Through his incredible play, charisma and charm, Arnie transcended the game of golf. In honor of this week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational, we took a look back on 10 defining moments in the King’s life.
1953 U.S. Coast Guard
Most people know Arnold Palmer as the golfer with his own “army.” But before his playing days, he was Arnold Palmer, member of the U.S. Coast Guard. Palmer chose to drop out of Wake Forest University and enlist in 1950 after the death of a close friend. He served as a recruit, or yeoman, until 1953. During his time serving, he was granted the freedom to practice golf. He returned to Wake Forest and promptly won the U.S. Amateur Championship in 1954.
“The knowledge that I gained, the maturity that I gained in the Coast Guard was unbelievable. It matured me,” said Palmer, according to the Coast Guard Compass. “It made me a better person for the world and I believe that in my own right. The military isn’t just restrictions and military duties. It’s learning and it’s very important that young people have that opportunity to learn and to know themselves a little better and I think the military helps put that in the right perspective.”
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