER.

PETER KESSLER
I'M SO GLAD TO SEE YOU, ARNOLD.

ARNOLD PALMER
THANK YOU.

PETER KESSLER
AND I APOLOGIZE FOR NOT ACCEPTING YOUR INVITATION TO COME OVER AND LOSE ALL MY MONEY OVER AT BAYHILL.

ARNOLD PALMER
OH, IT'S OPEN.

PETER KESSLER
I APPRECIATE THAT. I'M GONNA WAIT TILL YOU'RE 80 AND THEN I THINK I'LL BE READY.

ARNOLD PALMER
OH NO, WE'D - WE'D DO IT BEFORE THAT.

PETER KESSLER
ARNOLD, I'M SO SORRY ABOUT WINNIE. ALL OF US ARE.

ARNOLD PALMER
THANK YOU.

PETER KESSLER
AND I THINK WE WANT TO KNOW THAT YOU'RE DOING OKAY AND THAT YOU'RE GONNA BE OKAY.

(ARNOLD GESTURES BUT SAYS NOTHING)

REMEMBER WHEN SHE USED TO COME TO THE SHOW AND SHE FOUND US SO FASCINATING THAT SHE'D NEVER PAID ATTENTION TO ANYTHING WE EVER DID.

SHE WOULD READ A BOOK. SHE WOULD WRITE A NOTE. SHE WOULD CONDUCT BUSINESS. SHE WOULD KNIT. AND AT THE END OF THE SHOW, SHE WOULD COME AND COLLECT YOU.

ARNOLD PALMER
AND SHE'D BE MAD AT ME.

PETER KESSLER
WHY?

(ARNOLD POINTS TO HIMSELF BUT SAYS NOTHING)

THE FIRST TIME I WAS AT YOUR HOME, THERE WAS A JAR WITH A RED LIQUID IN IT AND THE LABEL SAID 'MUDDLE MIX'. AND WINNIE POURED SOME OF THAT INTO A GLASS WITH SOME OTHER LIQUID.

AND I HAVEN'T BEEN THE SAME SINCE, AND THAT WAS ALMOST 6 YEARS AGO. WAS ANYTHING IN THAT LEGAL?

ARNOLD PALMER
EVERYTHING WAS. AND IT'S A . IT'S A POTION THAT IS VERY GOOD AND KEEPS YOU YOUNG. NOW YOU MIGHT TRY IT SOME MORE, PETER.

PETER KESSLER
DID YOU BRING IT WITH YOU?

ARNOLD PALMER
NO, NO, NO, NO. I DIDN'T MEAN THAT UH - WELL, YOU MIGHT.

PETER KESSLER
HOW DID SHE PUT UP WITH YOU?

ARNOLD PALMER
THAT'S AMAZING. UH .

I, YOU KNOW, WAS . EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENED UH SHE HAD SOMETHING TO DO WITH.

PETER KESSLER
THERE WAS SO MUCH COMMOTION AROUND YOU ALWAYS. BUT YET THERE WAS SOMETHING ABOUT WINNIE THAT LET HER HANDLE ALL OF THAT IN STRIDE WITHOUT COMMOTION AND MAGNIFICENTLY. WHAT WAS IT?

ARNOLD PALMER
WELL SHE - SHE KEPT HER COOL. SHE UH . (WIPES TEARS FROM EYES)

SHE UH KNEW ME. AND SHE KNEW HOW TO HANDLE ME. AND THAT WAS IT.

PETER KESSLER
SHE HAD AN AWFULLY FULL LIFE WITH VERY LITTLE REGRETS, DIDN'T SHE?

ARNOLD PALMER
WELL, WE HAD A GREAT LIFE. AND UH, PART OF THAT WAS THAT THE THINGS THAT WE DID UH .

WE WERE OPPOSITES TO A DEGREE. UH, SHE WAS NOT A GOLFER REALLY. SHE ENJOYED WATCHING AND SHE ENJOYED SEEING THE GAME. AND THERE WERE A LOT OF THINGS.

SHE DID A LOT OF THINGS THAT I DID NOT DO. SHE READ A LOT. UH, I READ SPARINGLY,

(PETER LAUGHS)

OBVIOUSLY. AND DON'T LAUGH.

UH, AND SHE TOOK CARE OF EVERYTHING FOR ME. SHE UH, SHE KNEW THE RIGHT TIMES AND THE RIGHT PLACES. AND SHE KNEW WHAT TO SAY AT THE RIGHT TIME. UH .

SO I . AFTER 45 YEARS, YOU GET TO BE DEPENDING ON THAT. YOU KNOW, YOU SORT OF GO ALONG WITH IT. AND .

AND IT WAS GREAT. UH .

AND TODAY, IT'S A LITTLE EMPTY OUT THERE. BUT IT'S GETTING BETTER AS TIME GOES ON. AND UH, SHE WOULDN'T WANT IT TO BE ANY OTHER WAY. UH .

GET ON WITH IT.

PETER KESSLER
SEEMS LIKE ONE THING THAT'S GOING PARTICULARLY WELL LATELY IS YOUR GOLF GAME SEEMS A LITTLE BIT BETTER.

ARNOLD PALMER
WELL (SIGH) . YES. AND - AND SHE WOULD SAY 'IT'S ABOUT TIME.' (CHUCKLE)

UH, FORGET THE YEARS AND ALL THAT STUFF. UH, IT'S STILL VERY IMPORTANT. AND SHE KNEW THAT TOO. AND UH,

I FEEL BETTER ABOUT IT. I FEEL UH, MAYBE THAT I'M . AND I DON'T KNOW WHAT'S GONNA HAPPEN AND I DON'T KNOW HOW MUCH I'M GONNA PLAY. BUT UH,

IT'S CERTAINLY BETTER. UM, I'M HITTING THE BALL . I GOT INTO A RHYTHM, A TIGER WOODS RHYTHM, HOW'S THAT?

