According to the Guardian, the American golfer’s health had been in decline for some time and died in a hospital in Pennsylvania.
Describing Palmer as a “legend” and “icon”, his greatest rival Jack Nicklaus said on Twitter that the former was “one of my best friends”. “He was the king of our sport and always will be,” Nicklaus wrote.
Former world number one Tiger Woods also paid rich tribute to the legend on his Twitter handle. “Thanks Arnold for your friendship, counsel and a lot of laughs. Your philanthropy and humility are part of your legend,” he said.
“It’s hard to imagine golf without you or anyone more important to the game than the King.”
Having turned pro in 1955, Palmer went on to cement his status as a star of world sport by winning seven majors-six of them in a span of five years between 1960 and 1964.
Known for his legendary rivalry with Nicklaus, Palmer developed a special liking towards Augusta, winning four of his majors at the Masters.
He was one of the 13 original inductees to the world golf hall of fame and was also honoured with the PGA lifetime achievement award in 1998.
He is survived by his two daughters, Peggy Walmer Wears and Amy Palmer Saunders.