1951 – Upon leaving Wake Forest University following the passing of his dear friend Bud Worsham, Arnold Palmer joined the Coast Guard and served from 1951 until 1954.


1954 – In August 1954, Arnold Palmer defeated Robert Sweeny 1-up in the 36-hole final at the Country Club of Detroit to win the U.S. Amateur. Arnie considered it the “turning point” of his career. He would turn pro a few months later.

Photo: United States Golf Association


1954 – A week after winning the U.S. Amateur, Arnold Palmer traveled to Shawnee-on-the-Delaware, Pennsylvania to play in another tournament. While there he met Winifred Walzer and was instantly taken. Within a week they were engaged and were married by the end of the year. They were married for 45 years until Winnie’s passing in 1999.


1955 – Arnold Palmer wins his first professional tournament at the Canadian Open, his total score of 265 marked the lowest four-round winning score of his entire professional career. The newlywed couple had driven to the tournament towing a travel trailer and camped behind the superintendent’s shed.

Photo: Toronto Star


1959 – The phrase “Arnie’s Army” is coined in 1959, a moniker given to the crowds that followed and supported Mr. Palmer at every tournament. The name originated from Augusta National Golf Club and the nearby soldiers from Ft. Gordon who attended and volunteered at the Tournament and rooted on Arnold Palmer, the defending champion. Today the name still sticks as the “Army” of Arnie supporters is as strong as ever!


1960 – After winning his second Masters title, Arnold Palmer headed to Colorado for the U.S. Open at Cherry Hills Country Club. Trailing by seven shots entering the final round, Arnold Palmer drove the first green and went on a birdie blitz through the front nine. His final-round 65 was good enough for 280 and the U.S. Open title. The seven-shot comeback is still the largest in tournament history and is the most classic example of Arnold Palmer’s philosophy – You must play boldly to win!

Photo: Getty Images/United States Golf Association


1962 – After first traveling over for The Open Championship in 1960 and finishing runner-up, Arnold Palmer picked up the Claret Jug in back-to-back years in 1961 and 1962. At that time The Open had faded in the eyes of American golfers but Arnold Palmer’s success at the event breathed new life into the game’s oldest championship and to this day the R&A credits Arnold Palmer with saving the tournament in the eyes of Americans.

Photo: R&A


1962 – After overcoming his own fear of flying and gaining his pilot’s license, Arnold Palmer purchased his first plane in 1962. He would go on to log over 18,000 hours as a pilot!


1963 –Arnold Palmer helps clear land for the second nine of his hometown Latrobe Country Club.


1964 – Arnold Palmer wins his final Masters with a six-shot victory at Augusta National Golf Club and has the Green Jacket placed on him by none other than Jack Nicklaus. The victory made Arnold Palmer the first four-time winner of the Masters Tournament. It was Arnold’s seventh and final major championship victory.

Photo: Augusta National Golf Club


1968 – Arnold Palmer trademarks his name and umbrella logo.


1971 – 1989 – For many years, Arnold Palmer served as the Honorary National Chairman for the March of Dimes.


1971 – As a young man, Arnold Palmer grew up on the edges of Latrobe Country Club as his father, Deacon, was the greenskeeper. In 1971, Arnold Palmer purchased Latrobe Country Club and the family still owns it to this day. No matter where he went in the world, Arnold Palmer always considered Latrobe, Pennsylvania and Latrobe Country Club his home.


1973 – Arnold Palmer picks up his 62nd and final PGA TOUR win at the Bob Hope Desert Classic. It marked Arnie’s sixth win at the event. “It was a hell of a day, really.” – said the champion.



1976 – On May 19, 1976, Arnold Palmer set a world record by flying around the globe in a Lear 36 business jet in just 57 hours, 25 minutes, and 42 seconds. Leaving from Denver, the flight included stops in Boston, Paris, Tehran, Sri Lanka, Jakarta, Manila, Wake Island and Honolulu. There was a fuel stop in Wales and in Sri Lanka Palmer rode an elephant, all along the way he handed out bicentennial flags and bronze replicas of the Declaration of Independence.


