By Andrew Johnson, Golf Operations Manager for Monaghan Golf Group at Fraserview Golf Course
A True Legend
The Fraserview pro shop crew and I gathered for our annual year-end staff party on Sunday night. It was there that I learned of Arnold Palmer's passing. I remember how frail he looked during his tournament, the Arnold Palmer Invitational, earlier this year. So, while it wasn't a complete shock, it was certainly blindsiding.
Once I got home and settled, following our party shenanigans, I immediately turned on the Golf Channel. The tributes and stories were heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time. I've always felt quite aware of the legend of Arnold Palmer, but felt myself quickly gaining a whole new perspective and volume of that legend.
The Golf Channel's continuing tribute coverage has been phenomenal. Since I started watching around midnight and continually fell in and out of sleep on the couch all night and into the morning, the live coverage never broke for commercial. I kept watching until about 3:00pm and they still hadn't broken for a commercial. It was like watching 9/11 on CNN.
By the time I had finished watching all the stories and tributes for 12+ hours, the feeling that stood out more than any other was a regret that I never had the opportunity to meet the man. And I've never felt that regret so strongly about anyone else before. The golf industry is a great institution that I feel so privileged to be a part of. And I come away from today feeling the obligation to thank Arnold Palmer more than anyone else for that privilege. And how suitable it was that he passed on the Sunday of the last PGA tournament of the season. A storybook ending for the ultimate hero.
Thank you, Mr. Palmer.