Arnold Palmer is not the most decorated golfer in the history of the sport, but he is unhesitatingly grouped together with the small, select set of iconic names. The legends like Byron Nelson and Ben Hogan have become more obscure as time has passed, but the direct line from Arnie to Jack to Tiger continues to be a constant refrain. Palmer's perch in the history of the game is the result of his seven major wins and his immense popularity. He is "The King" because people love him and want him to be their monarch, and in Augusta this week, where he's more beloved than anyone else, Steve Politi added another anecdote to the canon of great Arnie stories.
Politi sought out the answer to the most unique of questions: How does Arnold Palmer order an Arnold Palmer? After tracking down an ANGC waitress who served Palmer, Politi paints the perfect Arnie scene in a brief dispatch (via NJ.com):
"How did Arnie order his drink?"
"He leaned over and said, 'I'll have a Mr. Palmer.' Then he winked," Kesley said.
Of course he did.
It's never a bad time to be The King, but this Spring has been a particularly great stretch for Palmer. Last month, he hosted Kate Upton at his own invitational at Bay Hill, which he referred to as a "fun deal." Days later, EA Sports released a new commercial with an octogenarian Palmer and Tiger Woods fighting off some scary criminals. At 83, Palmer still manages to do something cool in the public eye on almost a weekly basis.
I once had a friend who had the fortune of spending some time with Palmer at an amateur qualifying event in his native Western Pennsylvania. My friend relayed that Palmer insisted on getting a group together after the event, choosing to sit around with a bunch of nobodies for cocktails and stories. But this all came after Arnie spent the day happily and haphazardly rolling around, through, and over the course in an Escalade, which I always thought was the perfectly hilarious image of the coolest golfer ever. Perhaps until Politi's story today.
UPDATE: A few months have passed, but the West Pennsylvania Golf Association tweeted a picture of Arnold rolling around this year's Palmer Cup in his Escalade, so it's more than just an urban legend from my friend who once had cocktails with the King.
Another great Palmer Cup moment. It was cold day so a great way to upgrade taking in the action.... Nice buggy! http://t.co/k6zeGuYipG
— West Penn Golf Assn. (@wpga) September 18, 2013