While walking up to the final hole at the 1962 U.S. Open Championship, Gary turned to Joe Dey, director of the United States Golf Association (USGA), and with disappointment said, “Had I won, Joe, I planned on giving the prize money to charity. But let’s keep that a secret. One day I shall win, and turn back the money to a good cause. That is a promise.”

That promise was fulfilled three years later at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis, after an 18-hole playoff with Australian Kel Nagle. Upon being handed the winner’s check, Gary handed it back to Joe Dey specifying that the proceeds should go to cancer research and the development of junior golf programs by the USGA. “There is enormous satisfaction that can be derived from giving something back to the world in moments of success,” says Gary.

Inspired by his father’s lifelong efforts to give back, Marc Player created the eponymous namesake foundation in 1983. Originally meant to address the education crisis in their home country of South Africa, the Player family soon realized the need for quality education far extended the countryside of Johannesburg. What began as a small local vision, developed into a goal to provide for less fortunate children around the world.

“The act of charity really begins in the heart.”

– Gary Player

From a winner’s purse to the staging of global events, The Player Foundation has come a long way. Since 1983 The Player Foundation has expanded its scope and aligned its work to also strengthen impoverished communities. Having raised more than $64 million USD, we have been able to make a global impact.

Over the last 35 years The Player Foundation has supported schools in Colesburg, South Africa, orphaned children in Tamil Nadu, India, underprivileged students at Pleasant City Elementary in West Palm Beach, Florida, and children in the township of Khayletsha in Mr. Player’s home country of South Africa.

Blair Atholl
Today, the Blair Atholl School is self-sufficient with a matriculation of more than 500 students. In addition to the education efforts, The Player Foundation provides a feeding scheme, medical and dental care, transport services, adult education and training, and a number of recreational facilities. It is the school’s policy that education moves beyond the four walls of the classroom and therefore the school provides a variety of activities in which the students can participate. These include sport activities, choir, violin, and piano. The school has partnered with The World of Golf in Johannesburg to encourage and allow students to learn the game of golf. Students are able to take lessons, play on a regular basis and take annual trips to The World of Golf headquarters.

Christel House
The mission of Christel House – to help children around the world break the cycle of poverty and become self-sufficient, contributing members of society – aligns itself nicely with The Player Foundation.

On June 14, 2004, golfers at twenty courses; located in eleven countries on five different continents and spanning twenty time zones; participated in the Christel House Open. Play commenced with the morning tee-off in India and concluded as the last ball was putt into the 18th hole before sunset in Hawaii.

The winning foursome from each site qualified to compete in the new World Championship event, held August 30-31, 2004, at The Westin Mission Hills Resort in Rancho Mirage, California – a course designed by tournament host Gary Player.

Pleasant City Elementary
In 2005, The Player Foundation adopted this school. Whilst only footsteps away from the affluent Palm Beach area, Pleasant City – the oldest African American community in Palm Beach County – located in the heart of West Palm Beach, is known for drugs, violence and crime. The school was established to provide a safe haven and quality educational foundation for children of this community. The school was selected due to the history of the area, the true dedication of the school’s staff to reunite the once flourishing community, and the similarities in needs with the Blair Atholl School located in South Africa.

The Chinese Foundation for the Prevention of STDs and AIDS
Baoshan city in Yunnan province is located near the China-Burma border and it has become one of the drug traffic routes of the Gold Triangle. Due to the close proximity to Dehong city, there is a large population of drug users and sex workers, resulting in an AIDS epidemic.

In recent years, the AIDS epidemic has become more and more serious and widespread, and the situation continues to deteriorate year by year. As a result of the increase of infection and death of AIDS patients, the number of orphaned children has grown dramatically.

The Gary Player Invitational in China has selected this organization as its beneficiary. The rampant spread and affect of AIDS on the children in China, along with the national support of the organization, made this a good fit for the Foundation.

“My years in golf have taught me a fundamental truth. Life is enriched by passionate pursuits. In my mind, the best passions are those that last a lifetime.”
– Gary Player

From Silver Anniversary to Golden Celebrations, The Player Foundation looks to grow its events and expand upon its current global strategy. The goal of raising $100 million may sound lofty; however, as our events develop and others catch the Player family’s vision to strengthen impoverished areas and bring hope to those living in abject poverty, it is attainable.

The perpetuity of The Player Foundation also remains a focus. The cry of the poor will always be with us, but Gary will not. His wish is that what he and his family started with The Player Foundation will continue to accomplish even greater things. With a legacy that spans a quarter of a century The Player Foundation’s spirit of generosity will continue to manifest in humanitarian efforts throughout the world.




I had the pleasure of joining my good friend @BernhardLanger6 in the Rolex Pro Am ahead of the Senior Open Championship this weekend. Bernhard is nearly unbeatable. He’s aged like a fine wine. Wishing you all the best for this week my friend. My best, GP.


#TheOpen conditions demand you to shape your shots and @collin_morikawa did a phenomenal job at this. Weekend golfers hit too many high lofted clubs around the greens so here is a tip on how to approach those scenarios instead. I hope this helps save you shots. @PXGUK

Rahmbo has shown out on the major stage. 💪

Joins @GaryPlayer as the only players from outside the U.S. to finish top 8 in all four majors in a season.

It is wonderful being back in the UK, a place that holds some truly special memories for me. Thank you to my friends at the Four Seasons Hotel at Ten Trinity Square, who ensured I felt right at home in their world class Residences for my isolation period.



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