#15: Palmer Turns Pro
On November 18, 1954, a few months after winning the U.S. Amateur, Arnold Palmer turned pro.
The boy from Latrobe, Pennsylvania, was now the man with a three-year deal from Wilson Sporting Goods that paid $5,000 a year. Turning pro was the first step towards 92 professional victories and an incredible career. But more than the trophies, Palmer’s legacy as a pro was defined by his impact on the greater game, helping to create bigger crowds, bigger appeal, and bigger purses for golf. As journalist Ron Sirak wrote, “Any discussion about the greatest golfer of all time is certain to be spirited with several names on the table drawing strong support… But if the conversation is about the most important golfer of all time, there is, in my mind at least, only one name in the running: Arnold Palmer.”