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Arnie: Palmer timeline through the decades

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(Editor’s note: Sept. 10, 2014 is Arnold Palmer’s 85th birthday. We celebrate Golf Channel’s co-founder over multiple articles, which are linked to throughout this story, focusing on all aspects of his remarkable life and career. Click here for the complete list.)

A look at Arnold Palmer's life on and off the course, by decade (courtesy Golf Channel research department):


•1929: Arnold Palmer is born in Latrobe, Pa. (Sept. 10)


•1933: Swings a golf club for the first time. The club was cut down by his father, Deacon Palmer, the longtime professional and course superintendent at Latrobe Country Club


•1940: Begins caddying at Latrobe CC
•1946: Wins first of five West Penn Amateur Championships
•1947: Arrives on campus at Wake Forest
•1949: Wins first of two (1950) NCAA individual championships


•1951: Enlists in U.S. Coast Guard
•1954: Wins U.S. Amateur at Country Club of Detroit
•1955: Wins Canadian Open at Weston Golf & Country Club in Toronto, first of his 62 career PGA Tour wins
•1958: Wins Masters for first time
•1958: Meets President Eisenhower for first time at Laurel Valley Golf Club in Pa.


•1960: Wins second Masters by one shot over Ken Venturi
•1960: Wins U.S Open at Cherry Hills by shooting a final-round 65 to overcome a seven-shot deficit
•1961: Wins first career Open Championship at Royal Birkdale
•1961: Buys first airplane, a twin-prop Aero Commander, for $27,000
•1962: Wins third career Masters in a playoff over Gary Player and Dow Finsterwald
•1962: Wins second consecutive Open Championship at Royal Troon
•1963: Leads U.S. to Ryder Cup victory as a playing captain at East Lake Golf Club
•1964: Wins Masters, his last of seven major titles
•1968: Becomes first PGA Tour player to surpass $1 million in career earnings


•1970: Associated Press announces that Palmer is the Athlete of the Decade (1960s)
•1971: Wins USGA’s Bob Jones Award
•1971: Wins Bob Hope Desert Classic to win for the 17th consecutive year on Tour (tied with Jack Nicklaus for most all time)
•1973: Wins Bob Hope Desert Classic for fifth time. It is the last of Palmer’s 62 PGA Tour victories
•1974: Inducted into World Golf Hall of Fame as part of orignal class
•1976: Purchases Bay Hill Club & Lodge with group of associates


•1980: Wins PGA Seniors’ Championship (now Senior PGA Championship) in his first Champions Tour start
•1981: Wins U.S. Senior Open at Oakland Hills Country Club to become first player to win U.S. Amateur, U.S. Open and U.S. Senior Open
•1988: Wins Crestar Classic, his 10th and final Champions Tour title
•1989: Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children opens in Orlando, Fla. (on Sept. 10, his 60th birthday)


•1993: Makes 574th and final cut of his PGA Tour career in Nestle Invitational (now Arnold Palmer Invitational) at Bay Hill
•1994: Plays last U.S. Open at Oakmont Country Club
•1995: Plays last Open Championship at St. Andrews
•1996: Winning U.S. captain in the second Presidents Cup at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club
•1999: Westmoreland County Airport in Latrobe is renamed Arnold Palmer Regional Airport


•2000: Recipient of inaugural Payne Stewart Award (along with Jack Nicklaus and Byron Nelson)
•2004: Makes 50th consecutive Masters start, which is the 734th and final start of his PGA Tour career
•2004: Receives Presidential Medal of Freedom from George W. Bush
•2007: Becomes Masters honorary starter
•2008: USGA dedicates Arnold Palmer Center for Golf History in Far Hills, N.J.
•2009: Awarded Congressional Gold Medal


•2012: Receives Congressional Gold Medal in ceremony (awarded in 2009)
•2016: Palmer dies at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh at age 87 (Oct. 25)