The experience of playing in the Walker Cup is not just what occurs during the two days of competition. In fact, some of the most indelible memories are created in the days leading into the biennial event.
On Aug. 27, the 10 USA players and their captain, John “Spider” Miller, traveled to Latrobe, Pa., to enjoy two days of golf and camaraderie with Arnold Palmer at Latrobe Country Club.
The trip included a tour of Palmer’s barn – with its stunning array of artifacts – and an hour with The King in his office, where Palmer counseled the players and took questions on a variety of topics.
“Guys were in awe,” said Miller during a teleconference call on Sept. 2, two days before his team was to depart for England for this year’s Match Sept. 12-13 at Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club. “It was something … unreal. If I tried to plan it, it could not have gone better. The kids’ mouths were open and [they were] hanging on every word.”
So what was Palmer’s advice to the eight college-age players who have dreams of playing professionally?
“What hit home with the kids was how to conduct your professional life,” said Miller, 65, of Bloomington, Ind. “They learned if you treat people right and you are polite and always do the right thing, your professional life can extend for so long. That’s what I wanted them to learn.”
Players also commented on social media about the visit.
Surreal experience with Arnold Palmer and the @WalkerCup team in PA. Having personal conversation with AP for days was truly unforgettable— Lee McCoy (@LeeMcCoyGolf) August 29, 2015
Had a great session with the @WalkerCup team in PA! We were extremely fortunate to have Mr. Palmer as our host for a few unforgettable days!— jordan niebrugge (@jniebs5) August 29, 2015