PETER KESSLER
THAT'S A GOOD RHYTHM. I THINK HE STOLE IT FROM YOU.

ARNOLD PALMER
AND - AND, OF COURSE, I COULD - I COULD DO A UH - A UH GOLF ACADEMY FOR YOU RIGHT NOW AND . BUT SERIOUSLY UH,

I - IN THE LAST, OH, MONTH OR TWO, I'VE BEEN HITTING SOME BALLS AND . AND I FEEL LIKE UH - AND I WATCH TIGER, AS A MATTER OF FACT.

AND . AND UH, MAYBE IT'S BROUGHT BACK SOME OLD FEELINGS ABOUT MY GOLF GAME THAT CERTAINLY ISN'T GONNA THREATEN HIM

BUT MIGHT THREATEN SOME OF THOSE OLD GUYS OUT THERE IN THE TOUR A LITTLE BIT, I HOPE. BUT GETTING THE CLUB BACK AND GETTING IT UP THERE AND THEN GOING AHEAD AND RELEASING IT.

I MARVEL AT TIGER WOODS' ABILITY TO RELEASE THE CLUB THROUGH THE BALL. I DON'T - I HAVE NOT SEEN A PLAYER .

MAYBE NICKLAUS, UH, MAYBE PLAYER A LITTLE BIT, BUT I'M NOT SURE THAT I'VE EVER SEEN ANYONE RELEASE THE CLUB THROUGH THE BALL WITH THE CLUBHEAD SPEED THAT TIGER DOES.

AND IT'S FREE. IT'S FLOWING. AND OF COURSE, IF HE HAS A SECRET UH, IT'S HIS ABILITY TO MENTALLY HANDLE IT, BUT AS WELL, TO GET THAT CLUB THROUGH THE BALL ON-LINE AS FAST AS HE DOES.

PETER KESSLER
NOW WINNIE KNEW THAT GOLF WAS GONNA BE THERAPY FOR YOU. GOLF HAS ALWAYS BEEN WHAT YOU TURNED TO. WHAT INSTRUCTIONS DID SHE GIVE YOU ABOUT PLAYING GOLF? WHAT DID SHE TELL YOU TO DO?

ARNOLD PALMER
WELL, THERAPY WAS MAKING ENOUGH MONEY TO PUT FOOD ON THE TABLE UH, PETER (CHUCKLE). I MEAN, SHE KNEW WE NEEDED TO DO THAT. AND UH,

OH, WE HAD A GOOD TIME DOING THAT. AND ... AND FROM THE BEGINNING UH, IT WAS TOUGH. IT WAS - IT WAS . YOU KNOW .

GOLLY, WE USED TO SIT AROUND AND WATCH THE GUYS TODAY PLAYING GOLF AND - ON THE TOUR AND SEE THESE MILLION DOLLAR FIRST PRIZES AND ALL THAT STUFF.

AND WE USED TO LAUGH UH OVER A COCKTAIL OR UH JUST IN THE EVENING TALKING ABOUT THE GAME. AND WHEN UH I WAS WINNING TOURNAMENTS IN THE EARLY DAYS AND I WAS .

IF EVERYTHING WENT WELL AND I WON 2 THOUSAND DOLLARS FOR WINNING THE TOURNAMENT, UH, THAT WAS GREAT. BUT IF I FINISHED FOURTEENTH, I WON A HUNDRED DOLLARS. AND FIFTEENTH WAS THE LAST MONEY PLACE.

WE FELT LIKE WE WERE IN THE MONEY AND IT WASN'T BAD. UH, AND WE . WE DID ENJOY THAT. WE USED TO SIT AND JUST THINK ABOUT

MY GOODNESS UH, YOU KNOW, THERE WERE A 154 PLAYERS PLAYING FOR UH .

15 MONEY PLACES IN THOSE DAYS. FIRST PLACE WAS MAYBE 2 THOUSAND DOLLARS AND LAST PLACE WAS FIFTEENTH, MAYBE A HUNDRED DOLLARS.

NOW I KNOW THAT WE'VE HAD SOME INFLATION. AND I KNOW THAT THE TOUR HAS MADE SOME GREAT STRIDES. BUT THAT'S PRETTY UNBELIEVABLE WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT IT.

PETER KESSLER
IN 1960, YOU WON THE SAME NUMBER OF GOLF TOURNAMENTS THAT TIGER WON LAST YEAR. YOU WON 8 PGA TOUR EVENTS AND 2 MAJORS TO HIS 1 MAJOR.

HE WON ALMOST 7 MILLION DOLLARS LAST YEAR, WHICH WAS MORE THAN JACK WON IN HIS WHOLE CAREER, AGAINST YOUR 75 THOUSAND IN 1960 FOR THOSE 8 VICTORIES.

ARNOLD PALMER
WHY DID YOU HAVE TO SAY JACK WON IN HIS WHOLE CAREER?

PETER KESSLER
BECAUSE I WAS JUST TRYING TO PUT THE 2 OF YOU IN A CATEGORY WHERE TIGER WOULD .

ARNOLD PALMER
WELL, IT WAS A HELL OF A LOT MORE THAN I WON IN MY WHOLE CAREER.

PETER KESSLER
I DIDN'T - I WASN'T THE ONE WHO SAID THAT. YOU SAID THAT.

ARNOLD PALMER
NO, YOU SAID IT. (LAUGH)

PETER KESSLER
I'M GETTING OUT OF THIS ONE. I'M GETTING OUT OF HERE. WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.

(BREAK)

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