Most people who golf have at least one person they would call their golf buddy. In that regard, Arnold Palmer, arguably one of if not the greatest golfers of all time, was no exception. However, one of his golf buddies was indeed an exception. That person was exceptional because he had been the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe during World War II. When Palmer met him for the first time in 1958 and when they golfed together for the first time in 1960, that exceptional golf buddy was President of the United States, Dwight Eisenhower.

Eisenhower and Palmer met for the first time at a function at the Laurel Valley Golf Club in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, Palmer’s hometown. Their first golf outing, played at the Augusta National Golf Club, was after Palmer had won the Masters Tournament in 1960. Following that round of golf, the two men developed a sincere friendship based on mutual respect, shared admiration, and a genuine love of the game of golf. Their friendship was not affected by an age difference of almost four decades. Describing his friendship with Ike, Palmer said their relationship was the closest one he had with any older man besides his father.

Submitted by Mike McGough.

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