Legendary Golfer Arnold Palmer Got His Start In The Coast Guard

History
Photo via US Coast Guard

Legendary golfer Arnold Palmer died Sunday, Sept. 25 from complications with a heart condition at age 87.


Palmer became the best-known golfer in the 1960s and his “everyman” persona made him famous enough to earn the nickname “the King.” But he had a humble start in the U.S. military after attending college at Wake Forest for three years, according to his Coast Guard biography.

Palmer enlisted in the Coast Guard in 1950 as a yeoman and continued to serve until 1953.  Having played golf since age three, he participated in as many matches as the Coast Guard allowed him during his years of service.

When he was discharged, he returned to Wake Forest, and in 1954 he won the U.S. Amateur Championship.  

Throughout his time as a professional golfer, he won four Master’s Championships: 1958, 1960, 1962, 1964, the 1960 U.S. Open, and the 1961 and 1962 British Opens.  He continued to golf into the 1980s, winning the Senior Opens in 1981 and 82.

In 1974 was one of the 13 original inductees into the Professional Golfers’ Association’s World Golf Hall of Fame, and he was given the PGA’s Tour Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998.

Palmer is also the first golfer to earn over one million dollars in prize tournament money.

In addition, he garnered fame for drinking lemonade mixed with iced tea enough that Arizona Beverage Company began canning the drink and named it after him.

A Coast Guard Aids to Navigation Team Kodiak boat crew displays their new 38-foot Special Purpose Craft - Training Boat in Womens Bay Sept. 27, 2011. (Coast Guard/Petty Officer 2nd Class Charly Hengen)

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(U.S. Army/Staff Sgt. Jamarius Fortson)

The Navy has identified the two Defense Department civilians who were killed in a shooting Wednesday at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard in Hawaii.

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(U.S. Navy photo)

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The shooter and two victims were killed at the base and another victim died after being taken to the hospital, said Chip Simmons, deputy chief of the Escambia County Sheriff's Office.

Another seven people remain hospitalized, including two sheriff's deputies who engaged the gunman, Simmons said at Friday's news conference. One was hit in the arm and the other was shot in the knee. Both are expected to recover.

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The troubled 22-year-old Pearl Harbor sailor identified as shooting three shipyard workers Wednesday and then killing himself may have come from a troubled ship.

Gabriel Romero, a sailor on the submarine USS Columbia, fatally shot two civilian workers and wounded a third while the Los Angeles-class vessel is in Dry Dock 2 for a two-year overhaul, according to The Associated Press and other sources.

Romero "opened fire on shipyard personnel with his M-4 service rifle and then turned his M9 service pistol on himself," Fox News Pentagon reporter Lucas Tomlinson reported, citing a preliminary incident report.

Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam was not able to provide information Thursday on a report that multiple suicides have occurred on the Columbia.

Hawaii News Now said Romero was undergoing disciplinary review and was enrolled in anger management classes.

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