Amateur Golfer Opens Surprise Letter from Arnold Palmer Two Weeks after Legend’s Death

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A letter sent from Arnold Palmer to an obscure University of Michigan golfer, received ten days after the “The King” passed away on September 25th, provided a “priceless moment” for the recent U.S. Amateur finalist.

“Utter shock, really,” Nick Carlson told the Detroit News of opening the letter which Palmer penned on September 8. Palmer was extending hearty congratulations to the 20-year old sophomore for making it to the final four at the prestigious tournament held at Oakland Hills Country Club in August.

“Like, I never expected it. It’s just something really cool and almost a priceless moment, in my opinion,” he added.

Carlson received the letter late because of ongoing school activities and playing the fall schedule, which included the first college championship of his young career.

Carlson says he never met the legendary Palmer, but this summer he worked at the Ravines Golf Club in Saugatuck, one of six Michigan courses designed by the seven-time major champion and winner of 93 amateur and professional tournaments.

Palmer wrote to Carlson, ”I understand that you are a serious student of our great game of golf, as well as a good student and player at the University of Michigan.

“Keep up the good playing. I wish you the very best in whatever pursuit you choose to follow.”

In 1954, more than four decades before Carlson was born, Palmer captured the U.S. Amateur in Michigan at the Country Club of Detroit. Carlson failed to enjoy the same success losing to Australian, and eventual overall winner, Curtis Luck in a playoff during their semifinal match, reported the Detroit News.

Nevertheless, Carlson still has the inspirational letter from the King which isn’t a bad consolation prize for an aspiring golfer.
“It’s framed and above my desk in my room. I get to look at it every day,” he said.


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