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Nine Holes With Gary Player

Mar. 23, 2007     By     Comments (3)

Come along for a quick nine with Gary Player. One of golf's best known characters, Gary Player stalked fairways and won tournaments for many years.

ProFilesThere is no question in my mind that Gary Player is one of the greatest golfers in the history of the game. The South African native turned pro in 1953 and out of relative obscurity started winning. And for many, many years he never stopped.

With virtually an unassailable international victory total Player is a remarkable competitor, international figure, and ambassador of the greatest game.

Hole One
Player is well known for winning the 1978 Masters by coming from seven strokes behind in the final round. He made birdies on seven of the last ten holes for a round of 64. He was the first non-American to win the Masters.

Hole Two
In 1995 Gary became the oldest player to make the cut at the British Open at 59. He turned 60 on November 1st. He became the oldest player to make the cut at the Masters in 1998 at age 62. Wow.

Gary PlayerHole Three
Has travelled over 14 million miles during his career making him probably the most travelled person ever.

Hole Four
Player won the British Open in three different decades, the only player to have done so in the 20th century.

Hole Five
From the 1950s to the early 1970s, Player was known - along with Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer - as the one of the Big Three.

Hole Six
Player has an incredible 18 tournament holes in one.

Hole Seven
Has victories in an unprecedented 27 consecutive years of play. Next in line are at 17 (Bernhard Langer, Seve Ballesteros, Jack Nicklaus, and Arnold Palmer).

Hole Eight
It's a wonder golfers don't seek to emulate Player more often. He won over 160 professional golf tournaments worldwide including 24 PGA Tour wins.

Hole Nine
Player won a remarkable nine major championships and is one of five players (along with Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus, and Tiger Woods) with a career grand slam. He completed it by age 29. He is fifth in major championship wins behind Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Walter Hagen, and Ben Hogan.

Photo Credit: © Unknown.

Posted in: ProFiles Comments (3)

Discussion

  1. Marty Strumpf says:

    Thanks Jeff, for writing about the man who IMHO, is probably the LEAST heralded champion golfer of the 20th century.

    First touring professional to openly advocate physical fitness/athletic training to enhance your golf game. He was way ahead of his time.

    I think part of the reason for his lack of "superstar" status has been due to his unflinching openess on all subjects and one or two controversial rules situations. He pulls no punches and I think he has ruffled many feathers in his day. Just look at his recent comments about trying to surpass Arnold Palmer's 50 Master's appearances. He could care less if he stomps on The King's territory!

    He also supported the European Tour as fully as he possibly could while also playing here in the US. Quite an accomplishment considering it was in an era before NetJets!

    Has SHOT HIS AGE a few times on the Champions Tour. I hope I'm still playing golf at his age!

    I also remember reading about him building either schools or shelters for underprivileged children in his homeland of South Africa. An amazing competitor and champion indeed!

  2. I'm a fan after being told countless times that my swing reminds them of Player. I step out of my stance with my front foot after I hit the ball. Been playing 2 years now and just got under 4 with this unconventional swing ;)

  3. C. Ochoa says:

    The fact is Gary Player is one of the few true golf superstars, recognised all over the world. He does not have to bow down to Arnold Palmer or any other pro for that matter. His record is superior to Palmer's in every respect and he has more humility than Palmer who seems to believe his press that he is a king. Very good article, only wish more in the US were prepared to recognise the Black Knight...

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