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A tribute to ‘The King’

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Golf legend Arnold Palmer dies at 87

By Mark Wehrman EBS Contributor

On Sept. 25 the world said goodbye to Arnold “The King” Palmer. For every person who has ever played golf and every person who still enjoys an Arnold Palmer beverage, no sports figure will be missed more than Palmer.  
Palmer was my idol growing up. The grace, flamboyance, and overall dignity he played the game with endeared him to many, and especially those that played the game of golf—we could relate to him. 

The son of a golf course superintendent, Palmer grew up in the blue-collar town of Latrobe, Pennsylvania, which brought him closer to our world. I was fortunate enough to meet Palmer once.  I ran into him, literally, in a restaurant in Indian Wells, California. I was walking out as he was walking in with his entourage, and I pretty much bumped right in to him. 

“Hi Mr. Palmer, my name is Mark Wehrman. It is a pleasure to meet you,” I said. 

He shook my hand and said, “The pleasure is all mine Mark.” I was just getting started in the golf business at that time. For one of the greatest of all time to acknowledge me in that manner, it just solidified that there was no one better in the game to idolize than Palmer.
Sixteen years later, here I am as the PGA Head Professional at the Big Sky Golf Course, the first course Palmer ever designed. How could I possibly be so fortunate?  He touched so many people in so many ways.

From founding children’s hospitals to popularizing one of the most iconic drinks in America, we all owe Palmer a debt of gratitude. So I say to you, don’t feel sad—despite tearing up myself as I write this tribute—but celebrate the great life he lived and everything he accomplished.
As a proud member of Arnie’s Army, rest in peace to The King!

Mark Wehrman is the PGA Head Professional at the Big Sky Resort Golf Course.

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