Remembering a legend: Arnold Palmer designed several Phoenix-area golf courses

Sep 26, 2016, 4:25 PM
File- This April 5, 2007, file photo shows former Masters champion Arnold Palmer acknowledging the ...

File- This April 5, 2007, file photo shows former Masters champion Arnold Palmer acknowledging the crowd after hitting the ceremonial first tee shot prior to the first round of the 2007 Masters golf tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga. Palmer, who made golf popular for the masses with his hard-charging style, incomparable charisma and a personal touch that made him known throughout the golf world as "The King," died Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016, in Pittsburgh. He was 87. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)

(AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)

PHOENIX — Golf legend Arnold Palmer passed away Sunday. He was 87.

Arguably one of the most famous golfers in the game’s history, Palmer was more than a player. He was also the designer of more than 200 courses worldwide, several of which are in the Phoenix area.

One of those courses, Arrowhead Country Club near the Loop 101 and 75th Avenue, is particularly special, according to golf pro Rob Smyser.

“[Palmer] designed the course to how he played,” he said. “He was a fader of the golf ball and we’ve got a lot of doglegs left to right and you sort of feel like you’re playing something he designed and he played and he walked.”

Arrowhead is different from other Valley courses in that it ignores the desert motif and is instead based on Palmer’s former homes of Florida and Pennsylvania. The course has 11 lakes and plenty of tree-lined homes.

“What makes Arrowhead special here in the Valley is it’s not a desert golf course,” Smyser said. “He’s designed other ones here that are desert-related, but here you can really feel his touch.”

Ed Gowan, the executive director of the Arizona Golf Association, said all of Palmer’s courses throughout the Valley pay homage to an athlete who transcended the game.

“A lot of people build golf courses, but he touched the heart and soul of anybody who loves the game,” he said.

Gowan said more than a million golf fans, himself included, have a personal story about meeting Palmer.

“At the worst of times, when he was playing badly, he still walked on the gallery lines and would sign a cap,” Gowan said of Palmer.

KTAR’s Paul Ihander contributed to this report.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Facebook File Photo/Phoenix Police Department)...

Police investigate Phoenix hit-and-run that left pedestrian dead

Police are investigating a Phoenix hit-and-run after a pedestrian crossing the street was killed on Sunday evening.
1 day ago
Katie Hobbs, the Democratic governor-elect and current secretary of state, signs the official certi...

Arizona Sec. of State Hobbs requests recount of 3 election races

Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs requested on Monday evening a recount of three general election races.
1 day ago
(File Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)...
Associated Press

Fugitive since 2013 arrested in Mexico, extradited to Arizona

The FBI says a fugitive wanted for his involvement in a criminal drug enterprise has been extradited from Mexico and returned to Tucson.
1 day ago
(Facebook Photo/Morgan Wallen)...

Country artist Morgan Wallen to perform next year at Chase Field in downtown Phoenix

Country artist Morgan Wallen announced last week an upcoming stop in the Valley for his 2023 world tour.
1 day ago
(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)...
Danny Shapiro

Ron Wolfley expects Patriots to corner Kyler Murray, run the ball against Cardinals

Cardinals radio personality and Arizona Sports host Ron Wolfley has ideas on how the Patriots will play the Cardinals next Monday.
1 day ago
Arizona Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert Brutinel, left, signs the official Arizona general elect...
Kevin Stone

Arizona certifies 2022 election, setting stage for lawsuits, recounts

Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs certified the state's 2022 general election Monday, but it doesn’t close the books on the midterms.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet edges out cable for everyday use

In a world where technology drives so much of our daily lives, a lack of high-speed internet can be a major issue.
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.
Remembering a legend: Arnold Palmer designed several Phoenix-area golf courses