Arnold Palmer – one of golf’s greatest legends – is being honored at his desert home of Tradition Golf Club with the unveiling of a statue in his honor in front of Tradition Golf Club’s clubhouse. The statue is currently covered, and the unveiling will take place Tuesday, January 16, at 3:00pm.
Media is invited to attend, however; the unveiling ceremony is reserved for Tradition Golf Club members. Ceremony speakers will include Brad Forrester, Board President of Tradition Golf Club; Charles Mechem, a close friend of Palmer’s who also spoke at his nationally-televised memorial; and Sam Saunders, professional golfer and grandson of Arnold Palmer.
It is especially notable that this statue is one of only three authorized by the Palmer family to be in the country. It was created by renowned sculptor, Bruce Wolfe, and duplicates the piece that was installed at Mr. Palmer’s alma mater, Wake Forest University. The second installation is at his Bay Hill Club in Florida. At 13-feet, 1,392-pounds, the bronze statue of Palmer depicts the recognizable follow-through of his powerful golf swing.
Palmer resided part of the year in La Quinta at Tradition Golf Club, one of many courses he designed in the Coachella Valley. Bill Kubly, whose company, Landscapes Unlimited, built the Tradition golf course as well as 20 other Arnold Palmer-designed golf courses across the country, recalls how passionate Arnold was about building courses that people enjoyed playing.
“Where most designers try to maximize real estate lots, Arnie planned courses that don’t feel like you are playing between two rows of houses – and that’s how the Tradition Golf Course was built,” said Kubly. “He truly loved Tradition, and it exudes everything that the Arnold Palmer Design Company is all about. He visited the site numerous times when it was under construction, and walked it frequently – even in the heat of summer. Of all the courses Arnie designed, but didn’t own, Tradition is the only golf club where he maintained a residence.”
Tradition Golf Club’s origins date back to a 1903 ranch – which was a Hollywood haven and retreat for presidents, including Dwight Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy. Ultimately, it became Arnold’s preference for residence during several of the winter months. With enhanced natural splendor, it has more wild flowers than any other course in the desert. And, with 10,000 flats of annuals color planted each year and turf which hugs the mountains, it’s the lushest course in the desert.
Other areas of Palmer’s involvement at Tradition Golf Club included his role in establishing Tradition’s Arnold Palmer Education Fund – a cause he cherished so much that he wrote the first check. He strongly believed in higher education, and felt it was important to give young people a chance to pursue their dreams. The fund provides scholarships and other educational services to Tradition Golf Club’s employees and their children. More than $3.3 million has been raised to date, and the fund has granted 117 college scholarships, ranging from $5,000 to $25,000.
His connections to the desert didn’t stop there. He was known as a top ambassador for the CareerBuilder Challenge (formerly the Bob Hope Classic) – of which Palmer was the PGA TOUR event’s only five-time champion. By unveiling the statue on the day before the 2018 CareerBuilder Challenge kicks off, Arnold’s grandson – professional golfer Sam Saunders – will be in the desert and will join this special commemoration of his grandfather.
“Arnold Palmer is one of the most beloved athletes in professional sports. All of us at Tradition Golf Club revere him not only for all his contributions to the Tradition community – but for the legacy he left behind for generations to come,” said Brad Forrester, Board President of Tradition Golf Club. “This beautiful bronze sculpture will be an enduring reminder of his unwavering values, his kindness to those he met throughout his life, his charming wit, and his love of the game. ”
About Tradition Golf Club
Built in a 700-acre private cove at the base of the Santa Rosa Mountains, Tradition Golf Club incorporates over a century of recorded history including the oldest structure in La Quinta, California – its original ranch house, Hacienda del Gato, which was an escape for the Hollywood elite and presidents. Tradition’s 18 holes of golf – designed by Arnold Palmer Design Company – feel like two different courses: the lush front nine featuring 10,000 flats of flowers along with countless trees and exquisite water features; and the back nine carved into the mountains, with wildlife and nature creating spectacular scenery throughout. Tradition encompasses 237 homes and 53 lots, offering luxurious lifestyle opportunities surrounded by history, unparalleled natural beauty and the special influence of its most famous resident – Arnold Palmer. For more information, contact Al Castro, General Manager/COO, at 760.564.8723 or email@example.com.