Arnold Palmer, best known as an iconic golfer and namesake of the famous iced tea-lemonade mix, just became a lot more awesome in my book.
After stepping down from professional play, Palmer bought the Bay Hill Club and Lodge in Florida. Although he now has a PGA Tour event named after him as a result, Palmer says that he only bought it because he wanted it for himself. That’s a fucking power move if I ever heard one. This man liked a course so much that he bought it just for himself, not giving half a shit about whether or not it would also pay off as a financial investment.
Of course, it did turn out to be a solid financial investment, as Bay Hill has been part of the Florida Swing for 35 years. As a result of the course’s success, Palmer has given back to the community, carrying not one, but two hospitals — one of which is named after his late wife, Winnie.
So, Palmer is already a legendary golfer, a pioneer of drink mixing, a successful course owner, and a philanthropist. What else could he possibly add to that impressive list?
How about having dinner with Kate Upton this week?
“Did you see this?” Palmer said, holding up the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue with Upton on the cover. “She’s coming here. Did you know that?”
He put it back on his desk, gave it one last look, and then grabbed a stack of papers to place over the magazine.
“I better cover this up,” he said.
He grinned. The man is simply timeless.
You bet your ass he is. Arnold Palmer probably actually is the grandfather who keeps up his Sports Illustrated subscription just for the swimsuit issue and would normally have it barely hidden beneath a few other magazines on his coffee table.
So why exactly is Kate having dinner with Mr. Palmer? I mean, anyone familiar with golf would surely be honored to have dinner with such a great golfer, but I really don’t take Kate for being one to follow the sport. Maybe she’s just a big fan of the drink? Who isn’t, though?
Well, it turns out that modeling is just like virtually every other career; it all depends on connections. That’s right, even with her set of unbelievably awesome naturals, Ms. Upton would not be the household name she is today without Palmer’s help.
Turns out, Kate Upton’s manager, Lisa Benson, is the daughter of one of Arnold’s old golfing buddies at the Latrobe Country Club. Mr. Benson talked to Palmer, who talked to IMG (a sports and entertainment managing company which also represents models), who scheduled an interview with Benson. Once Lisa had the job, she connected with Upton and the rest is history.
Palmer may be 83-years-old, but I don’t doubt for a second that he’s lost a single step in his game, golf or otherwise.