The Gary Player Invitational presented by Coca-Cola from 24-27 November at Sun City, will mark the legend’s last international trip for 2016, having logged over 387 000 kilometres (this year alone) of air travel including trips to his six Gary Player Invitational charity tournaments in aid of underprivileged children.
This year’s series has taken Player to Abu Dhabi, Tokyo, London, New York, and Mission Hills in China, with the final stop being Sun City for the South African tournament. This makes him the world’s most travelled athlete.
Player, the Grand Slam champion, has in this time journeyed more than 26 million air kilometres around the world for golf and charity, earning him the title of Golf’s Global Ambassador.
Player’s global travel itinerary this year has taken him from Vietnam to Cuba to Germany, and back home to the Gary Player Stud Farm and his racehorses in South Africa.He has been to Los Angeles for media engagements, Augusta for The Masters, taken trips to White Sulphur Springs in West Virginia and Branson in Missouri for golf course design projects, and Cuba to help grow the game. He has also had several playing commitments on the PGA Champions Tour.
Player also made time to return home to Colesberg in the Great Karoo where he joined his wife Vivienne, the Mayor and some of the residents in a cleanup campaign of the town with Wildlands, a beneficiary of The Player Foundation for the South African leg of the Gary Player Invitational.
There was a trip to Cape Town to film the Rolex documentary of his life, and then it was off to Frankfurt in Germany for a sponsor’s engagement with SAP and Berenberg. Player went to Troon in Scotland for The Open Championship after a stop in London to enjoy Wimbledon with his family.
After a visit to the World Golf Hall of Fame in Florida, Player traveled to Rio de Janeiro as part of the South African Olympic team, where he captained the country’s men’s and women’s golf teams.
After further visits to New York, the Honduras, South Carolina and Beijing followed, Player will begin to wind down his year of global travel when he hosts the Nedbank Golf Challenge at Sun City and then his own charity tournament, the Gary Player Invitational.