Arnold Palmer Hickok Belt

“By the way, Roger...”

Arnold Palmer tells his Maris story one more time.

“We were grown-up kids!”

That’s the way Gary Williams described the feeling we all had as Williams, Damon Hack and I had the opportunity to visit Arnold Palmer in LaTrobe a few months before he died.

It was U.S. Open week in 2016, the tournament was being played at Oakmont, Palmer’s backyard, but due to health concerns, The King wouldn’t be making the trip from LaTrobe.

We certainly never thought there would be a scenario in which we would get to go and see him.

And then inclement weather rolled in.

It’s bittersweet, but in all of my years in and around the game, no story means more to me than this one. We had lunch, we watched golf, we drank Arnold Palmers with Arnold Palmer, and then we had story time in his office. The trip hit us all in places of our boyish hearts reserved for the special circumstances in which you get intimate time with your idol. And he over-delivers.

In this podcast, Williams, Hack, Doc Giffin, Palmer’s 50-year friend and consigliere, and Bob Ford, the iconic pro at Oakmont and Seminole, all help me tell the story.

You’ll also hear Arnold Palmer tell us one of his favorite stories. It was the day in which golf flipped the script on the New York Yankees, baseball and all of the other mainstream sports.

The King went from being embarrassed in an elevator to striking out a better part of Murders Row.

And yet it’s no surprise, Palmer and Roger Maris went on to be friends and play a lot of golf together.

–Matt Ginella

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1 thought on ““By the way, Roger…” Arnold Palmer tells his Maris story”

  1. I never met Mr. Palmer but I was around him for a short time. I ran the tournament course at La Costa in the late eighties and early nineties and had the pleasure of watching Mr. Palmer play at the Tournament of Champions there in 1989 in the Seniors as it was known back then. He played poorly that year and the weather was bad (as always at La Costa in January). Even though he wasn’t in the hunt he was kind and gracious to everyone at the Champions reception, especially the staff. We can all learn how to treat others and not take ourselves too seriously from Mr. Palmer. It’s amazing how certain events in our lives imprint themselves…
    Thanks for the story Matt.

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