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The Life and Legacy of Arnold Palmer

 

ARNIE Documentary Debuts Sunday on Golf Channel

Everyone remembers if they ever met Arnold Palmer, or watched him on the course. The first time I saw him was in Upper Montclair, NJ during a Senior Tour event with NFL Players. He and Lee Trevino were in the same group and Arnold Palmer's ball was laying on pinestraw near a TV wire. He called over Lee Trevino to ask for a ruling and Trevino said, "Arnie, you wrote the rule book."

Palmer proceeded to have the wire moved, the ball didn't, and he put the shot on the green.

-John Craig, john@wgy.com

Golf Channel’s “Arnie” debuts Sunday night. It’s being called the definitive film covering the life and legacy of Arnold Palmer. The three-night event on Golf Channel premieres Sunday, April 13 at 10 p.m. ET and continues Monday and Tuesday nights at 10 p.m.

“Arnie” features more than 100 interviews with icons in golf, sports and popular culture about the man affectionately known as “The King.”

Click here to watch a video trailer.

 

Click here to hear comments from a conference call with Arnold Palmer:

LARGER THAN LIFE

“Arnie” begins with the questions: “How do you tell a story of a life that’s larger than life? How do you find a way to put together all the memories, all the accomplishments, all the impact? And do what a story is supposed to do? And ensure it lasts forever? Someday – even decades – maybe centuries from now, they’ll hear the name Arnold Palmer and they’ll want to know everything.”
Arnie showcases how the golfing legend revolutionized and transcended the game to become one of the most beloved figures in sports history. Golf Channel spent the last year traveling with Palmer, collecting interviews from more than 100 people, sifting through hundreds of hours of archived film – including hours of Palmer family video that has never been seen before – and shooting in locations around the world to create television’s definitive story of the most influential man to ever pick up a golf club.

“Mr. Palmer is an American icon, but what makes him so special is that he is absolutely genuine, especially through his ability to truly connect with everyone he meets,” said Mike McCarley, president of Golf Channel. “To document the full impact of his life and legacy would be virtually impossible; however this project is an ambitious attempt to capture the influence he has in golf and sports as part of popular culture.”

PRESS RELEASE FROM GOLF CHANNEL

LEGACY AND LEGENDS

Arnie spans Palmer’s entire life to the present, from his early childhood through his amateur and professional golf careers, his various off-the-course enterprises and the legacy he has left in his wake. Throughout this project, golf’s iconic legends, family, business partners, colorful personalities and two U.S. Presidents recount the great stories that created the cultural phenomenon of “The King.”

“… that’s the secret to life, you know, to have something to look forward to every day and every minute. And it’s the next shot he’s thinking about and that’s something we can all really remember about our lives is on the golf course. You’ve already made the ones you made, you can’t undo them, take the next shot, make it work, that’s the way Palmer made us feel.” – President Bill Clinton

Arnie was produced by 13-time Emmy Award winner and former NBC Sports feature producer Israel DeHerrera, whose work has been seen on broadcasts of Super Bowls, Olympics and golf’s major championships; and written by Peabody Award recipient and 18-time Emmy Award winner Aaron Cohen, associated with acclaimed sports documentaries for HBO, as well as for NBC, ESPN, NFL and MLB. Additionally, five-time Emmy Award winner Mason Seay is associate producer. Seay’s late father, Ed, was Palmer’s course design business partner for more than 30 years.

“Instead of just telling an incredible story, we wanted to capture special moments to showcase what Mr. Palmer has meant to the game of golf and why he has been so beloved for more than 60 years,” DeHerrera said.

THREE NIGHTS, THREE HOURS
•Sunday, April 13 at 10 p.m. ET “Arnie & His Army” – This first episode recalls the people who influenced Palmer and instilled the values of integrity and human kindness that helped make him the man he has become both on and off the golf course, with special tribute to his parents Deacon and Doris. This retrospective ranges from stories of Deacon teaching him how to grip a golf club to his early days on the PGA TOUR with his first wife, Winnie, as they raised a family together to those who helped build Palmer into a worldwide brand.
And this brand was built around a man who never fails to acknowledge his fans or sign an autograph, an autograph famed for always being legible. Palmer believes if you are going to take the time to sign, make it right, which is a philosophy he has ingrained in other sports superstars. The first hour also delves into Palmer’s influence on sports marketing. Before Michael Jordan and Nike there was Arnold on his tractor touting the benefits of Pennzoil motor oil. He was the first athlete who had any kind of significant influence on popular culture, an influence that continues to this day. In fact, his range of influence has been unrivaled – evidenced in part by the fact that he could perform as a spokesperson for Pennzoil while, concurrently, serving as an ambassador for the luxury Rolex brand.
“The first time I saw Arnold Palmer was at the Ohio Amateur in 1955 and it was pouring rain and I looked outside and there was this guy out on the range hitting these screaming long irons, and I asked the pro, ‘Who is that?’ and he said ‘That’s Arnold Palmer.’ And I said, ‘Oh, that’s Arnold Palmer.’” – Jack Nicklaus

