Combined with Arnold Palmer’s “disgraceful” style of play, Gary Player’s outspoken will և Jack Nicklaus’s absolute brilliance, this golf trio has taken the game to the modern era.
If the trio reinterpreted how they played golf from the late 1950s to the early 1980s, which was unusual for sports rivals, they also established lasting relationships along the way, so much so that Niklaus և Palmer’s wives were also best friends.
“We went together all over the world, to Australia, everywhere. And we mostly lived together, playing a lot of TV games and exhibitions together. ”
The player remembers that he faced Palmer in one of his courses, but his “love” for each other made it easier to reconcile.
“We went in and had dinner together, I remember well, we were both crying because I think we were so warm to each other that we did not want it to affect our company. And so we laughed together, like he cried together. ”
“That man will become a champion”
Palmer was the first of the three to become a golf superstar. Even the great Nicklaus, the man who won the most professional golf careers, confessed that he was part of the Arni Army in his early years.
Nicklaus recalls that when he was 18, he and Palmer opened a driving clinic in Athens, Ohio, 40 yards above his opponent.
Nicklaus remembers saying to Palmer: Palmer answered. “Yes, but I fired 63 and you fired 67.”
The South African player remembers that he saw Palmer hitting a ball to the coach’s back in 1957, he thinks. “Well, that man will become a champion.”
The player’s prediction was predictable. A year later, Palmer won his first major title, claiming the famous Green Jacket at the age of 28. He was to wear the Masters’s Green Jacket three times, just as he had won the US Open in 1960, twice.
With the help of his agent Mark McCormack, who would eventually represent Nicklaus and the Player, Palmer became a world superstar, traveling the world to show off his skills with his clubs, helping with his “outspoken” charisma. golf legend.
His passion for the game was amazing, according to Player.
“Even when he was growing up, he really could not cross 90, but he still wanted to go out there, play with members, with people,” said Player.
Palmer’s rise to fame was accompanied by the advent of television in the United States, which allowed people across the country to watch how he won his first profession.
“They loved the common man who climbed to the top and killed all the dragons,” Nicklaus explained.
But it was Palmer’s style of play on the pitch that really made him such a popular player on the pitch. 18-time top winner Nicklaus calls him a kind of “Robin Hood”.
“He seemed to want to hit the forest so that he could make an impressive hit that moved everyone,” he said. “It simply came to our notice then. He hit a lot in the woods, he had these impressive shots that everyone was dealing with.
“And he moved everyone. “He put on his pants and had a cigarette in his mouth.”
The competitive nature of the Golf’s self-proclaimed Big Three pushed them for bigger, better things.
Niklaus և “Palmer often played in non-competitive tournaments, such was the fire of competition between the two”, according to the 18-time top winner.
Nicklaus especially remembers the 1975 Masters, in which after two rounds they were both close to the top of the table.
“We were playing in the third round, I scored 73 and Arnold 75. And we squeezed our hands on the last hole, և he says.
“I came back, had a good last round and finally won the tournament. But Arnold effectively left the tournament. And this is not a way to play golf.
“You play golf under your control. And you are the only person you can manage, not the field. So you have to take that into account, but we did not. We were very persistent. “We were very competitive.”
Featuring 18 trades, Niklaus has won 73 PGA Tours, the third most ever. Palmer won the 62nd PGA Tour, his fifth. The player won 24 PGA Tours, scoring a remarkable 116 international victories.
The player bears similarities between the trio’s passion և competitive spirit է brought into play by Tiger Woods, the top 15 winner, combining the most wins on the PGA Tour.
“We were as fierce as the rivals the world has ever seen,” said Player.
“But the thing is, we had a lot of warmth towards each other. When we were on the golf course, we said very clearly: “I want to beat you. And if you beat me, I will look into your eyes and say: “You did well.”
Change of opinions
While the Open Championship is one of the most sought after golf courses in the world, it has not always been that way.
The player won the major in 1959, but before Palmer made his first appearance there a year later, very few American golfers had traveled to the UK to compete.
Arriving as the reigning champion of the Masters և US Open, Palmer gave a certain level of hint to his compatriots who were back home on the way to second place, according to Niklaus.
“The Scots loved him. And playing in St. Andrews, and Kell Nagle beats him with one shot. “And suddenly all the American players wanted to take part in the British Open,” Nicklaus said.
In July, Royal St. George’s 149th Open և 51 American golfers played in 156 strong courts, including eventual winner Colin Morikawa.
Although Player says Open will “be what it is today” without Palmer’s influence, he believes the American’s arrival at the event helped bring him extra eyeballs in the United States.
“Open Championship with Ben Hogan եմ Sam Sned, Gene Sarazen, Peter Thomson և Roberto De Vicenza և you can go down the list of hundreds of guys who helped open this great championship.
“Did Arnold Palmer make it stronger when he met her?” Yes. This charismatic man played so well in America, իհարկե, of course, it was a huge favor to Open, but we can never judge one person for that game. The biggest championship in the world. “
Since his death in 2016, Palmer has won the entire golf course, even by the US Postal Service. they released in 2020.
“I think a lot of the guys understood what Arnold did for the game, it was more than the others,” Nicklaus said, paying tribute to his “hero.”
“His influence on the game, his behavior, how he behaved, he had to be luxurious, when he had to be luxurious, the president, when he had to be president, humble, when he had to be humble. Arnold did a great job. “And I think we all owe him a lot,” Nicklaus added.
“Not only do professionals owe him a lot, but golf owes him a lot. Five years have passed, but I miss my boyfriend.
“I spoke to him about two weeks before he died. And he was a typical person. I said. “How is it, AP?” He said. “I think I’m going to go out and score a few goals. I feel really good. At best, as I have felt for a long time, I look forward to getting out of there. ”
“He was not going to hit the golf ball any more than the man on the moon, but he did not want me to know anything else. That’s why I gave it to him,: that’s why I love him. I will miss him forever. “