Captaining the South African Olympic Golf Team
After fighting for decades for inclusion in the Olympic Games, golf returned to the biggest stage in sports for the first time in more than 100 years. Gary Player was named Captain of the South African Team, adding another monumental achievement for Golf’s Global Ambassador. Not only did the Black Knight coach the four South Africans competing for a medal, he fully embraced the Olympic experience by walking in with the team during the Opening Ceremony and also staying in the Olympic Village. His favorite part? Completing his daily workout routine with other legends of sport including Andy Murray and Serena Williams.
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Hole-In-One at The Masters
In 2015, Gary Player saw his good friend Jack Nicklaus sink a hole-in-one at The Masters Par 3 Contest. Naturally, the Black Knight wanted to top the Golden Bear this year. At the 7th hole, 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. Player became the oldest player to record a hole-in-one at Augusta National. Watch the video below.
Six Gary Player Invitationals
Gary Player and The Player Foundation are on a quest to raise $100 million for charities around the world by 2025. The Gary Player Invitational global series is a catalyst in helping reach this goal. This year, the Gary Player Invitational series included six tournaments played in Abu Dhabi, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, China and South Africa. All were played at Gary Player-designed courses and featured legends of golf and sports such as Tom Watson and Andy Cole, as well as popular ladies of today like Paige Spiranac.
Hosting the Nedbank Golf Challenge
Gary Player first conceived golf’s first ever “Million Dollar” tournament more than 30 years ago. Fast-forward to 2016 and the Nedbank Golf Challenge hosted by Gary Player at the Gary Player Country Club is an official European Tour event with critical Race for Dubai points up for grabs the week before the series finale. Throughout the week, Gary Player was all over the course giving insight to the players, commentating in the booth for Sky Sports and Super Sport, in the gym working out with Rafa Cabrera-Bello and Matthew Fitzpatrick, sharing Open Championship memories with Henrik Stenson, and presenting the winner Alex Noren with the trophy. The Nedbank Golf Challenge hosted by Gary Player will be even more meaningful next year, as the tournament joins the Rolex Series.
Visit to Cuba
Gary Player has traveled more miles than any athlete. Gary Player Design has designed nearly 400 courses around the world. Cuba only has one 18-hole golf course in the entire country. Player made quite an impact in Cuba during his visit to Varadero Golf Club where he participated in the annual Torneo de Golf El Dia La Hispanidad presented by the Spanish Embassy. The Black Knight played 18-holes alongside Tony Castro, several dignitaries and businessmen. They all shared many laughs, and Player coached his playing partners on golf fundamentals.
It is apparent Cuba recognizes the value of golf tourism as they begin to open their doors to the world and seek investment partners. Who better to lead the charge into Cuba than the International Ambassador of Golf?