#38: Palmer. Arnold Palmer.
Palmer. Arnold Palmer. Often stirred but rarely shaken, Arnold Palmer has been a cultural touchstone for decades, appearing in video game commercials, ESPN spots, and numerous other media moments.
But his name check in the 1964 James Bond film Goldfinger has a distinct glow. In the relevant scene, Sean Connery’s Bond is golfing with Goldfinger, playing for a recovered Nazi gold bar. In the book the scene was set at Royal St. George’s (called “St. Mark’s” in the text), where Bond author Ian Fleming was a member and golfer. The golf in the movie was filmed at Stoke Park near Pinewood Studios and featured the top hat-wearing thug Oddjob improving Goldfinger’s lie at one point. Bond’s caddie exclaims, “If that’s his original ball, I’m Arnold Palmer,” but Bond, of course, ultimately wins the match. Connery hadn’t played golf prior to Goldfinger, but he later said the scene gave him the bug and so he took it up. Eventually he ended up as Palmer’s partner in a 1976 pro-am in Paris with, presumably, a view to a kill on course.