We’re just a few weeks from the Masters, and this year that babbling you hear around Amen Corner won’t be Rae’s creek. It will be grown men sobbing over Arnold Palmer.
That wind on the tee? That’s not the Georgia breeze blowing through the dogwoods. It’s the howling from Golf Guys that they’re not getting a tee-shot from Palmer.
Arnie has announced that he will no longer hit a ceremonial tee shot to open the Masters. Not sure you know this, but the Masters is a tradition unlike any other. And the fact is, one of the fan favorite traditions is Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player rolling out to #1 and hitting the driver to get things started.
Arnie says he’s out, and you would think from the reaction that they decided to turn Augusta into a strip mall.
I have huge respect for Palmer. I enjoy the tradition. But this is not “sad” that Arnie is bowing out of it. It’s smart. The man is 86 years old. He injured his shoulder a couple years back, and admits he rarely hits any balls.
You want sad? Sad would be a living legend walking out there and derping some worm-burner 79 yards into the rough. Dude’s way too dignified and way too proud for that.
I actually respect that he sees his own limitations. ESPECIALLY when he’s gotta go out there with those other two. Shoot, Jack might be able to shoot his age. And Player can still hang clean 380 pounds, and is probably in ten times the shape Hefty is in.
Enough of the blubbering… Look I don’t need to see Bill Russell play a pickup game. I don’t need to see Hank Aaron hit BP. And I’m cool with Arnold Palmer leaving his club in the bag. If you weepy old nostalgists can’t hold it together without a dose of Arnie off tee, snap a pic of him wearing his green jacket on 18. The man has 4 of them. The only tea he’ll be working is filled with ice, lemonade and rocks his own name.
And it isn’t sad. It’s smart.