•Monday, April 14 at 10 p.m. ET “Arnie & His Majors” -- The second episode remembers Palmer’s competitive career, his go-for-broke style and his ups and downs at golf’s major championships. Covered are his amateur victories, including the U.S. Amateur in 1954, which he calls his most important win ever; his four Masters titles in a span of only seven years; the thrills of his U.S. Open victories and how winning the Open Championship in 1961 at Royal Birkdale changed that major championship forever in the minds of American players. Also explored is Palmer’s challenging history with the PGA Championship – the only major he never won.
“Some people have forgotten about his career a little bit, and they just know he’s ‘The King,” they don’t realize, that this guy was amazing, he played like a Seve Ballesteros, Lanny Wadkins, myself, and Phil Mickelson all wrapped up into one. There wasn’t a flag stick he wouldn’t go at; there wasn’t a drive he didn’t try to squeeze out there in a tight area. My dad told me if you want to be the best, you’ve got to be willing to do what other guys aren’t willing to do, and that was Arnold Palmer.” – Johnny Miller

• Tuesday, April 15 at 10 p.m. ET “Arnie & His Legacy” – The concluding hour delves into the legacy of Arnold Palmer and his influence on popular culture, which stretches way beyond the links. Despite his last win on the PGA TOUR coming 40 years ago, according to “The Golf Digest 50” money list, Arnold Palmer had his best-year ever in earnings in 2013 and was the third-highest earner off of the golf course, behind only Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson. This placed Palmer second behind Michael Jordan on Forbes’ list of highest-paid retired athletes in 2013.

The Arnold Palmer brand has launched a wide range of businesses, including a lifestyle designer label in the Asian marketplace with more than 400 retail outlets, a self-titled iced tea-lemonade beverage, golf course design and management firms, and even a cable television network by co-founding Golf Channel nearly 20 years ago. And his long-standing relevance in popular culture continues to have an impact, evident by the fact that he was just as likely to have his photo taken with Hollywood starlet Esther Williams as a 17-year-old in the 1940s as he was with supermodel Kate Upton in 2013. He has always had the ear of golfing U.S. Presidents starting with his special friendship with President Dwight Eisenhower and the admiration of Hollywood icons like Bob Hope and Johnny Carson.

And Palmer has reached the echelons of the rich and famous without compromising his core values throughout his life, which are on display with his many charitable endeavors that have raised millions of dollars for charities, including the world-renowned Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies in Orlando and hosting the PGA Tour’s Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard at his Bay Hill Golf Club and Lodge.

More than 100 notable personalities whose lives were touched along the way by Arnold Palmer gladly raised their hands to talk on camera about their experiences with “The King” for Golf Channel’s three-night television event, ARNIE, running Sunday, April 13, Monday, April 14, and Tuesday, April 15, each night at 10 p.m. ET.

Selleck, star of more than 50 film and television roles, helps tell the story of the official and unofficial members of the fans affectionately referring to themselves as “Arnie’s Army,” including Hollywood celebrities, professional golfers, U.S. presidents, sporting icons, journalists and business leaders – along with family and friends who helped shape his life as a young man growing up in Latrobe, PA. In the film, they all celebrate one of the most beloved sports personalities that ever lived.

NOTABLES INCLUDE:
Leaders – U.S. Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem, Royal & Ancient Golf Club Chief Executive Peter Dawson, business entrepreneur Donald Trump, Arnold Palmer Enterprises COO Alastair Johnston, Wake Forest University President Dr. Nathan O. Hatch, Eisenhower Medical Center Foundation President Michael Landes.
Golf – Hall of Famers Jack Nicklaus, Nancy Lopez, Lee Trevino, Gary Player, Tom Watson, Sir Nick Faldo, Johnny Miller, Hale Irwin, Greg Norman, Billy Casper, Ben Crenshaw, Annika Sorenstam and Lanny Wadkins, as well as current PGA TOUR stars Phil Mickelson, Hunter Mahan, Graeme McDowell, Justin Rose and Brandt Snedeker to name a few; USGA historian Michael Trostel, and golf broadcasters Peter Alliss and Jack Whitaker.
Pop Culture & Sports – Actor Kurt Russell, model Kate Upton, NFL star Peyton Manning, broadcaster Al Michaels, Major League Baseball icons Johnny Bench, Ken “Hawk” Harrelson and Joe Torre.
Family & Friends – Wife Kit Palmer; sisters Sandra Sarni and Lois Jean Tilley; brother Jerry Palmer; daughters Amy Palmer Saunders and Peg Palmer Wears; longtime personal assistant Doc Giffin; business advisor and former Cessna Aircraft Company CEO Russ Meyer.
ARNIE showcases how Palmer revolutionized and transcended the game.  Golf Channel spent the last year traveling with Palmer, collecting interviews, sifting through hundreds of hours of archived film – including Palmer family video that has never been seen before – and shooting in locations around the world to create television’s definitive story of the most influential man to ever pick up a golf club.

