2017 marked another milestone year for Black Knight International and our golf course architecture firm, Gary Player Design, as we continue to leave a footprint all across the golfing world.
It’s almost a tradition now, for Gary Player designed courses to be showcased in front of the world towards the end of the year with several courses hosting events on the men’s and women’s Tour schedule. Starting in the first week of November with the Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Open at Saadiyat Beach Golf Club in Abu Dhabi, and continuing through the month with Hero Women’s Indian Open at DLF Golf and Country Club in Delhi, India, the Nedbank Golf Challenge hosted by Gary Player at the Gary Player Country Club, and the Gary Player Invitational at the Lost City Golf Course – both at Sun City in South Africa.
DLF Golf and Country Club also hosted the Hero Indian Open for the European Tour, while the Gary Player courses in Africa of Fancourt and Fish River Sun Country Club hosted events on the Sunshine Tour. Pun Hlaing Golf Club in Myanmar highlighted Gary Player Design’s presence on the Asian Tour. Wentworth Club’s Edinburgh course and GlenArbor Golf Club also hosted professional events as part of the Gary Player Invitational global series. Leopard Creek, longtime host of the Alfred Dunhill, is undergoing renovation and will resume its spot in the European Tour’s rotation in 2018.
To no surprise, Fancourt was honored as Golf Resort of the Year at the prestigious 18th annual International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO) Awards held in Cannes, France. The Links at Fancourt is considered by many to be the top course on the African continent.
“Gary Player’s global appeal and vast design experience have allowed us to shift our focus to all emerging markets around the world,” said Marc Player, CEO of Black Knight International and President of Gary Player Design. “Declines in traditional markets don’t have as much impact when your brand is international and you represent a golf icon who is staying incredibly active and relevant.”
In the heart of the Ozark Mountains of the United States, Gary Player Design’s short course opened this year to much acclaim. The unique design creates a playable course that brings people and families together. Not to mention your round can be completed in under two hours. The awards duly came in as the course already received a Design Excellence Recognition Award from the ASGCA, one of just 10 other recipients of the prestigious award. The course will again play host to PGA Champions Tour’s Legends of Golf in 2018.
Modry Las was voted Poland’s Best Course again at the annual World Golf Awards, and is the latest recognition in a line of awards secured since it was officially opened in 2009. In the United States, Golfweek named The Cliffs at Mountain Park one of the Best Residential Courses in the country, along with several other courses receiving Best in State accolades.
“We are excited to work with clients who are dedicated to developing a world-class golf experience, and we aim to implement design elements that will lead to the promotion and expansion of the game in emerging markets while captivating and enhancing the natural features of each site,” said Senior Designer Jeff Lawrence.
Currently, our internationally acclaimed design firm has projects under design or construction on five continents ranging from Gary Player Signature layouts to a collaboration with legends of golf to projects beginning or in the construction phase in the United States, South Africa, England, Spain, Vietnam, Malaysia, Bosnia, Albania, India, Montenegro and Mexico, among others.
“The scope and breadth of our design portfolio is truly a global,” said Senior Designer Steven McFarlane. “Some very interesting new territories have opened up this year in places like Hong Kong, Austria, Mozambique and Cuba, who all are promoting tourism through golf. We are excited about the potential for these new markets.”
Gary Player, the World’s Most Traveled Athlete™, continues to be golf’s greatest global ambassador – spreading the game far and wide. Is it his sense of duty? Or just his way of life. He would tell you it’s a little of both.
“From golf course design to philanthropy, there is a great deal left that I still want to accomplish,” said Gary Player. “I plan to stay active by helping those in need for as long as I can. Providing gifts to nature through golf course design always will be a passion. It is my hope that I will be remembered for being more than just a pro golfer. I really want to impact people’s lives positively.”