His memory razor-sharp.
When Arnold Palmer reaches out to take your hand it is swallowed in a meaty grip. It is the firm and assured handshake of a young man.
But time marches on even for 'The King' although on occasion it can stand still at Augusta National Golf Club as it did early on Thursday when an aged Palmer launched the 77th Masters with a ceremonial opening tee shot.
Golf fans see what they want to see, and in the chill of an overcast morning they came to catch a glimpse of the past as much as the present.
Standing on the first tee surrounded by an adoring gallery, the 83-year-old golf legend smartly attired in red sweater and grey slacks struck a solid blow up the middle as 'Arnie's Army' cheered.
"I still enjoy getting out but my game is not good. It's bad," Palmer told Reuters. "I hit balls. I enjoy going out and hitting golf balls and that's what I do most of the time."
And for decades Palmer did it better than almost anyone else, winning 62 career PGA Tour titles, including four green jackets as Masters champion.
Palmer competed in 50 Masters tournaments before ending his Augusta career in 2004, and right up until signing off with a final-round 84 believed he could win every time he teed it up at the year's first major.
"I thought I could win it every time I played in it," said Palmer. "I did.
"I enjoyed Augusta very much and was fortunate enough to win it four times but always felt I should have won it at least four more times."
While Palmer's role at the Masters is now purely ceremonial he remains as much a part of Augusta as green jackets.
The charismatic Palmer arrived on the golf scene just as television was becoming a fixture in every American home creating the sport's first superstar.
With leading man good looks and a swashbuckling daring style, Palmer became one of sport's first crossover celebrities.
But even at the height of his fame, Palmer never came under the type of crushing scrutiny that top golfers like Tiger Woods deal with today.
"Was it easier? Well it was simpler," said Palmer. "It wasn't the complicated issues we see occasionally now but I think that will all pass.
"I think it's a fad and it will go away if we can just do what we need to do and that's just remember where the game came from and how it's played."
Life may quieter now for Palmer but no less busy.
He still possesses strong opinions about the sport and its future ,which he is not shy of sharing, but dedicates much of his time to his many philanthropic interests.
Friends say Palmer still loves to fly his own jet but even he admits he does not golf much.
At Bay Hill, the Orlando golf course he owns, young golfers continue to seek him out during the annual PGA Tour event he hosts. For many, the Arnold Palmer Invitational is a pilgrimage that must be undertaken each year to pay homage to 'The King.'
When Rory McIlroy, at the time ranked the world's number one golfer, skipped the tournament this year it was perceived by many as a snub and a lack of respect for the game's history.
Those who enter Palmer's Bay Hill sanctuary are first sized up by Mulligan, his dog which he can often be seen taking out for walks in the neighborhood.
His office is filled with mementos and visiting friends, who during last month's Arnold Palmer Invitational included former U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge.
A few minutes later there is another knock at the door with a request from a young golfer Palmer has never met seeking a moment of his time.
"They come in and talk about everything," said Palmer. "I have had players, and they still do, a lot of them come and talk and want to feel me out on what I'm doing, what I'm going to do and what I have done.
"Payne Stewart was one of them he came up periodically just to refresh his recollection of what I might tell him or what might be going on.
"We got a lot of others. A lot of young people come in and I don't mind, I enjoy it as a matter of fact."