Gary Player (born 1 November 1935) is a South African retired professional golfer….who is widely considered to be one of the greatest golfers ever…..when during his career, he won nine major championships on the regular tour….and nine major championships on the Champions (Seniors) Tour. At the age of 29, Player won the 1965 U.S. Open….while becoming the only non-American to win all four majors in a career….which is known as the career Grand Slam. At the time, he was the youngest player to do this….although Jack Nicklaus (26) and Tiger Woods (24) subsequently broke this record…. as Player became only the third golfer in history to win the Career Grand Slam….while following Ben Hogan and Gene Sarazen….and only Nicklaus and Woods have performed the feat since. Player has won 163 tournaments on six continents over seven decades….and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974.
Nicknamed the Black Knight, Mr. Fitness and the International Ambassador of Golf…..Player is also a renowned golf course architect with more than 400 design projects on five continents throughout the world. He has also authored or co-written 36 golf books…..as his business interests are exclusively represented by Black Knight International….which includes Gary Player Design, Player Real Estate, The Player Foundation, Gary Player Academies, and Black Knight Enterprises….aspects of which include licensing, events, publishing, wine, apparel and memorabilia.
The Gary Player Stud Farm breeds Thoroughbred race horses, including 1994 Epsom Derby entry Broadway Flyer….as GPG operates The Player Foundation….which has a primary objective of promoting underprivileged education around the world. In 1983, The 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…..when in 2013 it celebrated its 30th Anniversary with charity golf events in London, Palm Beach, Shanghai and Cape Town, bringing its total of funds raised to over US$60 million.