Gary Player's global journey honoured at Hall of Fame

The World Golf Hall of Fame on Thursday unveiled a special exhibit, Gary Player: A Global Journey, that tells the story of the world’s most-travelled athlete and explores the impact he has had on the game and beyond.

“I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but after walking through the exhibit I was deeply moved,” said Player, the Hall of Fame’s Global Ambassador. “It certainly embraces all the facets of my life in a way that brought a tear to my eye.”

The special exhibit celebrates his storied life and career through a comprehensive collection of personal memorabilia, historic artefacts, images and videos that have not been previously viewed by the public.

“The purpose of this exhibit is to give fans of the game a true sense of who Player is, providing perspective of the man who is considered one of the greatest ambassadors the game has ever seen,” said Jack Peter, senior vice-president and chief operating officer of the Hall of Fame.
“I think we’ve accomplished that and each person who views the exhibit will walk away knowing more about the dynamic man that is Gary Player.”

The Grand Slam area showcases Player’s Grand Slam trophies, plus all of his significant major championship artefacts, including his nine major championship medals, the Black Knight Blade Putter used to win the Grand Slam and more than 100 other worldwide events, scorecards, crystal and commemorative gifts.

Additionally, Player’s green jacket from the 1961 Masters Tournament is showcased, as is his fibreglass-shafted driver, used to win the 1965 US Open.

A selection of other trophies, medals and awards from Player’s career are also on display in The World Stage area of the exhibit, including his 13 South African Open medals, seven Australian Open medals and the scorecard from the 1974 Brazil Open when he shot a 59. Known as the world’s most-travelled athlete, the exhibit incorporates stories of his successes on each continent in which he has won.

Since 1983, Player’s philanthropic endeavours have been channelled into the Gary Player Foundation, an organisation that initially addressed the education crisis in his native South Africa. The Knight’s Shining Armour area of the exhibit focuses on the undertaking of his foundation, with particular attention paid to the Blair Atholl schools, and his work alongside the likes of Nelson Mandela, to better the human race—regardless of colour.

Gary Player is a family man and a global businessman. The Legend of the Black Knight tells the story of both sides of this great golfer away from the course. Supporting personal stories that give further insight into Player are numerous artefacts that represent his interest in golf-course design, fitness, thoroughbred racing and more, including a full-size silver and leather saddle given to him by friend Lee Trevino.

Player’s dedication to family is told in the exhibit as well as through a montage of family photos and items from his early years and his first ventures into the game of golf.

Gary Player: A Global Journey will remain on display until early 2007.—Sapa

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