During his birthday week (Sept. 6 – 13), Rex Hoggard (senior writer) will examine Palmer’s career from a player’s perspective to illustrate his importance to the growth of the game, while Randall Mell (senior writer) chronicles the camera’s love affair with Palmer and the role he played in expanding golf to the then new medium of sports television. In addition, Mercer Baggs (managing editor) reveals Palmer’s charitable efforts and his influence in the creation of the Arnold Palmer Hospitals.
“As a founding father of Golf Channel, Arnold Palmer’s contributions to the growth of the sport and our company are innumerous,” Golf Channel President Page Thompson said. “His imprint can be found in every aspect of our Channel, and we are very proud to carry on the traditions of excellence he established.”
On the micro site, fans can join the festivities by contributing memories, well wishes and personal accounts of encounters with Palmer.
In concert with GolfChannel.com, Golf Channel will feature more than eight hours of programming to honor the man who won 62 times on the PGA TOUR, including seven major championships. Throughout the week, the network will air programming that includes:
* Golf Central (Mon – Thur., 6 p.m. ET) – Monday – Wednesday, Golf Central continues its “80-days to Arnold Palmer’s 80th birthday” countdown with nightly features within the news franchise, including coverage of his ceremonial first pitch for his hometown team, the Pittsburgh Pirates, at PNC Park. Thursday (6 p.m. ET), Golf Central will air a special Arnold Palmer 80th Birthday Celebration show, featuring celebrity tributes from the world of sports and entertainment. Inga Hammond also will conduct a sit-down interview with Palmer to reflect on his storied career on and off the course.
* Top 10: Arnold Palmer Moments (Tue., 8:30 p.m. ET) – Top 10 will count down the 10 greatest moments in Palmer’s illustrious career, including his major championship victories, his role in the development of the Champions Tour and the emergency of “Arnie’s Army.” The special features interviews from legendary sports agent Mark McCormack and author Bob Drum, as well as insight and commentary from Lee Trevino, Hubert Green and Palmer. Hosted by Lauren Thompson
Golf’s Heart and Soul: Arnold Palmer (Tue., 9 p.m. ET) – From humble beginnings in the Pennsylvania foothills to close friendships with presidents and kings, Golf Channel embarks on a two-hour journey into Palmer’s life as seen not only from “The King’s” eyes, but also from the experiences from everyone who has touched him.
Golf in America (Wed, 9:30 p.m. ET) – Golf Channel visits with Palmer to discuss his three legacies: golf, philanthropy and course design. He discusses his part in ushering in a new era in sports coverage with co-founding the Golf Channel; his involvement in charities and the Arnold Palmer Hospital; and his golf course design company.
Playing Lessons From the Pros: Palmer and Saunders (Thur., 7 a.m. ET) – Palmer is joined by his grandson Sam Saunders, who in 2004 became Florida State High School Golf Champion, for a round of golf at Bay Hill Club and Lodge in Orlando, Fla.
1964 Masters Highlights (Thur., 1:30 p.m. ET) – Highlights of the 1964 Masters, where Palmer won his fourth and final green jacket by six strokes over Dave Marr and Jack Nicklaus
1960 Masters Highlights (Friday, 12:30 a.m. ET) – Highlights of the 1960 Masters, where Palmer won his second green jacket by one stroke over Ken Venturi.