Grouchy Golf Blog

Friday, May 15, 2009 at 8:16 AM

Rancho Park's Arnold Palmer Tribute?

A couple years ago, I moved about 20 miles west to the beach town of Santa Monica, CA. As a result, my home course went from the to Rancho Park, former home of the L.A. Open. On the par-5 18th tee, there's an interesting plaque to commemorate Arnold Palmer's achievement at the 35th L.A. Open in 1961.

Here's the engraving:

The first day of the 35th L.A. Open, Arnold Palmer, voted Golfer of the year, took a 12 on this hole.

As an inspiration to all Golfers The L.A. Jr. Chamber of Commerce dedicate this monument.

Palmer hit a fine drive. He sliced his next 2 shots into the driving range, then hooked two more onto Patricia Ave. Hit the green with his sixth shot, and two putted. Eight strokes plus four penalities add up to 12.

Here's the detailed story according to Golf For Dummies:

Palmer needed a par 5 on the 18th for a 69 in the second round. After a good drive, instead of laying up with an iron for the tight second shot, he went for a birdie and pushed a 3-wood out-of-bounds onto the adjacent driving range. He paused briefly to regroup and then hit another 3-wood. This time, he hooked it onto Patricia Avenue. Stubborn if not downright foolhardy, Palmer hit the 3-wood yet again, and again hooked it out-of-bounds. On the fifth try, after four straight penalties, he finally put his 3-wood on the green and went on to make a 12. A long, sad story. Arnie's description was more succinct. Asked by a reported how he managed to make a 12, he replied, "I missed my putt for an 11."

The plaque and story are great comic reliefs to any golfer having a bad day on the golf course. But did anyone bother to check the grammar before it was engraved in stone!?

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