Arnold Palmer

Golf is not, in this day and age, a stylish game. But it wasn’t always so. Once upon a time, it was a paradise of slim-cut polos, pressed slacks and summer sweaters. And presiding over it all, there was a man named Arnold Palmer…

Perfectly Embodied:
It’s all here. The close-cropped hair. The tucked polo. The flowing pants, cut to the perfect length. And if we read the crowd right, he just hit a pretty good drive. There are more charming pics , more modern ones and more daring ones, but this sums up the man like nothing else.

Words of Wisdom:
What do I mean by concentration? I mean focusing totally on the business at hand and commanding your body to do exactly what you want it to do.

The Backstory:
Apparently, it worked. Like Johnny Unitas, he was a likable, blue-collar guy who happened to one of the best in the world at his chosen vocation. He also lived by the principles of hard work and dedication that sportswriters would spend the next six decades grinding into cliché. Along the way, he established golf as a sport people would actually watch on TV—but it meant turning the aw-shucks affability up to 11 at every chance. The only time stepped out of uniform was when he got the chance to put on a championship jacket, at which point, we’d say he earned it.

Also, he had this amazing trick with lemonade…

—R.B.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Russell Brandom