ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Arnold Palmer touched many lives in Orlando, and everyone who knew him or even met him came away incredibly impressed and grateful for the experience. One of them is a PGA golf teacher in central Florida who knew him for decades.
Brad Brewer met him just after he graduated from Flagler College. “I think I said something like "nice to meet you" I very much stumbled over my words because I was in awe of this guy,” Brewer said.
Brad Brewer is a successful golf coach now and runs his own academy in Orlando. Once upon a time, though, he co-founded Arnold Palmer's golf academies in 1984.
He knew the public man, the larger than life celebrity and superstar. He did everything he could on a daily basis to try to live up to that perception that we had of who he was.
He also knew the private Palmer, says his greatest contributions to the world were actually away from the green grasses that made him so famous.
He used his celebrity in a very positive way, to help many causes, not only our community, but beyond that. causes like the children's hospital that bears his name, and the hospital right next door for women and babies, named for his wife.
"What he's done for the hospitals and what he continues to do to benefit a lot of charities in the community, he's such a giving person," Brewer said. He's taken on some responsibilities that most of us wouldn't have done and he did it with the class and dignity that made Arnold Palmer a true legend."