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Man shares stories of his days as Arnold Palmer’s golf caddy

Bob Burns and Arnold Palmer
Posted at 6:03 PM, Mar 03, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-03 19:03:51-05

GRAND CHUTE (NBC 26) — Just in time for the Arnold Palmer Invitational, NBC 26 sat down with Bob Burns to hear about his time as Palmer's caddy.

“Arnold is known as the king and there's a reason for that,” said Bob Burns, owner of Bob Burns Golf.

When he was just 17 years old, Bob Burns became Palmer's golf caddy.

“You can't just have any caddy do that,” said Burns.

Burns is now 75 and owns an Appleton-area golf and learning center.

“You have to know the holes, you have to know the yardages,” said Burns.

He likes to look back at this point in his life.

“I'm kneeling down on the ninth hole near the clubhouse helping him line up a putt and he's in his favorite stance positions,” said Burns.

Burns says he'd get in that stance when he knew the cameras were around, but he'd never let those cameras, or his fame take away his character.

“Hard to tell this story without crying,” said Burns.

Palmer once saw an African American player be told to eat lunch in the locker room.

“He took his food, he motioned to the other guys, and they all went down to the locker room to eat with him,” said Burns. “He was the king.”

Program Note:
The Arnold Palmer Invitational will be airing on NBC 26 through March 5th.