#36: Crossed the Atlantic
How important was Palmer's first professional Atlantic crossing in 1960? "Quite immense, and it's something that is still felt today," according to the World Golf Hall of Fame.
The Open Championship, the oldest major championship in the world, had suffered in the wake of WWII. Purses were down and travel there was relatively expensive for Americans, and so the event was in decline. Palmer, however, revered it. Ben Hogan had won it in 1953, and Palmer decided he had to have it as well. Flying to St Andrews in 1960 with journalist Bob Drum, Palmer first raised the idea of the modern professional Grand Slam, consisting of the Masters, the U.S. Open, The Open and the PGA Championship. Palmer didn’t win in 1960, but his presence elevated the event, impacted the tournament calendar (which formerly had scheduled the PGA Championship and The Open in consecutive weeks) and, ultimately, with his victories there in 1961 and 1962, he helped to re-establish The Open as one of golf’s premiere events, further endearing himself, and the tournament, to the golfing world.