Larger Than Life

Arnold Palmer served as one of the most iconic figures in the game. One of golf's Big Three along with Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player, Palmer was a successful businessman and course designer who will forever be a legend in the golf world.

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Among the Greats

Palmer began his PGA Tour career in 1949, perfectly timed for the television age, and he quickly became golf's first true great. His results on the course, including total victories, support his status as one of the greatest pro golfers of all time.


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A Look Back

Many of Palmer's tour victories came during a 10-year period from the mid-'50s to the mid-'60s, and all his majors wins -- four Masters, two British Opens and one U.S. Open -- came during this stretch.


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Palmer's Peak

With apologies to Tiger's Slam, Palmer arguably had the most dominant run in pro golf history from 1960-63. Compared to the best four-year periods on the PGA Tour by Nicklaus and Woods, Palmer outdistances them in events played, top-10 finishes and wins.


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Mayor of Augusta

Palmer's legacy was largely built with wins at Augusta National, where he became the first four-time Masters winner in 1964. While Nicklaus later collected more Masters wins and Woods tied him, it helps to look at Palmer's near-misses in order to truly understand his run of dominance in the tournament.


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On the Money

Despite his historic performance on the golf course, very little of Palmer's $675 million net worth came from PGA Tour winnings. In fact, he earned almost exactly as much later on the Champions Tour as he did in his peak playing days. But Palmer parlayed his popularity as a golfer into a second career in the business world, designing golf courses and becoming a pitchman for everything from luxury watches to beverages.


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In His Own Words

"Golf is deceptively simple and endlessly complicated."
"What other people may find in poetry, I find in the flight of a good drive."
"If you're in trouble, 80 percent of the time there's a way out."
"One thing I've learned over time is, if you hit a golf ball into water, it won't float."
"I have a tip that can take five strokes off anyone's game. It's called an eraser."

Key numbers


Time in hours, minutes and seconds for an around-the-world flight he piloted in 1976 that set a speed record. Palmer was an accomplished aviator.


Palmer's biggest yearly earnings in a PGA campaign, from 1967. He won four events and had four second-place finishes that year.


Different streets in the United States named after him.


Majors victories in his PGA career, tied with several golfers for the seventh-best total of all time.

Infographic by Paul Wallen. Additional reporting by Ben Arledge. Illustration by Yann Dolan.

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