Masters week is about to start but no matter where players are on the PGA Tour, fans and collectors seeking autographs are sure to follow. Pro golfers have generally been fairly accommodating as long as you don’t try to ask for a signature in the middle of a round or when they’ve just played the worst round of the year. They don’t have to worry that much about promoting the game but that wasn’t always the case.
Arnold Palmer’s graciousness with fans helped endear him to a legion of fans who followed his every move on TV. Now in his 80s, Arnie is sort of a goodwill ambassador who still makes time for the thousands who seek his signature. Part of the reason? It’s one of the few signatures where you can usually read every letter. In fact, Palmer has become a bit of a sports legend for the care he takes in signing autographs. It’s something he hasn’t been shy to tell other players, either.
“Sign it so they can read it!” he’s told some of the game’s young stars who just scribble a squiggly line on whatever a fan thrusts in front of him.
Associated Press golf writer Doug Ferguson talked to some of the game’s big names about autographs and discovered a) why Tiger woods sometimes dots an ‘i’ where there isn’t one, b) why Padraig Harrington’s caddy is responsible for the improvement in his signature, c) what’s cool about Ian Poulter’s autograph and d) why John Daly says he signs his name three different ways (good luck, Mr. Authenticator). It’s a good piece–with photos–and you can read it here.