Gary Player was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2018 World Golf Awards held at La Manga Club in Spain earlier this month for his contributions to the golf industry.
The World Golf Awards celebrate and reward excellence in golf tourism, world-class courses and golf destinations. Launched in 2014, World Golf Awards aims to drive up standards within the golf tourism industry by rewarding the organizations that are leaders in their field.
Player accepted his award and thanked World Golf Awards’ Managing Director Chris Frost for all of his work in organizing the World Golf Awards and “for promoting this game we are all so terribly grateful for.”
Gary Player, through his professional career on the course as well as his involvement in the golf industry off the course, has done so much to promote the game of golf around the world. Through Gary Player Design, Player has designed a portfolio of over 400 courses around the world. He says of Gary Player Design’s golf portfolio: “From the desert to the mountains to the coast, we have such a variety of golf courses around the globe.”
Some of the Black Knight’s favorite courses include those at Sun City Resort in South Africa, where Player hosts the Nedbank Golf Challenge, the world’s biggest money tournament, and Saadiyat Beach Golf Resort in Abu Dhabi, which hosts the Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Open, a Ladies European Tour event.
But Player designs golf courses not just for the pros, but even more so for the amateurs who support the golf tourism industry. Gary Player’s design philosophy has always been to make golf courses to be enjoyed by all.
Player has also led the way in environmentally friendly golf courses. Influenced by his experience as a farmer, Player strives to build courses that do not waste excess water and that draw on the beauty of their natural surroundings.
It is this design philosophy that has led to Gary Player Design’s success with courses all over the world being recognized in rankings and with awards such as those from the World Golf Awards. At this year’s awards, in addition to his Lifetime Achievement Award, Player was honored to accept the Golf Course Designer of the Year Award for Gary Player Design. Two Gary Player Design courses were also recognized, Mazagan Beach and Golf Resort and Thracian Cliffs.
Player says of his career, during which he has travelled more than 26 million air kilometers: “What a thrill to have seen this world and to have seen all the great golf courses.”
Player continues to grow the game and promote the golf industry, designing golf courses around the world, hosting the Gary Player Invitational charitable global series of events in London, New York, Abu Dhabi, Sun City, and Hong Kong, and giving back to underprivileged children through The Player Foundation.