Interview List:
Geano Agostino – Member, Latrobe Country Club
Dr. Gregor Alexander – Neonatologist, Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies
Peter Alliss – BBC Golf Commentator
Dave Anderson – Award-winning journalist, New York Journal
Al Barkow – Former editor-in-chief, Golf Magazine / Golf Illustrated
Johnny Bench - Former major league baseball player / Hall-of-Famer
Randy Bisi – Head golf professional, Latrobe Country Club
Dave Bockorny – Chairman & CEO, Bockorny Group
Sir Michael Bonallack – 5-Time British Amateur Champion
John Bozard – President, Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children
Brad Brewer – Author, "Mentored By The King"
Cori Britt – Vice president, Arnold Palmer Enterprises
George W. Bush – 43rd President, United States
Billy Casper – Former PGA Tour professional, 3-time major champion
Hollis Cavner – Founder/Executive Director of the Champions Tour's 3M Championship
Bobby Clampett – Former PGA Tour professional/TV commentator
Bill Clinton – 42nd President, United States
Ben Crenshaw – Former PGA Tour professional, 1984, 1995 Masters Champion
Peter Dawson – Chief executive, R&A
Frank Demeo – Former executive director, March of Dimes
Jaime Diaz – Editor-In-Chief, Golf World
James Dodson – Author, "Arnold Palmer: A Golfer's Life"
Bob Drum – Former golf writer, The Pittsburgh Press
Sir Nick Faldo – Former PGA Tour professional, 6-time major champion/TV commentator
John Feinstein – Award-winning author, sports writer
Richard Ferris – Former chairman & CEO, United Airlines
Bill Fields – Senior editor, Golf World
Tim Finchem – Commissioner, PGA Tour
Dow Finsterwald – Former PGA Tour professional, finished T-3 in 1960 U.S. Open
Bob Ford – Director of Golf, Oakmont Country Club
Harry Frye – Sports photographer, Latrobe native
Robert Garrigus – PGA Tour professional
Doc Giffin – Arnold Palmer's Administrative Assistant
Marty Hackel – Fashion director, Golf Digest
Gil Hanse – Golf course architect
Ken (Hawk) Harrelson – Commentator, Chicago White Sox
Dr. Nathan O. Hatch – President, Wake Forest University
Thomas Hauser – Author, "Arnold Palmer: A Personal Journey"
Angela Howe – Director, British Golf Museum
Hale Irwin – Former PGA Tour professional, 3-time major champion
Suzie Isman – Friend to Arnold Palmer
Peter Jacobsen – Former PGA Tour professional /analyst, NBC / Golf Channel
Don January – Former PGA Tour professional, 1967 PGA Championship winner
Gordon Jeffrey – Former Captain, Royal Birkdale Golf Club
Dan Jenkins – Author, sportswriter - Sports Illustrated, Fort Worth Press
Rand Jerris – Managing director public services, USGA
Alastair Johnston – CEO, Arnold Palmer Enterprises
Rees Jones – Golf course architect
Gary Koch – Former PGA Tour professional /analyst, NBC / Golf Channel
Michael Landes – President, Eisenhower Medical Center Foundation
Rich Lerner – Host/commentator, Golf Channel
Nancy Lopez – Former LPGA Tour professional, 3-time major champion
Davis Love III – PGA Tour professional
Pete Luster – Arnold Palmer's co-pilot
John Mahaffey – Former PGA Tour professional / analyst, Golf Channel
Hunter Mahan – PGA Tour professional
Roger Maltbie – Former PGA Tour professional / on course reporter NBC / Golf Channel
Peyton Manning – Super Bowl champion NFL Quarterback
Robert Marciano – Executive VP, chief sales and marketing officer, Arizona Beverage Company
Dave Marr – Commentator, Golf Channel
Terry McCann – Director of operations, City Brewery Latrobe
Graeme McDowell – PGA Tour professional, 2010 U.S. Open champion
Rocco Mediate – PGA Tour professional, paired With Arnold Palmer in 1994 U.S. Open
Russ Meyer – Former Chairman & CEO, Cessna Aircraft Company
Al Michaels – NBC Sports commentator
Phil Mickelson – PGA Tour professional, 5-time major champion
