The Arnold Palmer Invitational is this weekend, and while Arnold Palmer himself will not be there, his spirit lives on within those who honor and remember him.
The professional golfers who are making their way to Bay Hill, have an incredibly special event ahead of them. Besides the unveiling of the 13-foot statue to commemorate the King, there will signs of Arnold Palmer all around. The course will be featuring some of his trophies and medals throughout the course and even some of the players will be carrying him with them.
Morgan Hoffmann showed off his new Titleist Vokey wedges on Instagram, but it was the custom stamps he had placed on them that caught our eye:
In a sense, it’ll be like Morgan is literally playing with a piece of the legend. Another golf who showcased his custom Arnie Palmie gear, was none other than Rickie Fowler. Are you surprised? Because you shouldn’t be. Fowler was one of the golfers who flew to Arnold Palmer’s memorial service with the Ryder Cup trophy in tow to bring it back for the King.
We all know Rickie is a fan of flashy, well everything, but in particular shoes. Well, he has truly custom puma high tops this week, featuring Arnold Palmer moments and the iconic umbrella.
It’s unnerving that as the game has developed and increased purse sizes, players have lost some of that respect for the game itself and the players that molded it. I commend Rickie Fowler for not only being an ambassador for millennial golf, but for attending events that may not fatten his wallet, but will leave a lasting impact. He supported Ernie Els’ tournament for autism this past weekend and he honors Arnie this week.
Rory McIlroy is another golfer who has taken this incredible opportunity to memorialize the King. He has changed his social platform’s avatar to the Arnold Palmer umbrella and posted a letter that Mr. Palmer sent to him after his first major win:
Nowadays, a lot of fellow golfers will congratulate each other via social media when they’ve won a tournament. This letter, coming straight from Arnold Palmer, means so much more than just well wishes. I really can’t see Tiger Woods reaching out this way, and that’s why he will never be at the same caliber as Arnold, no matter how much of an impact he left.
According to Golf Channel, the channel he co-created, if you wrote Arnold Palmer you got a response. There’s nothing more humble than that. This is why Tour players this week will be signing memorabilia that was sent in for Arnold a bit too late, because if he was alive, they’d have been sent back already.
If you haven’t seen the new Mastercard commercial honoring Arnie, you really should. It encapsulates the spirit of the game that Arnold Palmer truly shaped and emulated. The players not at the tournament this week are doing a disservice to the King. Those that are, are in for a memory to last a lifetime.