Arnold Palmer reached for a black pen and a blank piece of paper, and for a moment, he went back in time to junior school days.
''My first year in grade school, my teacher was a lady by the name of Rita Taylor,'' Palmer said. ''The blackboard around the room had `The Palmer Method of Writing,' and that was system with which we were taught to write.''
The King didn't invent the popular method of teaching cursive. Among athletes, he perfected it.
Pen in hand, his right arm moved in a slow, circular motion for several seconds, as if rehearsing. Then, he started writing what has become one of the most famous autographs in sports. Even at 83, Palmer makes sure every fan can read his name. And like so many other aspects of his golfing career, his influence spans generations.
''I've always heard you need to make it legible, and I try to do that,'' Tim Clark said as he signed for fans behind the railing at Doral this spring. He...