Last Updated: June 25, 2024
Richest AthletesGolfers
Net Worth:
$700 Million
Sep 10, 1929 - Sep 25, 2016 (87 years old)
5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Architect, Designer, Professional golfer
United States of America
💰 Compare Arnold Palmer's Net Worth

What Was Arnold Palmer's Net Worth?

Arnold Palmer was an American professional golfer and entrepreneur who had a net worth of $700 million. Arnold Palmer is considered to be one of the greatest golfers of all time. Perhaps more impressively, during his career, Arnold earned more than $1.3 billion from endorsements and entrepreneurial ventures (after adjusting for inflation). Among his many wins and championships, he won the PGA Tour 62 times and the Championship Tour ten times. He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974. Palmer was globally recognized for his achievements as a golfer and being part of "The Big Three" in golf, along with Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player, the three key players who are widely credited with popularizing and commercializing the sport around the world.

Early Life

Arnold Daniel Palmer was born on September 10, 1929, in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. His father was the head professional and greenskeeper at the Latrobe Country Club, so young Palmer learned how to play golf from him. He attended Wake Forest College on a golf scholarship but left after his close friend Bud Worsham passed away. Subsequently, Arnold enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard, serving from 1951 to 1954. After his enlistment term with the Coast Guard ended, he returned to college and competitive golfing.

Professional Golf Career

Palmer made the decision to turn pro after winning the 1954 U.S. Amateur in Detroit. His first tour win was in 1955, during his rookie season; he won the Canadian Open, earning $2,400. His first major championship was at the 1958 Masters Tournament, where he earned $11,250. By 1960, he was signed with the pioneering sports agent Mark McCormack as his first client.

Palmer is often cited as a major factor contributing to the establishment of golf as a popular television event in the 1950s and 1960s. McCormack, his agent, listed the following attributes as what made him particularly marketable: his good looks, relatively modest background, golfing skills, willingness to take risks and show emotions, and his affability.

Arnold's stellar performance at the 1960 British Open helped gain him many British and European fans, although he was disappointed with his runner-up finish. His appearance at the British Open also convinced many American golfers that it was worth it to travel to Britain for the event, something few had done. He went on to win the Open Championship in 1961 and 1962; the last time he played it was in 1995.

In total, Palmer won seven major championships during his career: the Masters Tournament (1958, 1960, 1962, 1964), the U.S. Open (1960), and The Open Championship (1961, 1962). His most prolific years were from 1960 to 1963, during which he won 29 PGA Tour events in four seasons. Furthermore, from 1955 to 1971, he won a PGA Tour event every year. Additionally, Arnold made 50 consecutive appearances in the Masters Tournament, making his last one in 2004. His success earned him a large fan base and following, and in 1967, he became the first man in history to hit the mark of $1 million in career earnings on the PGA tour. He officially retired from tournament gold on October 13, 2006, although from 2007 until his death, he served as honorary starter for the Masters.

Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Entrepreneurial Ventures

Palmer owned multiple businesses, many of them golf-related. He owned the Bay Hill Club and Lodge in Orlando, Florida, which serves as the venue for the Arnold Palmer Invitational (renamed in 2007, originally the Bay Hill Invitational) on the PGA Tour. He also owned the Latrobe Country Club, which he purchased in 1971, and helped found the sports network The Golf Channel.

He formed the company Palmer Course Design in 1972 with his design partner Ed Seay; it was renamed the Arnold Palmer Design Company in 2006. As a designer, Arnold worked on more than 300 golf courses in 37 states, 25 countries, and five continents (all excluding Africa and Antarctica). This includes the first modern golf course in China, built in 1988.

Additionally, Palmer ventured into the car business in 1974 when he purchased a Cadillac dealership in Charlotte, North Carolina, along with his business partners Mark McCormack and Don Massey. He would go on to acquire several other dealerships across multiple states, including a Buick-Cadillac dealership in his hometown, Latrobe, named Arnold Palmer Motors; the Latrobe store closed in 2017 after being in business for 36 years.

All of Palmer's endorsements, licensing, spokesman deals, and commercial partnerships were managed by Arnold Palmer Enterprises. One of his most well-known products is the drink known as the Arnold Palmer, which is a combination of iced tea and lemonade. Palmer himself was known to often order and drink this particular combination. The drink combination has been sold under the Arnold Palmer trademark by Arizona Beverage Company since 2002, featuring a picture of Palmer and his signature on the bottle. Other brands like Nestea, Lipton Brisk, and Snapple also sell this drink, but without the Arnold Palmer trademark.


Palmer passed away on September 25, 2016, while waiting to receive heart surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Personal Life

Arnold was married to Winnie Walzer (1934-1999) for 45 years. They had two daughters together. She passed away in 1999 from complications due to ovarian cancer. Palmer's grandson, Sam Saunders, is also a professional golfer. He attended Clemson University in South Carolina on a golf scholarship and turned pro in 2008. Palmer married his second wife, Kathleen Gawthrop, in 2005. To conquer his fear of flying, Arnold pursued his pilot certificate. After nearly 55 years of flying, he logged almost 20,000 hours of flight time in various aircraft.

Palmer is the founder of Arnie's Army Charitable Foundation, which helps children and youth. The Foundation oversaw projects such as the creation of the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies Center, The Howard Philips Center for Children & Families, the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, and the Winnie Palmer Nature Reserve.

All net worths are calculated using data drawn from public sources. When provided, we also incorporate private tips and feedback received from the celebrities or their representatives. While we work diligently to ensure that our numbers are as accurate as possible, unless otherwise indicated they are only estimates. We welcome all corrections and feedback using the button below.
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