ABC News’ Paul Sandle has selected some of the most notable golfers who changed the sport.
He has helped inspired generations of players, such as Tiger Woods and now Rory McIlroy.
But Arnold Palmer has made a major mark in the 40 years since winning his first Masters tournament in 1958.
Through the inception of the Arnold Palmer Invitational, players could combine a golf tournament with an appearance in the Masters, although the PGA Tour did not start its Champions Tour until 1988.
Arnold Palmer is very close to Gary Player.
Even though the two men did not compete at the same time, having instead gone out at different times in their careers to play the Masters, they have been great friends ever since.
The message they share is that great golfers, even if you won major championships in different decades, should never get too comfortable as competition can keep them on their toes.
It was how they approached the game that helped them to become renowned as top golfers.
American players think Arnold Palmer’s advice is the best one
They are both recognised as multi-time Masters champions.
And although he did not start out as a champion golfer, Palmer is considered to be one of the most successful and accomplished players to ever play the game.
Palmer has been honoured with a silver club that he is considered to be an original designer, called the A-game cup.
Palmer and the late Gary Player were the founders of the American Champions Tour, along with Lee Trevino, who is currently working as an analyst for the PGA Tour.
This T-shirt worn by Trevino at the Champion’s Classic, which links up the PGA Tour Champions to the Champions Tour, provides a snapshot of how the new rivalry between Palmer and Player has taken shape.
Arnold Palmer and Gary Player react to the victory of Tom Watson, at Bay Hill, back in 1977.
The USA’s new Ryder Cup captain has been trying to promote the game of golf in general.
He would also tell young players what he calls, simply, “the Arnold Palmer Interview.”
It is a perfectly timed pep talk for new players, as he tells them: “You never know when you’re going to win a tournament. Always enjoy your play; there is always a chance that the next time that you’ll win. If you are being asked a question like that, smile, be nice, have fun and always try to think of what you’re going to say first.”
Golf was made better by the work of these three men.
We can never be too proud to celebrate the standing and global influence these athletes have had.