Categories

Sign up for our Free E-Newsletter and receive Product Information, Local Outing Information, Local Tournament Results, Upcoming Events and best of all information about FREE GOLF where you live. Register Now

Search
Subscriptions/ Free Golf Program
Business/Career Opportunity
About Us
Magazine Departments
Company Profiles
Product of the Week
Instruction
Player Profiles
Featured Resorts
Regional Editorials
Upper Mid-West
New Jersey, PA
Central Mid-West
Northeast
Long Island, Metro NY
Rocky Mountains
Southeast
Carolinas
Southwest
West Coast
Equipment
Gear & Accessories
Play Testing
New on the Tee
Player’s Choice Awards
Instruction
Golf Schools
Top Instructors
Training Aids
Tour/Major’s  News
Subscriptions

Advertising Info & Media Kit
< <
Orange Whip
GolfSTR
Latest Edition


Article Options
 
 
 
Popular Articles
  1. Golf in Maui
  2. Scott Van Pelt: A Decade as ESPN’s Golf Reporter
  3. New Golf Products - By Tom Landers
  4. Hybrids Continue To Be Widely Accepted and Deliver on their Promise – Easy to Use and Fun To Play.
  5. Hank Haney’s PlaneFinder Can Change Your Game
No popular articles found.
Popular Authors
  1. Web Master
  2. Matt Adams
  3. Derek Hooper
  4. Golfing Magazine Staff
  5. Mike Stinton
  6. Tom Landers
  7. John Torsiello
  8. Katharine Dyson
  9. Sean Fitzsimmons
  10. Tom Landers
No popular authors found.
 »  Home  »  Regional Editorials  »  Northeast  »  Connecticut  »  Arnold Palmer - The King Entertains and Teaches at Gillette Ridge Golf Club in Bloomfield CT
Arnold Palmer - The King Entertains and Teaches at Gillette Ridge Golf Club in Bloomfield CT
By Tom Landers | Published  09/1/2005 | Connecticut | Unrated
Arnold Palmer Gets a Look at the Finished Product



The King held court at Gillette Ridge Golf Club
in late June.

We're talking about The King, as in Arnold Palmer, the man who lent his expertise to the design and building of Gillette Ridge, which is being hailed as one of the best new layouts in the Northeast.

As is his custom, Palmer, winner of 58 PGA Tour events and seven Majors, flew himself into the Bloomfield area in his personal jet (a Citation 10). Arnie has logged more than 700 hours in the air as a pilot. Even at the age of 75, there's no slowing this guy down! Palmer arrived at the course in late morning, much to the delight of the media and invited guests.

After the obligatory photo ops, Arnie conducted an informative and entertaining clinic where he showed he could still hit the ball with remarkable purity and distance. He and longtime friend Bob Kay of West Hartford, chatted with one another during the demonstration. Kay and Palmer became fast buddies when Arnie was serving in the U.S. Coast Guard in New London during the 1950's and have remained close ever since.

“I have heard about 1,000 tips on how to play golf better,” said Palmer to the crowd. “The one thing I stress to you more than anything is stretching before you play. I stretch a half hour every day the morning, and it allows me to continue playing at my age.”

Following the demonstration those of us in attendance followed Arnie around nine holes at Gillette, which he had never played. Despite his age Palmer played from the tips and acquitted himself nicely on the challenging layout.

Perhaps the most amusing moment came when Arnie approached the point where his tee shot landed on Number 16, a treacherous par-four that calls for a second shot over a wetlands to an elevated green guarded by bunkers. "Oh, my," Arnie said as he pondered his second shot. We know Arnie, we have felt the same way. But the King stepped up and hit a five-wood that found the small putting surface.

As we followed Arnie around the course, I had a chance to speak with him and ask a few questions.
"One of the things I’m most pleased about is the efforts to grow the game among people who wouldn’t have had an opportunity to play in the past," he said. "Programs like the First Tee have been tremendous is getting kids involved in the game and reaching out to all aspects of society."

Arnie also said he feels the game at the professional level is as good as it has ever been.
"We have some great personalities in the game with Tiger, Ernie and Phil and that brings attention." But he declined to say that the PGA Tour is any deeper than when he played. "We had some really good players back then," he said with a smile.
Arnie pointed to the growth in the PGA Tour over the last few decades.

"When I started out we were getting $1,200 for first place and only 15 places paid out. At Bay Hill (his annual tournament) we had a $100,000 purse 28 years ago and now its up to $5 million. I’m pleased to see what has happened to the game and to think that I may have had something to do with it."

And on the state of the game: "Some people say we are in a bit of a lull right now, but it won’t last. We're still building a lot of courses and the rest of the world is catching on fast to the game. We built our first golf course in China and the country now has some 300 courses with more on the way."

Arnie was pleased with the final design of Gillette Ridge, which hosted a Futures Tour event this summer and is scheduled to hold a number of top regional tournaments in the near future.


"I've got some great memories of Hartford (he won the Insurance City Open twice) and I've made some wonderful friends, like Bob Kay, here. It's rewarding to have the opportunity to come in and help design a golf course like this that will be enjoyed by so many people and is a real championship course."