by Tom Studer amateurgolf.com member from Joliet, IL
I was fortunate enough to qualify for the 2004 US Senior Open at Bellerive. On practice round Tuesday I positioned my self between Arnold Palmer and Gary Player on the range.
After warming up and having made eye contact and nodding hello in the normal course of events, I decided to respectfully introduce myself. After the usual small talk, I asked Arnold if he had a game today for the practice round. He said he had to play with Mike Zaremba, a club pro from Colorado who was a friend of Dow Finsterwald, but as far as he knew they just had two. I said I would join them if they would have me. He said, “You’re in-now get us a fourth!”
I turned to Gary and said, “Mr. Player, Mr. Palmer and I are playing today. Would you care to join us?” He said, “I’d love to!”, and with that I had just arranged the most wonderful day of my golfing life.
During a rare lull in the conversation during the round, I mentioned to Arnold that I had never played Bay Hill. I had actually been there once many years ago but had been rained out. He simply said, “We’ll have to fix that!” I was traveling to Orlando last week to play in the Golf Week Cup and I summoned up the courage to call Arnold to see if he had an opening for a game on Thursday. He remembered me immediately and invited me to play with him in his regular game called the “Shootout”. There were 28 players in the game that day but Arnold made sure I was in his foursome. What a treat! It was my first round of the year and I shot a six birdie 68.
Can you imagine what it does for your confidence to hear Arnold say, “nice shot” and “good swing” to you all day? I realize that there are a lot of great guys in golf but the list starts with Arnold Palmer.
About the Story:
Tom Studer is a 15-time USGA event qualifier from Joliet, Illinois. When we heard about Tom's experience, we asked him to share it with the rest of us. If you have a story about a great golfing experience you have had through amateur golf, please write us by clicking here We will publish selected stories and send you an amateurgolf.com hat either way!