By John Strege
An avid golfer, Nate Marcoulier is a recent high school graduate, who at a celebratory gathering of family and friends began to open his gifts. One of them was from his older brother Adam. It was an envelope with a letter inside.
"Be careful when you open it," Adam told him. "Don't rip it."
Nate carefully picked up the envelope and saw that it had a Pittsburgh postmark, puzzling this 18-year-old from the small town of Leominster, Mass. He then turned the envelope over and on the seal saw the name "Arnold Palmer."
"I stared at it for a good 30 seconds," Nate said Monday. He then opened it and read it.
Arnold Palmer had written with advice for him to follow, that doing so would likely enable him to "find life to be enjoyable and fulfilling."
Courtesy and respect are timeless principles, as well as good manners. Knowing when to speak is just as important as knowing what you say. Know how how to win by following the rules. Know the importance of when and how to say thank you. Never underestimate the importance of a good education.
He concluded by saying, "Good luck in college and study hard."
"I thought, oh my god, Arnold Palmer wrote me a letter,'" Nate said. "I had an ear-to-ear smile on my face for a straight hour." He posted a photo of the letter on Twitter, and wrote, "By far the best present I've ever gotten."
On April 22, a few days after watching the Golf Channel documentary "Arnie," Adam, 21, a keen golfer himself, wrote a letter to Palmer on behalf of Nate, asking if he "could possibly write Nate a letter wishing him good luck in college and providing him some advice along the way."
He could not have known that he would get so prompt a response from a man who receives thousands of requests annually, eventually responding to all of them. The letter he sent to Nate was dated May 23, one month later.
Adam likened it to writing a letter to Santa Claus and having Santa Claus write you back.
"Stuff like this is why I love golf," Nate said. "People like Mr. Palmer put a good face on golf."