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Biography

Biography

Gary Player is the most successful international golfer of all time.

Gary Player is a legend in his own time. The most successful international golfer of all time, Player has achieved the kind of worldwide acclaim reserved for only a handful of sporting greats. He is, quite simply, world class. Gary Player is renowned as much for his dedication to the principles of excellence as he is for his golfing accomplishments. He is recognized worldwide as an uncompromising perfectionist who settles for nothing but the best. His impeccable set of values, stringent regimen of health and fitness, and insistence on quality, have earned him admiration the world over.

Recognized around the globe as the Black Knight, Mr. Fitness and the International Ambassador of Golf, Gary Player is also a renowned golf course architect with over 325 design projects throughout the world.  Black Knight International, the company founded by his son Marc Player, includes Gary Player Design, Player Real Estate, Gary Player Enterprises and The Player Foundation.

The company has also been trademarked The World’s Most Traveled Athlete™, but when Player is not traveling on business or playing on the Champions Tour, he spends time on his ranch in South Africa.  The Gary Player Stud Farm has received worldwide acclaim for breeding over 2,000 top thoroughbred race horses including 1994 English Derby entry Broadway Flyer.

Celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2013, The Player Foundation built the Blair Atholl Schools in Johannesburg, South Africa which has educational facilities for over 500 students from kindergarten through grade eight.  The foundation has since expanded efforts in all corners of the globe, raising funds for impoverished children through four Gary Player Invitational events – in Europe, China, the USA and South Africa.  Over $50 million has been raised in 30 years and counting…

Other achievements:

• Named South African Sportsman of the Century in 2000
• Player is the only modern golfer to win The British Open in three different decades
• Oldest Player to make the cut at The Masters in 1998
• Honorary Doctorate of Law from the University of St. Andrews in 1995
• Laureus Lifetime Achievement Award (2003) for dedication to charity
• Awarded the Order of Ikhamanga (in gold for exceptional achievement) by President Mbeki of South Africa for excellence in golf and contribution to non-racial sport in South Africa in 2003
• 2006 Payne Stewart Award from the PGA Tour in recognition of philanthropic achievements and the exemplary manner in which he has conducted himself on and off the golf course
• Three-time Presidents Cup Captain – 2003, 2005 and 2007
• First international recipient of the PGA Tour’s Lifetime Achievement Awards in 2012