Any collection of golf books is likely to have at least one, if not several, books about either Arnold Palmer or Jack Nicklaus. There are also a few about the two golf legends together. They’re without doubt two of the most written about professional golfers of all time and most golf fans will be familiar with their stories, on and off the golf course.
Charlie Mechem’s book doesn’t pretend to be a groundbreaking investigation of Nicklaus and Palmer or claim to reveal heretofore untold stories about either of them. Rather, it’s a very personal glimpse through Mechem’s eyes at the close friendships he’s enjoyed with Arnie and Jack for over fifty years. The stories are humorous, sometimes emotional and always evoking the deep respect and affection Mechem has for his friends.
If you’re looking for salacious gossip on Palmer’s alleged extra-marital activities or the inside take on Nicklaus convoluted business history, you won’t find it here. This is as squeaky clean as it gets. In fact, this book could easily be a Hallmark movie. That in no way diminishes its enjoyment. I found it a fun read and since completing the book have often gone back and re-read some of the chapters just to enjoy a favourite story again.
Mechem weaves a colourful narrative that is as much about Palmer and Nicklaus as professional golfers as it is about them as friends and family men. Winnie Palmer, and later Kit, and Barbara Nicklaus figure prominently in the stories, as does the charity work they do and the worthwhile foundations they support.
While Palmer and Nicklaus were always rivals on the Tour, their friendship off the course is often overlooked. Mechem sheds some light on how this relationship endured for so many decades while each man succeeded beyond their wildest imaginations. It includes terrific notes on the building of Bay Hill and Muirfield Village and the exceptional tournaments they hosted that spawned dozens of champions and honoured dozens more.
Not to be forgotten are the innumerable honours and awards bestowed on the two players themselves and how each was there for the other to celebrate those accomplishments.
Charlie Mechem is a lawyer by training, the former President of the Taft Broadcasting Network and a former Commissioner of the LPGA. After he retired, he became a longtime consultant and advisor to Arnold Palmer. His book can be purchased online at Amazon. Click HERE for details.