by: Eric Wagaman
We recently lost one of the most genuine, transparent and philanthropic individuals, Arnold Palmer. Some may remember him by a half unsweetened iced tea and half lemonade drink. Mr. Palmer leaves behind much more than a cold and refreshing drink. He was and will continue to be a role model not just to myself but thousands of people around the globe. While some once wished to “Be Like Mike,” my goal is to “Be Like Arnie.”
Arnold Palmer became one of golf’s greatest players, a successful businessman, philanthropist, an iconic advertising spokesman and a world renowned golf course designer.
Mr. Palmer left his legacy on both the golf course and in the community.
Known as one of the greatest golfers and pioneers for the game, Arnold Palmer left an unequivocal mark on the sport. After his time in the United States Coast Guard, Arnold went on to win 65 times on the PGA Tour which included 7 major championships. He was at the forefront of ushering in live golf to television during the 1950’s along with other legends such as Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player. Arnold was relatable and unlike any other golfer preceding him, including his unique swing. Over his illustrious career, he built a large following of fans who coined their nickname, “Arnies Army.”
He popularized the PGA Tour and quickly made watching golf on Sunday the norm. Mr. Palmer also helped establish the Champions Tour for retired golfers from the PGA Tour, which is still growing in popularity today. If you are anything like me and love everything golf has to offer, you have probably watched a fair share of the Golf Channel. Arnold Palmer was the co-founder of the Golf Channel which has brought the game of golf to over 80 million homes in the United States in 2015 alone.
“I’ve always made a total effort, even when the odds seemed entirely against me. I never quit trying; I never felt that I didn’t have a chance to win.”
Arnold Palmer has one of the most recognized logos, a multicolored umbrella. He was able to brand himself through something as basic as an umbrella. His business portfolio consisted of Bay Hill Golf Club, Arnold Palmer apparel, and several other business ventures. Mr. Palmer ranked #3 on Forbes top paid retired athletes for 2016. He was a man with little college education, but was quite successful without it. Arnold Palmer also designed over 300 golf courses world-wide which are considered some of top courses in the world.
“The most rewarding things you do in life are often the ones that look like they cannot be done.”
Arnold Palmer was one of the most selfless and philanthropic individuals in all of sports. He started both the world-renowned Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, as well as the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies in Orlando, Florida. Both of these hospitals have made a positive impact in the community by providing quality jobs and top notch medical care for women and children. Arnold also started his own charity, Arnie’s Army, which creates a better tomorrow by investing in the well-being and development of children & youth, supporting health & wellness initiatives, as well as strengthening communities and the environment.
“I’m not much for sitting around and thinking about the past or talking about the past. What does that accomplish? If I can give young people something to think about, like the future, that’s a better use of my time.”
As you can probably tell, Arnold Palmer lived a life outside of himself by always putting others first. This a mentality that I try to bring into the workplace every day and I encourage you to do the same. His legacy will never be forgotten by those he was able to impact. I never had the chance to meet Mr. Palmer, but I look to him as an example of the type of person I strive to be . The way he carried himself on the golf course, philanthropically and in business, should be an example to us all to, “Be Like Arnie.”
“The road to success is always under construction.”
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About the Author:
Eric Wagaman focuses on Brand Marketing and Development at the Whitaker LaChance Agency in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He is a Senior at Western Michigan University in their top rated Sales and Business Marketing program. Eric is a driven individual who is passionate about meeting the needs of others by going beyond their expectations. During his free time, Eric enjoys golfing, hiking, attending sporting events and indulging in new restaurants.