North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame to Pay Tribute to Hall Member Arnold Palmer

Sports and Recreation

October 6, 2016

Many North Carolina sports legends will gather to play golf, to have fellowship and to honor Arnold Palmer during the N.C. Sports Hall of Fame's Salute to Champions Gala and Golf Classic on Sunday and Monday, October  16 and 17, at Prestonwood Country Club in Cary. The Salute to Champions Gala takes place October  16, and the Golf Classic is October  17.

Open to the public, the annual event is the primary fund-raiser for the N.C. Sports Hall of Fame, which has recognized the state's most outstanding athletes, coaches and participants since 1963. The Hall has inducted 328 men and women into the Hall and will induct another half dozen or more during a ceremony on May 5 in Raleigh. The permanent, interactive exhibit N.C. Sports Hall of Fame is located at the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh.

Tickets cost $500 for the Salute to Champions Gala and Golf Classic, which includes a golf spot and a guest ticket to the gala. Individual tickets to the Salute to Champions Gala are $125 are available as well. For tickets, contact Don Fish (919-845-3455).

This year's gala honors Palmer, a N.C. Sports Hall of Fame member and one of the most famous golfers of all time. Memories of Palmer, who played collegiately at Wake Forest University, will be shared during a Salute to the King portion of the gala. Palmer died last week.

The Golf Classic at Prestonwood will take place the day after the Champions Tour event at the site. The participating golfers will play the same course with the same pin placements that the pros played during the Champions Tour.

"We believe that this is a unique opportunity for our golfers," said Don Fish, the Hall's executive director. "You don't often have the chance to play on a professional championship course in the peak of condition. All the signage, grandstands and hospitality venues still will be up. It will be quite an experience."

Each foursome in the tournament will be joined by a sports celebrity with N.C. Sports Hall of Fame ties. Among the sports celebrities expected to attend are former UNC football coach John Bunting, ACC commissioner John Swofford, and former Cincinnati Reds manager Dave Bristol.

The sports celebrities will be placed in foursomes during the Salute to Champions gala, which will include a gourmet dinner, live and silent auctions of sports memorabilia, and sports packages.

George Williams, the N.C. Sports Hall of Fame member and St. Augustine's track and field coach, will highlight his Olympic memories, and Jeff Gravley of WRAL-TV will talk about his trip to the Rio Olympics.