Golf legend Arnold Palmer passed away

He wasn't just a great golfer, but a local star too!

September 26, 2016

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Golf legend Arnold Palmer passed away last night in Pittsburgh at age 87 - and even if you don't know the first thing about golf, chances are you know he's considered one of the greatest players in professional golf history. 

Sure, Palmer won numerous evens on both the PGA Tour and Champions Tour, dating all the way back to 1955...but, did you know he was a golf star at Wake Forest University (back when it was still Wake Forest College, by the way)?!

He was part of "The Big Three" in golf during the 1960's, along with Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player - you know, the three guys responsible for making golf not just popular, but a commercial success in the 60's.

Arnold Palmer's legacy will live on on the links, and we're grateful for his impact on the Triad.

Wake Forest University President Nathan O. Hatch has released the following statement about Palmer’s death:

“No alumnus ever has had a bigger impact on Wake Forest University as an ambassador, role model, benefactor and friend than Arnold Palmer,” said Wake Forest University President Nathan O. Hatch. “Julie and I will always remember his kindness, his gracious hospitality, his love for golf and its culture of respect and fair play — as well as his love for Wake Forest. He was a true gentleman.”

“Wake Forest University has become synonymous with exceptional golf and that extraordinary reputation began with Arnold Palmer.”

Wake Forest has put together a memorial page, complete with a remembrance, photo gallery and guest book. See it here.

Wyndham Championship Tournament Director Mark Brazil released the following statement:

“It’s a sad, sad day.  Arnold Palmer was a worldwide legend; very few professional athletes can transcend the sports world, but he was one of them.  He had so many Piedmont Triad connections, whether it was his beloved Wake Forest University, the mutual love affair between Mr. Palmer and the old Greater Greensboro Open, now the Wyndham Championship where he played 13 times, or the many special friendships he made through the years.  When he was here in 2008 to help us celebrate our return to Sedgefield Country Club, his love of our PGA TOUR event and his regret at never having won it were clear.  It’s impossible to quantify his contributions to the game – we’ve lost the most important figure in the history of golf.  Rest in peace, Mr. Palmer.”