August 21, 2009
Arnold Palmer, The King, will forever remain a legend in the game of golf. His seven major victories along with his charisma helped make golf the popular sport it is today. Arnold along with his frenemy, Jack Nicklaus, created compelling TV and cemented the two as superstars in their sport. Arnie was even named the sixth greatest golfer of all time by Golf Digest in 2000.
Even with all his accolades and adoring fans, his truly lasting legacy is The Original Arnold Palmer Tee, Arnie's trademark drink that he would order in clubhouses all over the world.
The Arnold Palmer is a delicate balance of both iced tea and lemonade. The two drinks by themselves are solid, but have their shortcomings; however, when you fuse the two together, they eliminate each other's weaknesses and create a liquid supplement unlike any other.
The drink's popularity is not derived from it's famous originator. It comes from the sweet refreshing beverage that became popular for it's fantastic taste and energy restoring abilities. The drink first became popular on golf courses, but has since spread into the mainstream and is now available in larger-than-life cans for under a dollar in groceries and convenience stores everywhere.
Information on Arnold's life is readily available on Wikipedia; however, the origin of the drink remains a mystery. Legend has it that the drink was born at Cherry Hills Country Club in Colorado. A bartender refused to mix Arnold's drink, but when Arnie became angrier with each passing second, the bartender finally relented.
It's a funny story, but completely untrue. I know the real origin of the drink, and I'm willing to tell it's tale.
This story is set at Cherry Hills Country Club, but little else remains the same.
Arnold Palmer was having an extraordinary day. The sun radiated brilliantly, yet there was not a cloud in sight. A cool breeze blew throughout the day and diminished the sun's heat, a truly perfect day for golf. Arnie was having the round of his life, 16 holes through the course, and he was set to obliterate the course record.
The Gods quickly grew envious of his pin-seeking ability. Arnie was fearless, attacking every hole with precision and grace. One God grew more jealous of Arnie than any other God: the mighty Zeus himself. Zeus refused to let Arnie achieve the course record, quickly blowing clouds into the Colorado area. A fierce storm began, postponing any hope Arnie had of finishing the round.
Arnie was unfazed. He was perturbed by the juxtaposition of the fluke storm, but he assumed it would soon pass.
He grabbed his iced tea and went to seek shelter. Luckily for him, he found a venerable lemon tree, the only one in Colorado, a bright yellow beacon of hope that ably blocked the Greek God's spite. Arnie coolly drank his iced tea and decided to wait out the storm under the tree, for surely it would soon pass.
Zeus was aggravated: he knew of Arnie's stubbornness and a simple storm would not break Arnie's will. Zeus decided to attack Arnie with lightning bolts, a brash decision that would change Arnie's life forever.
The bolts sped towards Arnie, but the lemon tree shielded him from danger. The bolt had missed their target, but they hit something else—a lemon.
The lemon sacrificed itself willing to protect Arnie, and with it's last gasp of breath, dropped it's body fluids into Arnie's iced tea. The drink began to transform with every drop of lemon, it soon began to shimmer with a golden light. Arnie had to shield his eyes as the drink grew to become so bright, he could no longer look directly at it.
Arnie carefully took one sip. Invigorated with a fervor he had never felt before, he decided that all the world must experience this new golden drink. Thus, The Arnold Palmer was conceived.
Zeus had stopped The King from finishing his record round, but Zeus foolishly had bestowed Arnie with something else: immortality.
Arnold Palmer's achievements on the golf course may someday fade away, but his drink never will.