Arnold Palmer's grandson, Sam Saunders, tells great story at memorial service

By Lauren Kirschman
Published on
Arnold Palmer's grandson, Sam Saunders, tells great story at memorial service

LATROBE -- Arnold Palmer never failed to answer a phone call from his grandson, Sam Saunders -- not even when he was in the Oval Office.

Saunders, an aspiring PGA Tour golfer, told the story of that phone call during Palmer's memorial at Saint Vincent College on Tuesday afternoon. Every time he called, Saunders said, Palmer would answer the phone and ask, "Where are you?"

One day, when Palmer asked the question, Saunders said, "I'm at home, where are you?"

When Palmer replied he was with the President -- and after Saunders made him clarify that he did indeed mean the President of the United States -- Saunders had one question for his grandfather: "Why did you answer the phone?"

"I wanted to talk to you," Saunders recalled Palmer saying.


Saunders said the difference between the man fans saw on television and the man Palmer's grandchildren knew as Dumpy -- a nickname created when Saunders' younger sister tried to call him grumpy when she was little -- wasn't that great.


At the end of his speech, Saunders remembered another phone call with his grandfather, one he will always be grateful for. At 4:10 p.m. on the Sunday that Palmer died, Saunders called him. Palmer answered on the first ring and asked, of course, "Where are you?"

The two talked for several minutes. Before they hung up, Palmer told Saunders to take care of his children and his entire family.

"I intend to do that," Saunders said, "and make him proud."

This article was written by Lauren Kirschman from The Patriot-News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.