RIP Arnie – The People’s King

arnold-palmerMy Father, Arnie, Jack and Sam Snead playing a money game in the 1960 Open 

Pop lost fortunes to Arnie on the course but got it back later at the card table!! He and Arnie were great friends and played many of their Open practice rounds together. Arnie was the people’s King. He always had time for people and loved the integrity of the game and upheld it all his life. He and Seve were by far the most charismatic golf players that have ever lived. Banquet hall rooms full of black tie VIP guests would fall into instant silence and rise with Arnie just entering the room. That’s real charisma. Marty and I took him and his wife Kit to the Old Head about 10 years ago and I said to him on the first tee, ‘OK $100,$100,$100 – I am here to get all that money you took off my father back”. He cracked up laughing before hitching up the pants and splitting the fairway with his drive. Later that afternoon, Peter Keighery took him doodling around Kinsale and asked him if he would like a ’99’. He asked what it was and insisted in going into the local shop to the older lady serving and asking for “a 99 please” and paying for it himself. She had no idea who he was. I remember looking at him outside the shop in the glorious sunshine with the cashmere sweater thrown casually over his shoulders tucking into that ice cream with the flake bar like you see a 7 year old child doing at Teddy’s in Dun Laoghaire. He was so happy with his “99”. Later he and Kit sampled the best fish Kinsale had to offer and washed it down with some pints of Guinness & white wine while watching the Open finish.

He was truly the King – the people’s King