MARCH 13, 2017

By Steve Elling

South African Louis Oosthuizen vividly recalls playing a practice round alongside countryman Charl Schwartzel a few years back when the latter noticed some peripheral movement.

Standing in the middle of a fairway at Bay Hill Club and Lodge in Orlando, Schwartzel was preparing to hit an approach shot when an electric cart pulled up behind him. Schwartzel turned and heard a familiar voice say, “Hit a good shot, young man.”

Hey, no pressure, mate. The venerable tournament host, Arnold Palmer, was out making the rounds. 

One in a series during Arnold Palmer Invitational week 

By Bill Fields

In 1989, with Arnold Palmer months away from turning 60, I got the wave from his trusty assistant, Doc Giffin, to seriously loiter around Palmer for a slice-of-life magazine story as he approached that milestone birthday. This wasn’t an autograph on a tournament program in 1972 – Palmer’s signature is surrounded by those of Dave Hill, Eddie Pearce, Tom Shaw and Frank Beard – or a five-minute interview after a round on the Senior PGA Tour. This was five days and seven flights on Palmer’s Cessna Citation III, the golfer-icon at the controls.

It was as much access as I’ve ever gotten with any athlete, superstar or otherwise. There was no hours-long interview – I worked in questions when there were pauses in his busy schedule – but it was a fascinating window into his world.

Heed Van Sickle’s advice and live ‘The Arnie Way’

Gary Van Sickle’s article is, as usual, a brilliant piece of writing emanating from a veteran writer who has his pulse on the heartbeat of golf (“Pros can salute Palmer in ways beyond playing Bay Hill,” March 10,

Van Sickle states, “There are ways to honor Palmer that are better than a statue,” and in so doing he looks beyond the petty criticism of those who are lamenting the lackluster star-power turnout at the API and pierces to the very heart of the matter: the man Arnold Palmer. If you want to honor Palmer, he states, then “live a good life, be a good person and play golf The Arnie Way.”

What a powerful and challenging admonition. Hopefully we will all be inspired to heed Van Sickle’s advice and honor Arnie in this way.

Keeping score


Margin of victory for S.S.P. Chawrasia in the European Tour’s Hero Indian Open. In successfully defending his title at DLF Golf and Country Club in New Delhi, Chawrasia becomes the first player to win his first four tour titles in his home country. Chawrasia closed with a 1-under 71 for a 10-under 278 total.



Height, in feet, of the bronze statue of Arnold Palmer that was unveiled Saturday at Bay Hill Club and Lodge in Orlando, Fla., site of this week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational. It will be the first API since Palmer died Sept. 25 at age 87.



Number of Canadians to have won on the PGA Tour, after Adam Hadwin held off Patrick Cantlay for a one-stroke victory Sunday in the Valspar Championship at Innisbrook Resort’s Copperhead Course in Palm Harbor, Fla. Hadwin, 29, a native of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, grew up in Abbotsford, British Columbia. He joins Stephen Ames, Al Balding, Dave Barr, Dan Halldorson, Mackenzie Hughes, Jules Huot, Al Johnston, George Knudson, Ian Leggatt, Stan Leonard, Nick Taylor, Mike Weir and Richard Zokol as Tour winners from north of the border.


From the industry

Ireland’s Hogs Head Golf Club, an original routing by the Robert Trent Jones II course-architecture firm, is expected to be completed by August, the designers announced. Hogs Head includes views of the Atlantic seascape south of Waterville and the nearby mountains. by PGA Tour, an online tee-time booking service, has eliminated booking fees in reservations, officials announced today. The service, which claims more than 500,000 tee times and deals not available elsewhere, is available via the website, mobile app or reservation center.

March 16-19
PGA Tour: Arnold Palmer Invitational
Bay Hill Club & Lodge, Orlando, Fla.
LPGA: Bank of Hope Founders Cup
Wildfire Golf Club at JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa, Phoenix
March 17-19
Champions Tour: Tucson Conquistadores Classic
Omni Tucson National, Tucson, Ariz.
March 18-19
Portland Golf Expo
Holiday Inn by the Bay, Portland, Maine
March 22-26
PGA/European tours: WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play
Austin (Texas) Country Club
March 23-26
PGA Tour: Puerto Rico Open
Coco Beach Golf Club, Rio Grande, Puerto Rico
LPGA: Kia Classic
Aviara Golf Club, Carlsbad, Calif. Tour: Chitimacha Louisiana Open
Le Triomphe Golf and Country Club, Broussard, La.

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