It’s good to be the king

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“People enjoyed that,” he said. “That was one of the things that attracted them to what I did and how I played. I was reckless. I was in the trees. I was everywhere. But it was part of my life, the way I lived and the way I played.”

Could he have imagined any of this when he first showed up at Bay Hill in 1965 for an exhibition and fell in love with the place?

“Hell, I didn’t have anything in mind except getting a golf course and hitting balls,” he said with a laugh. “And it worked.”

An assistant came back into the office. Some Japanese photographers were hoping to take his picture. They were outside his door and when Palmer saw them, he rattled off his best Japanese greeting. His voice was animated. The words probably didn’t come out the right way. It didn’t matter. They all laughed together and Palmer wrapped his arms around one of them and gave her a big hug.

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