Golf Channel has lined up a three-part, primetime event to celebrate the legendary Arnold Palmer.
Arnie, teeing off on the Sunday night of The Masters, aspires to show how Palmer revolutionized the game and transcended it to become one of the most beloved sports figures in all of American sports.
Arnie will air over three nights, starting on Sunday, April 13, following Golf Channel’s Live From the Masters, through Tuesday, April 15 at 10 p.m. (ET). Check out a trailer here.
The network spent the last year traveling with Palmer, collecting interviews from more than 100 people, sifting through hundreds of hours of archival film – including hours of never-before-seen family video – and shooting in locations around the world to create a definitive story of the most influential man to ever pick up a club, and whose tale also includes his role as a co-founder of Golf Channel.
Interviews range from Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods to World Series champion skipper Joe Torre and Super Bowl MVP Peyton Manning, President George W. Bush to President Bill Clinton to actor Kurt Russell and Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Kate Upton.
Arnie was produced by 13-time Emmy Award winner and former NBC Sports feature producer Israel DeHerrera, whose work has been seen on broadcasts of Super Bowls, Olympics and golf’s major championships; and written by Peabody Award recipient and 18-time Emmy Award winner Aaron Cohen, associated with acclaimed sports documentaries for HBO, as well as for NBC, ESPN, NFL and MLB.
“Mr. Palmer is an American icon, but what makes him so special is that he is absolutely genuine, especially through his ability to truly connect with everyone he meets,” said Mike McCarley, president of Golf Channel, in announcing the film. “To document the full impact of his life and legacy would be virtually impossible; however this project is an ambitious attempt to capture the influence he has had on the game of golf and sports as part of popular culture.”
“Arnie & His Army” – Sunday, April 13 at 10 p.m.: The first installment recalls the people who influenced Palmer and instilled the values of integrity and kindness that helped make him the man he has become both on and off the golf course, with special tribute to his parents Deacon and Doris. This retrospective ranges from stories of Deacon teaching him how to grip a golf club to his early days on the PGA Tour with his first wife, Winnie, as they raised a family together to the men who helped build Palmer into a worldwide brand, and a spokesman for Pennzoil and Rolex.
“Arnie & His Majors” - Monday, April 14 at 10 p.m.: The second episode remembers Palmer’s competitive career, his go-for-broke style and his ups and downs at golf’s major championships. Covered are his amateur victories, including the U.S. Amateur in 1954, which he calls his most important win ever; his four Masters titles in a span of only seven years; the thrills of his U.S. Open victories; and how winning the Open Championship in 1960 at St. Andrews changed that major championship forever in the minds of American players. Also explored is Palmer’s history with the PGA Championship – the only major that eluded him.
“Arnie & His Legacy” - Tuesday, April 15 at 10 p.m. ET – The concluding hour delves into the legacy of Arnold Palmer and his influence on popular culture, which stretches way beyond the links. He was just as likely to have his photo taken with Hollywood starlet Esther Williams in the 1940s as he was with supermodel Upton in 2013. He even influenced fashion and started an iced tea-lemonade drinking craze with his self-titled refreshment. The Arnold Palmer brand launched a variety of businesses, including managing a marquee tournament on the annual PGA Tour calendar, designing and operating golf courses. The final hour also explores Palmer’s many charitable endeavors, his love of aviation and his hand in keeping competitive golf alive for players over 50.