As 2016 comes to a close, we want to reflect on another very special year in the world of Gary Player. The Black Knight showed no signs of slowing down as he reached the age of 81 years young. This has been the 64th consecutive year of international air travel for the Grand Slam champion, who has in this time, journeyed more than 26 million air kilometers around the world for golf and charity, earning him the title of Golf’s Global Ambassador. Below is a collection of our favorite shots from his travels this year. Enjoy!
Gary Player eyed down his tee shot on the 7th hole during The Masters Par 3 Contest. The ball landed to the right of the hole, and caught the perfect slope. 15 seconds later and 15 yards down the fairway, his ball found the bottom of the cup. The roar from the crowd was deafening. The Black Knight became the oldest player to record a hole-in-one at Augusta National.
An evening of Golf and Giving at the Gary Player Invitational at Wentworth Club brought together players for the game’s most decorated selfie, featuring 12 Major champions, combining for a total of 32 Major victories. Gary Player, Tom Watson, Ian Woosnam, Tom Lehman, Jason Dufner, Rich Beem, Suzann Pettersen, Sandy Lyle, Martin Kaymer, Danny Willett, Charl Schwartzel and Padraig Harrington posed for the historic photo.
Yao Ming meet Gary Player. Mr. Player meet Mr. Ming. Two giants of their respective sport at World Celebrity Pro-Am at Mission Hills in China. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
The Big Three – Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer – posed at the Eisenhower Cabin in their Green Jackets together for the final time before the annual Champions Dinner at The Masters.
Gary Player launched the inaugural Gary Player Invitational in Abu Dhabi. Prior to the tournament, he toured the Zayed Higher Organisation for Humanitarian Care and Special Needs (ZHO). The 2016 global series which takes place in six countries, raised R8.5 million for various charities.
Mr. Fittness’s workout routine consists of various types of leg, lower-back and neck stretching, sets of one-legged squats, 1000 mixed crunches, several core exercises, weighted wrist roles, leg press, various dumbbell exercises, sprints on the treadmill, yoga and meditation.
Gary Player showed class is permanent in paradise as he handed out a golfing masterclass to Celtic first-team players at Celtic Park. However, this was not his first stadium golf experience.
Gary Player and 2016 Open Champion Henrik Stenson “fought” over the Claret Jug during the Nedbank Golf Challenge hosted by Gary Player at Sun City Resort.
Pictured here in his dorm room, Gary Player was chosen to captain the South African Men’s and Women’s Olympic Golf Teams this year in Rio de Janeiro. He wanted the full experience of being an Olympian so he decided to stay in the Olympic Village.
He also walked into Maracanã Stadium with the other 11,000+ Olympic Athletes during the Opening Ceremony.
Tournament host Gary Player presented the 2016 Nedbank Golf Challenge winner, Alex Noren, with the trophy and first prize check of nearly $1.2 million.
Gary Player and Paige Spiranac took part in a push-up competition during the Gary Player Invitational at Wentworth Club. The two very fit athletes let it end in a tie.