Palmer to Receive GCAA Lifetime Achievement Award
Golf legend to be honored at Hall of Fame Banquet Jan. 14
NORMAN, Okla. ? Arnold Palmer will be honored with the GCAA Lifetime Achievement Award at its annual Hall of Fame Banquet Jan. 14 at Disney?s Coronado Springs Resort in Orlando, Fla. In addition, Palmer will become only the third non-coach inducted into the GCAA Hall of Fame.
?I am certainly looking forward to receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Golf Coaches Association of America,? said Palmer. ?I consider it a particular honor inasmuch as my golf at Wake Forest played a major role in leading me into my career in professional golf. I have kept in close touch with collegiate golf through the years and was very pleased to lend my name to the Palmer Cup when it was founded a decade ago.?
Besides the magnificent performance record, Palmer?s magnetic personality and unfailing sense of kindness and thoughtfulness to everybody with whom he comes in contact have endeared him to millions throughout the world and led to the informal formation of the largest non-uniformed ?military? organization in existence -- Arnie?s Army. Seven of his victories came in what the golfing world considers the four major professional championships. He won the Masters Tournament four times, in 1958, 1960, 1962 and 1964; the U.S. Open in spectacular fashion in 1960 at Cherry Hills Country Club in Denver and the British Open in 1961 and 1962. He came from seven strokes off the pace in the final round in that U.S. Open win and finished second in four other Opens after that. Among the majors, only the PGA Championship eluded him. He finished second in the PGA three times. Palmer was also a two-time NCAA medalist, in 1948 and 1949, while at Wake Forest.
The golfing great has been the recipient of countless honors, the symbolic plaques, trophies and citations scattered throughout his personal, club and business worlds, the epitome coming in 2004 when he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George W. Bush at a White House ceremony. He has received virtually every national award in golf and after his great 1960 season both the Hickok Professional Athlete of the Year and Sports Illustrated?s Sportsman of the Year trophies. He is a charter member of the World Golf Hall of Fame and a member of the American Golf Hall of Fame at Foxburg, PA, and the PGA Hall of Fame in Florida. He is chairman of the USGA Members Program and served as honorary national chairman of the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation for 20 years. He played a major role in the fund-raising drive that led to the creation of the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and Women in Orlando in the 1980s. A long-time member of the board of directors of Latrobe Area Hospital he staged a major annual fund-raising golf event for that institution for six years that led to the formation of the Latrobe Area Hospital Charitable Foundation.
The GCAA?s marquee event, The Palmer Cup presented by Monster, is named in Palmer?s honor. The annuall event between the top college players in the United States and Europe was first played in 1997 and has become one the the most widely respected amateur events in the world. Additionally, the national championship medalist in NCAA Divisions I, II and III, as well as the NAIA, or honored with the Arnold Palmer Award presented by Callaway Golf.
Palmer joins Karsten Solheim and Byron Nelson as previous recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award.