Arnold Palmer set the style for a generation of golfers. But he never went out of style, even decades after he played his last PGA Tour event.
For three decades after he quit playing competitive golf, Palmer remained one of the top-grossing athletes when it came to endorsement income.
It was Palmer’s style – that of a people’s champion who emanated class – that remains in force. And never more so than with the return of Arnold Palmer Invitational to Bay Hill Club and Lodge in Orlando.
There are multiple reminders of Palmer’s long-standing presence in the game of both in and on the course around Arnie’s Place Thursday in Round 1.
— Eamon Lynch (@eamonlynch) March 7, 2019
Defending champion Rory McIlroy mimicked some Old School Cool 1960s’ era Arnie-themed threads for his first round of play Thursday.
Let’s take an up-close look at those Nike shoes.
McIlroy, like many others playing this week, simply wanted to offer a tasteful-yet-public tribute to Palmer. However, in the no-good-deed-goes-unpublished category, the defending API champion received criticism on social media for the color scheme of those soles on his shoes. For those who don’t know, the colors match the pattern used in Palmer’s iconic umbrella trademark logo.
Bryson DeChambeau also donned Palmer-themed attire, sporting Palmer’s iconic umbrella logo on his hat, shoes and shirt.
Palmer’s grandson, Sam Saunders, opted to honor the tournament’s namesake with a pair a sweet Palmer-themed kicks from FootJoy.
Rickie Fowler, in conjunction with Puma and Cobra, sent all out with his tribute, wearing a Palmer-themed hat, shirt, shoes.
He also had his gear ported around in this.
Given the prominent and pioneering role Palmer played in bring golf to the masses and his ability to market nearly anything, he would probably appreciate the tributes.