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Local History

Arnold Palmer

 Twin Oaks record smashed by Palmer

Springfield Leader, August 5, 1963 page 15D.

"Amazing Arnold Palmer showed some 2000 Springfield area golf fans why he’s the top money-winner in the sport yesterday.

"Flying in just in time for a pre-match lunch at Twin Oaks Country Club, the favorite of the links took time for an eye-opening clinic, then smashed the course record by four strokes with a brilliant 61 as he saw the layout for the first time.

"Included in Palmer’s score by the end of the round were two eagles, six birdies and 10 pars.  Never in the rough, he actually failed on only one shot, an approach on No. 9 which meant  a par instead of a birdie.

"R. H. (Dick) Sikes, star amateur from Springdale who won the Twin Oaks Invitational last week, was ahead of Palmer at the turn with a 29 but fell back to a match of the old record of 65 with a par 36 on the back side.  Palmer, meanwhile, was five under on both with his 30-31.

"Hickory Hills pro Sam Reynolds shot 32-34—66 and host pro Gene Sallee was 34-35—69 as every member of the foursome went under par on the 35-36—71 course over 6700 yards.

"Palmer and Sallee won the best ball match 60 to 63.  It was tied 29-29 after nine, but Palmer continued his birdie binge on the back and wrapped it up.

"The former record mark at Twin Oaks, 65, was held jointly by Sallee, Jim Patton and Bill Ludwig.

"Palmer eagled the 534-yard third hole and the 538-yard 14th, taking threes on each.  On the third, he drove in the right rough, was on in two and sank a 40-foot putt.  On 16, Palmer showed his strength by picking a 3-wood for his tee shot, then placed a 7-iron on the green for a short putt and another birdie.  The hole measured 465 yards for par 4.  The rest got their pars.

"Sallee showed his clutch putting again on 18 with an 8-foot holer for his par with the crowd already breaking up.

"Palmer barely missed holding a chip on his 10th green then had his only gallery trouble of the day on 11.  He was on the green and past the pin with his iron shot from the tee on the 223-yard hole, when a movie camera bothered him as he lined up his putt.  He still got his par.

"Just before holing out on the 18th green, he said, 'I want to say that these are among the finest greens of any I have seen in the country.'  Ironically, he two-putted for his par, but it didn't make any difference to the crowd of 2000 which had seen him one-putt eight greens.

"Bob Fredrick, co-owner of the Golf Range in Springfield, presented Palmer with a check for $200 for breaking the Twin Oaks record.

"Palmer, who flew his own seven seat plane here from Freeport, Ill., left last night to return him at Latrobe, Pa.  He was scheduled to fly in Pittsburgh, a few miles from Latrobe."

There is a biography of Arnold Palmer and Golf's ultimate eighteen: Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Amy Alcott, and other golf greats reveal favorite holes to create the ultimate fantasy course  by Steve Eubanks.  The black and white photograph above is from the newspaper.

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