44 Facts About Gary Player


Gary James Player DMS, OIG was born on 1 November 1935 and is a South African retired professional golfer who is widely considered to be one of the greatest golfers of all time.

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At the age of 29, Player won the 1965 U S Open and became the only non-American to win all four majors in a career, known as the career Grand Slam.

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Gary Player became only the third golfer in history to win the Career Grand Slam, following Ben Hogan and Gene Sarazen, and only Nicklaus and Woods have performed the feat since.

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Gary Player won over 150 professional tournaments on six continents over seven decades and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974.

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Gary Player has authored or co-written 36 books on golf instruction, design, philosophy, motivation and fitness.

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Gary Player Group operates The Gary Player Foundation, which has a primary objective of promoting underprivileged education around the world.

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In 1983, The Gary Player Foundation established the Blair Atholl Schools in Johannesburg, South Africa, which has educational facilities for more than 500 students from kindergarten through eighth grade.

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On 7 January 2021, Gary Player was awarded, and accepted, the Presidential Medal of Freedom by United States President Donald Trump.

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Gary Player was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, the youngest of Harry and Muriel Gary Player's three children.

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At the age of 14, Gary Player played his first round of golf and parred the first three holes.

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Gary Player married wife Vivienne Verwey on 19 January 1957, four years after turning professional.

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Gary Player is the brother of Ian Gary Player, a South African environmental educator, activist and conservationist.

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Gary Player is one of the most successful golfers in history, tied for fourth in major championship victories with nine.

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Gary Player completed the Grand Slam in 1965 at the age of twenty-nine.

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Gary Player was the second multiple majors winner from South Africa, following Bobby Locke, then was followed by Ernie Els, and Retief Goosen.

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Gary Player led the Tour money list in 1961, and went on to accumulate 24 career Tour titles.

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Gary Player played an exceptionally busy schedule all over the world, and he has been called the world's most traveled athlete.

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Gary Player has more victories than anyone else in the South African Open and the Australian Open .

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Gary Player held the record for most victories in the World Match Play Championship, with five wins, from 1973 until 1991 when this feat was equalled by Seve Ballesteros, finally losing his share of the record in 2004, when Ernie Els won the event for the sixth time.

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Gary Player was the only player in the 20th century to win the British Open in three different decades.

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Gary Player last won the Masters in 1978, when he started seven strokes behind 54-hole leader Hubert Green entering the final round, and won by one shot with birdies at seven of the last 10 holes for a back nine 30 and a final round 64.

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One week later, Gary Player again came from seven strokes back in the final round to win the Tournament of Champions.

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In 1984, at the age of 48 Gary Player nearly became the oldest ever major champion, finishing in second place behind Lee Trevino at the PGA Championship.

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Gary Player credited this feat to his dedication to the concept of diet, health, practice and golf fitness.

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Gary Player has occasionally been accused of cheating, particularly in the 1974 Open; he has strongly denied the accusations.

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Gary Player, who became the tournament's first international winner in 1961, said he did not know that.

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In 2000, Gary Player was voted "Sportsman of the Century" in South Africa.

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Gary Player was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974.

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In 2002, Gary Player was voted as the second greatest global golfer of all time by a panel of international media, golf magazines and fellow professionals conducted by the leading Golf Asia Magazine.

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At age 73 on 23 July 2009, Gary Player competed in the Senior British Open Championship at Sunningdale Golf Club, 53 years after capturing his maiden European Tour victory at the Berkshire venue.

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Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters announced on 5 July 2011 that Gary Player had been invited to join Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer as an honorary starter.

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Gary Player Foundation was established in 1983 by Marc Gary Player and began as an effort to provide education, nutrition, medical care and athletic activities, for a small community of disadvantaged children living on the outskirts of Johannesburg, South Africa.

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The Gary Player Foundation has since blossomed into an organisation that circles the globe bringing aid to underprivileged children and impoverished communities.

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Since its establishment, The Gary Player Foundation has donated over $65 million to the support of children's charities, the betterment of impoverished communities and the expansion of educational opportunities throughout the world.

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The Gary Player Invitational is a pro-am tournament that pairs celebrities and professional golfers from the PGA and Champions Tours with businessmen and other local participants.

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Proceeds from the Gary Player Invitational have been donated to The Lord's Taverners in the UK and the following organisations in South Africa; Wildlands Conservation Trust, Twilight Children, and Bana Development Centre.

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Gary Player offers three different design brands: Gary Player Design, Player Design, and Black Knight Design.

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Gary Player hosted the Nelson Mandela Invitational golf tournament staged by Black Knight International from 2000.

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Gary Player refused to withdraw as he and his son Marc personally built the golf event from scratch and issued a statement rebutting these claims via his website.

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Years later, in October 1974, Australian activists screamed at Gary Player, "Go home racist", as he was lining up a putt on the 72nd hole in a tournament he had a chance to win.

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In July 2007, Gary Player made statements at The Open Championship golf tournament about the use of performance-enhancing drugs in golf.

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Gary Player alleged that at least ten players were "taking something", citing human growth hormone, steroids and creatine as possible substances.

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Gary Player warned of a 'tsunami coming' due to the governing bodies' failure to address issues surrounding new golf technology.

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Gary Player won the event three times prior to this recognition.

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