#82: Marries Winnie
On Labor Day weekend following Arnold Palmer’s 1954 U.S. Amateur victory, lightning struck again, as he put it in “A Golfer’s Life.”
In Shawnee-on-the-Delaware, Pennsylvania, to play in an event, “as I was coming back into the inn I saw a couple of pretty girls coming down the stairway… The quieter, prettier, dark-haired one really caught my eye.” Her name was Winifred Walzer, and Palmer was smitten. “If you don't have anything to do,” he said to her, “why don’t you come out and watch the golf.” “Perhaps I will,” she replied, and one of America’s great love stories began. Within the week they were engaged, before the end of the year they eloped and were married. Smart, savvy and loving, Winnie’s role in Arnie’s success is undeniable, continuing right up until her death in 1999, at which point the Palmers had been married for nearly 50 years.