Arnold Palmer was a legend universally, but he had a special connection with the Coachella Valley, more commonly known as the Palm Springs area.
To honor that connection, Palmer, who died last September, will be awarded a star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars in a ceremony on Palm Canyon Drive on Jan. 16, the week of what is now known as the CareerBuilder Challenge, the annual PGA Tour event to which Palmer was inextricably linked.
Palmer won the tournament five times under three different names. He won the inaugural Palm Springs Desert Golf Classic in 1960, the Palm Springs Golf Classic in 1962, and the Bob Hope Desert Classic in 1968, 1971 and 1973. His ’73 victory was the last PGA Tour event he won.
His ties to the area, in fact, preceded those victories. He won the Thunderbird Invitational there in 1959 and lived part-time at Bermuda Dunes Country Club, according to Larry Bohannan, Desert Sun golf writer and the author of the book “Palm Springs Golf.”
Palmer also served as host of the 50th Bob Hope Classic in 2009.
In his latter years, Palmer had a home at the Tradition in La Quinta and a restaurant, Arnold Palmer’s, within walking distance. He designed several courses in the area, notably the Palmer Private Course at PGA West that served as the host course of the CareerBuilder Challenge for several years.
Palmer’s star will be the 410th awarded on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars. Criteria for inclusion on the Walk of Stars include having lived in the Greater Palm Springs area “for periods of considerable regularity,” and “by their presence in this area, contributed to the charm, worldwide prominence and name recognition of Palm Springs.”