The PGA Tour’s rolling caravan has spent the past three weeks in Florida, playing tournaments among the lagoons and palm trees and freeways, offering a glimpse of springtime to the winter-weary who can get no closer to the Sunshine State than their wide-screen televisions.
The players have dealt with the cloyingly named Bear Trap, Blue Monster and Snake Pit, not to mention a fly-by visit from Donald Trump, who dropped in on the Doral resort he owns to make sure everything was up to his exacting standards.
Now it’s on to Arnie’s place.
And, at least for a little while, we should pause our ongoing pre-Masters analysis and appreciate Arnold Palmer again.
It seemed like he would be here forever but he won’t.
Arnie is 86 years old now, wobbles more than he walks and his health is declining. His traditional pre-tournament press conferences on Wednesdays at Bay Hill were extended sessions when the most important man in the history of modern golf would take questions, offer opinions, remind us to take our hats off inside, make a couple of wisecracks and, whether he meant to or not, comfort us.
He has been like golf’s snuggie.