The Best Ever Arnie Story!

September 10th is The King’s birthday so I thought we’d celebrate in style by sharing with you, the best ever Arnie story!

Before the 1993 Senior British Open, which was scheduled to be contested over the links of Royal Lytham & St. Annes, Arnold Palmer received a letter from a Mr. Hans Bolton of Lancashire, England. The letter containing, as it did, the language of someone who knew nothing about the game, might have offended a superstar too full of his own importance. In Palmer’s case, the handwritten letter caught his attention.

The letter, which came into the possession of a friend several years later, contains this remark in the opening paragraph, “I must admit I am not a golf fan. I realize that you must be extremely busy, being one of the “big names” in the golfing fraternity.” Bolton then talks about the importance of the upcoming Senior Open but adds, “An even more important event is taking place (at least to me anyway). You see, I am getting married to my fiancée Sally Anne Murphy, a truly gorgeous and wonderful girl.” The problem, as Bolton unfolds, is simple, neither of the honeymoon suites at the Clifton Arms Hotel is available because, as it was explained to him, “Mr. Arnold Palmer is staying in one and Mr. Gary Player is staying in the other, and they have been booked for ages!”

He then proceeds to paint an emotional portrait. “My fiancée was, of course, distraught at this news, convinced that our big day is doomed to failure. Something I suppose, like a triple bogey on the 1st hole.” Then Bolton makes a daring suggestion. “I was just wondering if perhaps, there would be any chance at all of you swapping rooms with us, just for one night. This is a shot in the dark, I really don’t expect that you will, but one can only try. You see I work for the Sunblest Bread Company and Sally works as a children’s nanny so this is probably the only chance we will ever have of staying anywhere as grand as the Clifton Arms.”

He signs the letter “Yours hopefully,” and then adds two postscripts. P.S. You are more than welcome to join us for a drink at the reception. P.P.S. I didn’t write to Gary Player because we were told you were a much nicer chap!

Palmer, of course, not only surrendered the suite but took them up on the offer of the beer where he drank a toast to the happy couple and even posed for a photograph.

Go ahead and make someone’s day share this story with a friend!

From Your Friends at Mark Wood Golf Academy

PS. Come down and tee it up to make some magic moments of your own. Check our website at

Mark Wood

PGA Advanced Professional
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