From 1980 to 1985, Arnold Palmer won 5 majors on the PGA TOUR Champions.

Photo: United States Golf Association


1989 – Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children opened in 1989 and in 2006 the Orlando Health Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies opened.


2001 – AP Half & Half begins production. Now distributed through AriZona, the half lemonade/half iced tea concoction sells millions of cans a year.


2004 – Arnold Palmer is honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush, the first golfer to become a recipient. He has since been joined by Jack Nicklaus, Charlie Sifford and Tiger Woods.

Photo: Official White House Photo


2012 – Arnold Palmer becomes just the sixth athlete to receive the Congressional Gold Medal. It is the highest honor that can be bestowed upon any living citizen in the United States.


2014 – Originally founded as the Arnie’s Army Charitable Foundation, the Arnold & Winnie Palmer Foundation supports efforts on behalf of children’s health, youth character development and nature-focused wellness to this day.


1960 – Formerly the site of an orange grove, work begins to transform this land into the golf course at Bay Hill.


1961 – The course at Bay Hill opens for play in November of 1961.


1965 – Arnold Palmer plays Bay Hill for the first time during an exhibition with Jack Nicklaus, Don Cherry and Dave Ragan. Palmer won the exhibition and fell in love with the golf course. Upon returning home to his wife, he told Winnie, “Babe, I’ve just played the best course in Florida, and I want to own it.”


1970 – Five years after playing the course for the first time, Arnold Palmer takes out a five-year lease on Bay Hill with an option to buy.


1975 – In 1975, Arnold Palmer takes full ownership of Bay Hill Club and Lodge.


1979 – In 1979, the PGA TOUR tournament that would eventually become the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard moves from Rio Pinar to Bay Hill.

Photo: Orlando Sentinel


1991 – Tiger Woods (pictured here with his father, Earl) wins his first of three consecutive U.S. Junior Amateur titles at Bay Hill.

Photo: United States Golf Association


1997 – The first Arnold Palmer Cup is played at Bay Hill. Continuing to this day, the annual Ryder Cup-style competition matches the best male and female collegiate golfers from the United States against those from the rest of the world.


2017 – The Arnold Palmer statue near the first tee at Bay Hill is unveiled. Be sure to stop by the statue for your photo this week!


1966 – The Florida Citrus Open Invitational is first played at Rio Pinar in Orlando.


1971 – Arnold Palmer wins what is then known as the Florida Citrus Invitational.

Photo: Orlando Sentinel


1979 – The Florida Citrus Open moves across town to Bay Hill.


1987 – Payne Stewart wins the tournament with a record-low score of 264


1998 – Ernie Els wins his first of two API titles and soon moves to No. 1 in the world. He would pick up another API title in 2010.



2000-03 – Tiger Woods wins four straight tournaments.

Photo: Orlando Sentinel


2004 – Mastercard signs on as presenting sponsor of the tournament.


2004 – Arnold Palmer played for the final time at Bay Hill in 2004 with his grandson Sam Saunders on the bag. His driver off the deck into the 18th green is one of the tournament’s greatest moments!



2007 – After many name changes over the years, the tournament is officially renamed the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented Mastercard.


2007 – Vijay Singh wins the first title after the name is changed.



2008/09 – Tiger Woods goes back-to-back, bringing his trophy total at the event to six.



2011 – Martin Laird wins the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard and becomes the first European champion in the event’s history.



2012/13 – Tiger Woods goes back-to-back AGAIN and moves his win count to an astounding eight trophies.



2016 – Jason Day wins the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard and becomes the final champion to be congratulated on the 18th green by Mr. Palmer.



2018 – Rory McIlroy wins with a magnificent back-nine charge, finishing at -18 for a three-shot win.



2022 – Scottie Scheffler wins the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard and wins the Masters a few months later. He would be named the PGA TOUR Player of the Year.


2023 – Kurt Kitayama wins his first PGA TOUR title at the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard with a clutch two-putt on the final green!