Originally created 06/25/02

Arnold Palmer named and defined 'The Grand Slam'



Flashback to just before the Masters 2001, Tiger Woods talks about "The Grand Slam":

"Obviously, I'm not going to deny this, the harder way to accomplish a Grand Slam is in one year, but if you can put all four trophies on your coffee table, I think you can make a pretty good case for that, too."

At this point, Mr. Woods was diplomatically not calling it the "The Grand Slam."

The Grand Slam in golf consists of winning all four major championships in one year. It was coined by Arnold Palmer in an airplane on the way to the British Open after winning the Masters and the U.S. Open in 1960. He told this to a friend of his, a sportswriter named Bob Drum. Mr. Drum passed it on to the rest of the world.

This is the inescapable origin of "The Grand Slam." Mr. Palmer named it and defined it for us.

When Mr. Palmer was asked about the possibly of Mr. Woods winning "The Grand Slam" with a win at Masters 2001, he said, "That is ridiculous. If he wins it, he's starting a new one, but it's not a continuation of last year. You know, that takes the fun out of it. That takes the kick out of winning the Grand Slam."

So, Arnie has already defined "The Grand Slam." Winning the Masters in 2001 allowed Mr. Woods to claim all four trophies on one mantle but not in one year, an amazing streak ...

Fast Forward to today. Mr. Woods has won the 2002 Masters and U.S. Open. When asked about his chances of winning the slam, Mr. Woods said, "I've won the slam before. I've won four major titles in a row and no one has ever done that," Mr. Woods said. "So this will be a different type of slam.

Mr. Woods himself said after winning the U.S. Open, "It's hard to describe how good it feels to win a major championship, because it takes so much out of you, and it's so difficult to do because you really have to play well."

That's the trick, isn't it Mr. Palmer? Doing it all in one year?

Steve Brock, Aiken, S.C.