Gary Player


Born: November 1st, 1935 in Johannesburg, South Africa
Nationality: South African
Famous For: Winning the “Grand Slam of Golf”
Awards: Bob Jones Award, South African Sportsman of the Century award, Laureus LIfetime Achievement Award, Payne Stewart Award, PGA Tour Lifetime Achievement Award

Gary Player is a great South African Golfer. He is regarded as one of the best players in golf history. He has managed to accumulate 9 major championships on regular tour, 6 Champions Tour major championship victories and 3 Senior British Open Championships on European Senior Tour.

When Gary was 29, he won 1965 U.S Open. He became the one and only non-American person to win all 4 majors, called a career “Grand Slam.” He has won 165 tournaments on 6 continents over 6 decades. In 1974, Gary was inducted into World Golf Hall of Fame. Gary has been nicknamed, Mr. Fitness, the Black Knight and the International Ambassador of Golf.

Early Life

Gary was born in the city of Johannesburg on November 1st, 1935. He was the youngest of 3 children. When he turned eight, his mom died from cancer. His father took out a small loan so as to buy Gary a set of clubs. Gary first fell in love with golf in Virginia Park, Johannesburg. He managed to became professional golf player at 17.

PGA Tour Career

Gary Player is ranked third in total professional wins. He also played regularly on the PGA Tour from late 1950’s on. He also led the money list in the year 1961 and even went ahead to accumulate 24 career titles. Gary has also played a very busy schedule traveling all over the globe; he has been named the world’s most -traveled athlete.

Gary held the records for most of the victories in the World Match Play Championship; this was with 5 wins. He was actually the only person in 20th century to be able to win the British Open in 3 different decades. In 1974, Gary was among a few golfers in the sport’s history to win 2 major championships in just one season. He also won the U.S. Masters in 1978.


In 2000, Gary was voted the Sportsman of the Century and he also ranked as the 8th best golfer of all-time by the Golf Digest. In 1996 Gary was awarded the Bob Jones Award; this is the highest honor to be given by United States Golf Association. In 2002, he was also voted the 2nd greatest global golfer of all-time by the panel of international media and golf magazines.

Personal Life

Player married Vivienne on January 19th, 1957. Together, they have 6 children. Gary is a grandfather to 21 children. All of Gary’s business interests are represented by Black Knight International; this includes the Gary Player Design, Player Foundation, Black Night Enterprises and Gary Player Academics. He also owns a farm that has received worldwide recognition for breeding the top thoroughbred race-horses.