ORLANDO, Fla. -- A street sign with the words "Arnie's Drive" is propped up on a shelf above the main workbench, which may be all anyone needs to identify the place's proprietor.
Underneath and to the left, a dozen or so drivers lean against the bench. Nearby, a vise is bolted into the bench. A bucket stands off to the side, a few dozen club shafts poking out waiting for assignment.
Off to the right, three dozen irons poke out from another shelf. Golf shoes -- 44 pairs -- line another shelf. Caps are on another.
In golf, there's only one Arnie. And this is his hideaway.
"This is where I spend a lot of time," said Arnold Palmer, who opened up his Bay Hill garage a few weeks ago for a handful of visitors to sniff around and Golf Channel viewers to see as part of the network's "12 Nights" instructional series.
Santa has his workshop. Arnie has his garage. And even though at age 81 he laments a declining game, Palmer cannot resist the pull of wrapping his hands around a golf club and replacing a worn grip or putting a new shaft in a driver.
"And I enjoy it," he said. "It's nice to get down here. It's very quiet. No one knows where I am unless I tell them."
By now, you'd think anyone who knows Palmer well enough must have the garage on his short list if he really needs to find the icon. Probably right after his Bay Hill Club office, the clubhouse and the fairways. Maybe even before the fairways.
"You see Arnold in here all the time, tinkering," one neighbor said as he passed by.
Palmer's townhouse lies only a few hundred yards behind his office that overlooks Bay Hill's first tee. Back in the day, "Arnie's Drive" might have signified the distance between the two.
He's lived at this address for perhaps 20 years, and not once during that time has his garage sheltered an automobile.
"Never," he said with a sly smile. "That's where my golf clubs are. That's the way it's been from the beginning."
Palmer easily could equip a high-school team with his club inventory on site. Not that he'd necessarily part with them. Most of the clubs have some sort of meaning, if only as a model his company put out before it was absorbed by Callaway.
And he remains fascinated with club technology. On this particular morning, Palmer grabs a driver and mentions that the shaft is made of the same lightweight composite used in a Lamborghini roadster.
And yet if you sniff around the clubs in the bag attached to Palmer's cart, several of his irons have a piece of lead tape attached to the back of the clubhead. Very old-school.
"I won the Houston Open one year with three sets of irons," he noted.
Palmer has never really lost the do-it-yourself approach. There's a grinding wheel on the workbench near the vise, plus a belt sander. He can change a grip in a matter of minutes, perfectly wrapping a strip of leather around the top of the shaft and affixing it in place with black tape.
"Most tour pros today have never done this," he said.
Truth be told, the Bay Hill hangout is merely a scaled-down version of the shop he keeps back home in Latrobe, Pa. His office there includes a workbench tucked away on the two-story building's lower level, across the highway from Latrobe Country Club.
The gold mine, though, lies in a nondescript warehouse off one of the Latrobe CC fairways, well away from the clubhouse. One step inside, and a golf fan's jaw would go slack at the thousands of clubs, shoes, medals and other memorabilia lining shelf after shelf, floor to ceiling.
For those old enough to remember Palmer's many Pennzoil commercials sitting atop his dad's old tractor the jalopy's parked in the warehouse most days. Still runs, too.
A few years ago, one of Palmer's assistants spent weeks cataloging all the stuff in there. The tally of clubs alone exceeded 10,000.
And that doesn't count the 5,000 or so clubs he's given to troops serving in Iraq, giving them a stress-relief outlet between missions. "That kind of helped us take a little (inventory) out," Palmer said.
Don't worry, Palmer has plenty more. And maybe it's here among the shafts and grips and shoes that the icon finds the most serenity.
"I get away from everything and can do what I want in here," he said. "It gives me a new, fresh start every once in a while."