Who was Arnold Palmer’s First Wife? Meet Winifred Walzer

Winifred Walzer was the wife of American professional golfer Arnold Palmer whom she was married to for over forty years. The two sweethearts met at a golfing event in 1954; Winifred was a student at Brown University while Arnold was practicing for a golf game, having won an amateur golf tournament.

Winifred Walzer caught the eyes of Arnold Palmer; they started talking, and less than a week later, he asked her out. On their first date, Arnold asked Winifred to marry him, and she said yes. It is funny how they met, got engaged, and married in the same year, and on top of that, they stayed married for forty-five years.

Family and Personal Endeavours

Winifred married the love of her life in a small church in Virginia; her mother was happy that her daughter was getting, but her dad was not convinced. Winifred and her husband were blessed with two daughters, Peggy, and Amy Palmer. According to her daughter Amy, Winifred was accommodating and willing to step back to ensure the other person was happy.

Winifred Walzer was involved in charity work as she helped raise money for children’s health care and other programs. The Winnie Palmer Hospital for Children & Women, based in Orlando, Florida, is named after her for her commitment to doing good.


Even though Winifred Walzer was the wife of a top golfer, she stayed behind the scenes as she did what she loved; helping the community, managing businesses, and raising her family. Winifred had a degree in interior design and worked with her family’s businesses designing them.

She also managed most of her husband’s business as he was in golfing events.

Her Husband

Arnold Palmer left a legacy in the golfing game, having won several championships. Besides playing the game, Winifred’s husband owned golf businesses and helped design most golf courses.

After Winifred Walzer died, Arnold Palmer would not stay alone at home; he met Kathleen Gawthrop and dated for a while before marrying in 2005. Winifred’s children said in an interview that Kathleen was a great lady and loved sports, unlike their mom, who preferred staying at home.

Arnold Palmer had been battling prostate cancer for a while but died on September 25, 2016, at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center while waiting for heart surgery. Before his death, he was celebrated by teams participating in the Ryder Cup. Upon his death, he was celebrated by friends, golfers, and even the then-president of America, Barack Obama.

Upon his death, Winifred Walzer’s husband had an estate worth over 800 million US dollars shared between her daughters, some of which went to his wife and workers.

Her Death

Winifred Walzer died at her home in Pennsylvania on November 20, 1999, after battling ovarian cancer for some time. She was 65 years old at the time of her death. Winifred’s death was tough for Palmer as they were very close; they loved hugging and hand-holding, and he was going to miss all that.