April 6 ~  Good Hands Playing by the Rules

"They (my hands) are large, gnarled and unusually strong. A blacksmith's hands... good working man's hands. I got these hands from my father." ~ Arnold Palmer

Arnold Palmer

On this day in 1958, Arnold David Palmer (1928-2016) won his first pro tournament, the prestigious Augusta Masters. The match was televised, Palmer mesmerized his audience, and golf was never the same. With drama and flair, Palmer won the Masters three more times.

"Golf is deceptively simple, yet endlessly complicated," he once said.

With 62 PGA tournament wins as of 2004, he kept going strong, looking like a linebacker and playing with gusto. Not even a 1997 bout with prostate cancer stopped him: he was back on the green six weeks after his surgery.

"I've always made a total effort, even when the odds seemed entirely against me. I never quit trying; I never felt that I didn't have a chance to win," said the upbeat champ.

"If I ever had to have one putt to win a title," golfer Bobby Jones once said, "I'd rather have Arnold Palmer hit it for me than anyone I ever saw."

Immensely popular for his go-for-broke style, his devoted fans, "Arnie's Army," continued to admire his confidence, charisma, and charm.

"Success in golf depends less on strength of body than upon strength of mind and character," said Palmer, a celebration of confidence and optimism.

Born in Pennsylvania, Palmer was three when his father taught him how to wrap his hands around a golf club in the classic overlap, or Vardon grip. For 50 years, the shape and strength of his hands have been an asset to his golf career.

Good hands.

Palmer continued to use his hands to swing with strength and determination. Showing guts, without holding back.

"Golf is still fun for me," he said. "Hitting good shots turn me on."

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