Last night, a tear began to well up in my eyes as I was watching a phenomenal segment on The Golf Channel called ‘ARNIE AND ME’, which was a tribute to Arnold Palmer and especially how wonderful he treated people throughout his entire career. Listening to so many people recall how ‘The King’ had gone out of his way to do some extraordinarily nice things for them, brought up some dear memories for me, but one in particular, I’ll never forget – and I’d like to share it here with my members.
Mr. Palmer and a group had financed my Infomercial and DVD’s, “Roger Fredericks Reveals the Secrets of Golf Swing Flexibility” which he, Gary Player, Donna Caponi, and others had participated in, and although our DVD sales had been going strong for over a year, I felt that we could really boost our sales if he and I went on The Golf Channel’s ‘GOLF ACADEMY LIVE’. One time after spending some time working with him down at Bay Hill, I asked him if he’d be willing to go on with me? After pondering it for a minute he replied, “Rog, you’ve really helped me, and I’d do anything for you – but if you’ve noticed, I never do appearances with anybody else, I always do them alone. Sorry, but I can’t help you on this one”. I told him I understood, and flew back to San Diego. I got a call a few days later (at 6:00 am no less) from Arnold, and he said, “Rog, I’ve been thinking about it, and have changed my mind, let’s do the show”.
A month later, I was back in Orlando going over the format with Jerry Foltz which we were going to shoot the next day. ‘Golf Academy Live’ has 7 segments and after Jerry and I figured out what was going to go into each segment, I went over to Arnold’s office to go over it with him to see if he was OK with it? After I described the protocols, he looked at me and said, “Hey I didn’t hear anything about ‘my demonstrating’ any of your stretches? I want to get down on the floor and show everybody how flexible I’ve become!.” After nearly fainting, I said, ‘Don’t worry, we’ll put it in the 4th segment.
The next night we were ‘Live’ on national television. The first 2 segments, I did most of the talking as I was explained how flexibility so dramatically affected the golf swing and we then went to break. It suddenly occurred to me that here I was on National Television with the Greatest Sports Icon in history and I’m dominating the conversation! During the break, Jerry walked over to a corner of the stage and Arnold walked over to another. I immediately walked over to him and said, “Hey, I’m doing nearly all the talking so far, and I want you to get more involved”. He walked right up to me with his face no more than 10” from mine, poked a finger at me and with those beady brown eyes said, “Roger, let’s get something straight right now! This show isn’t about me- it’s about YOU and your program. You’re doing a great job so far so keep it going. I’m here solely to support you – not me. Now let’s get back over to our marks before that green light comes on the camera. You got it?” I was literally stunned and taken back but composed myself and was even more stunned when during the next segment; he was down on the floor showing off his newfound flexibility to the nation!
When the show was over, I walked over to him as we were leaving and gave him a monstrous bear hug and said, “You’re the most incredible person I’ve ever met and I’ll never forget this. THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart!.” He just winked and said, “It was my pleasure Rog, you did a great job”.
Although I’ve come to know him for many years now, it still amazes me how he has so much patience for the constant bombardment of people that always swarm him. Yet, I know why he does it – because he Loves them!
The Chinese have a saying that ‘The Only things you take with you out of this lifetime are the things you gave away’, and I assure you that Arnold Palmer will be taking a LOT with him.
Click Here to watch the Golf Channel Segment featuring Roger Fredericks and Arnold Palmer.