Johnny Miller – Former PGA Tour professional, 1973 U.S. Open champion  / lead analyst, NBC Golf
Gabe Monzo – Executive director, Arnold Palmer Regional Airport
Tim Neher – Friend to Arnold Palmer
Jack Nicklaus – Former PGA Tour professional, 18-time major champion
Greg Norman – Former PGA Tour professional, 2-time major champion
Andy North – Former PGA Tour professional, 2-time major champion
Jim O'Brien – Attended 1960 U.S. Open
Ian O'Connor – Author, "Arnie & Jack", sportswriter, radio host
Geoff Ogilvy – PGA Tour professional, 2006 U.S. Open champion
Arnold Palmer – Documentary subject
Jerry Palmer – Arnold Palmer's brother
Kit Palmer – Arnold Palmer's wife
Sandy Palmer – Arnold Palmer's sister
Winnie Palmer - Arnold Palmer's late wife
Amy Palmer Saunders – Arnold Palmer's daughter
Peg Palmer Wears – Arnold Palmer's daughter
Gary Player – Former PGA Tour professional, 9-time major champion
Nick Price – Former PGA Tour professional, 3-time major champion
Dana Quigley – Former PGA Tour professional, 11-time Champions Tour winner
Tom Ridge – Former secretary of homeland security / Pennsylvania governor
Chris Rodell – Contributor, ArnoldPalmer.com
Justin Rose – PGA Tour professional, 2013 U.S. Open champion
Kurt Russell – Actor
Sam Saunders – Arnold Palmer's grandson
Ron Sirak – Executive editor, Golf World / senior writer, Golf Digest
Brandt Snedeker – PGA Tour professional
Annika Sorenstam – LPGA Tour Professional, 10-time major champion
Matthew Squire – Publisher & founder, KINGDOM Magazine
Dave Stockton – Former PGA Tour professional, 2-time major champion, author, coach
Curtis Strange – Former PGA Tour professional, 2-time major champion
Dan Sullivan – Executive Director, Memorial Tournament
Kathy Swanson – President, Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies
Judy Swigart – Superintendent, Greater Latrobe school district
Kelly Tilghman – Host/commentator, Golf Channel
Lois Jean "Cheech" Tilley – Arnold Palmer's sister
Joe Torre – Hall of Fame manager/former major league baseball player
Lee Trevino – Former PGA Tour professional, 6-time major champion
Steve Trivett – Sportswriter, The Villages Daily Sun
Michael Trostel – Curator/historian, USGA Museum
Donald Trump – Chairman & CEO, The Trump Organization
Kate Upton – Model, actress
Andy Wada – Host, Golf Channel (Japan)
Lanny Wadkins – Former PGA Tour professional, 1977 PGA Championship winner /  analyst, Golf Channel
Tom Watson – Former PGA Tour professional, 8-time major champion
Ron Wellman – Athletics Director, Wake Forest University
Jack Whitaker – Award-winning sports commentator, CBS & ABC Sports
Dunlop White III – Chairman, Old Town Club (Winston Salem, NC)
Dan Whitney (Larry the Cable Guy) – Founder, Git-R-Done Foundation
Fuzzy Zoeller – Former PGA Tour professional, 2-time major champion

ABOUT GOLF CHANNEL
Golf Channel is a multimedia, golf entertainment and services company based in Orlando, FL. Golf Channel, co-founded by Arnold Palmer in 1995 and now part of the NBC Sports Group, is available in more than 120 million homes and 83 countries worldwide. Exclusive partnerships with the world’s top tours allow Golf Channel to feature more live golf coverage than all other networks combined, as well as a programming schedule distinguished by golf’s highest-quality news, instruction and original programming. Golf Channel’s digital platforms, led by GolfChannel.com, are the leading golf destinations on the Internet, delivering unmatched coverage of the world of golf, as well as services that connect the world to golf. Fans are able to enjoy 24/7 live streaming of Golf Channel content through GolfChannel.com and Golf Channel’s mobile application, Golf Live Extra. Golf Channel programming also is available via SiriusXM’s PGA TOUR Radio.

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