Golf Spotlight: Arnold Palmer

With the Arnold Palmer Invitational set to tee off tomorrow morning, who better then to do a little feature on then Arnold Palmer, himself.

Arnold Daniel Palmer was born on September 10th, 1929 in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. He learned how to play golf from his father, Deacon Palmer, who was head professional and greens keeper at Latrobe Country Club. At the age of 7, Arnold Palmer broke 70 at Bent Creek Country Club.

Palmer attended Wake Forest University on a golf scholarship. He quickly left school when his close friend Bud Worsham died suddenly. Arnold enlisted in the Coast Guard where he spent 3 years and had some time to refine his golf skills.

In 1954, Palmer returned to competitive golf and turned pro after winning the US Amateur Championship. He married Winifred Walzer and won the 1955 Canadian Open in his rookie season. By this time, Palmer was becoming more then just a golfer. He was becoming a superstar.

Palmer went onto having one of the best careers of all time for a golfer. He had 94 professional wins including 7 major championships and was elected into the World Golf Hall of Fame.

In 2000, Palmer was ranked 6th best golfer of all time by Golf Digest.

March Madness!!

This time of the year is better then Christmas to me.  Not only is the NCAA Basketball tournament one of my favorite sporting events of the year.  It also means that spring time is right around the corner and golf season will soon be in full swing.  What can be better then watching game after game while the weather starts to turn just in time for golf season?  We also know that with April in sights, it means that The Masters is right around the corner.

This is like heaven.  Two weeks of hoops followed by The Masters and good weather.  What can be better?  Tracking the upsets and heartbreaks of the tournament is an amazing task and I’m fully committed to doing so.  With teams from each state that TheLocalGolfer covers, it will be interesting to see who everyone is rooting for.  I personally will be pulling for the WVU Mountaineers, while my partners will be pulling for the UMD Terps.

And to think, once the buzzer sounds on April 6th and the winner is crowned The 2009 National Champions, The 2009 Masters week has already begun and the quest for the Green Jacket will be in full force.

God I love this time of the year.  Let us know what teams you are following and who you like in the 2009 Masters

Golf Tips – Spring Warm Up

Guest Writer, PGA Professional Chirs Oleson from Paint Branch Golf Club, will periodically provide golf tips on

It’s March and we are itching to play golf. If you are like me, I cannot wait to play. It is time to get your body ready for the movements and stress your body receives during the golf swing. STRETCH! If you have not used the muscles involved in the golf swing over the winter you must warm them up before you start swinging. Begin your spring practices with the short game.

There are many discussions and differences about the best swing in golf but, no disagreements about the value of flexibility. Let’s get started now, stretch in the mornings after you are out of bed. If you watch morning TV do it on the floor and 1) touch your toes, 2) put the bottoms of your feet together, 3) cross your legs and rotate your torso toward the top leg. It is ok these days to stretch on the tee and the driving range with your friends during golf conversations. It helps prevent injury. Consult your trainer or PGA Professional for some appropriate stretches for your swing.

You lose feel over the winter because you are not playing regularly. Practicing your short game first gets your feel muscles fired up. Focusing on short shots early in the season doesn’t stress your body like driver swings. It will help create tempo and centeredness because we are using one of our shortest clubs the wedge. Most of your short shots are abbreviated full swings. You will find when you get up and in a couple of times from around the green your full swing will feel good.

Short game and flexibility are important all year, as you become more flexible your swing will become easier and as your short game improves your scores will lower. It is time to get started now!

Chris Oleson
PGA Teaching Professional