It is an impossible task for golfing icon Gary Player to single out his favourite golf course amongst the over 370 he has designed in 35 countries across the globe. And it becomes an even harder one when he has to choose his favourite in his beloved South Africa.
When Golf Digest South Africa released its 2014 list of the country’s top 100 golf courses, five of the top six belonged to the Gary Player Design portfolio. But there is one golf course in South Africa that Player is always drawn to, and that is the Lost City Golf Course at Sun City.
This November, the Lost City Golf Course will, for the second year in succession, stage the Gary Player Invitational presented by Coca-Cola. This charity event forms part of the global Gary Player Invitational series, which is played in the United States, Europe, China, Abu Dhabi, and South Africa.
The tournament is celebrating its 15th anniversary as South Africa’s premier charity golf tournament with professional golfers, celebrities, and business leaders teaming up to raise funds for the charities supported by The Player Foundation.
And playing it on a golf course that is so typical of Africa is entirely apt for Player.
“When Africa is in your blood as much as it’s in mine, how can you not feel a special sense of place when you step onto the tee at the Lost City Golf Course? This golf course is so special and unique in its character,” said tournament host Gary Player. “The bushveld atmosphere gives it such a great feel. You’ve got the crocodiles near the 13th green, the incredible bird life, the Pilanesberg mountains overlooking the course – it’s like being in a game reserve. I think, as a showcase of what it’s like to play golf in Africa, we could choose no better course than this and I know our international guests are going to love it.”
The Gary Player Invitational presented by Coca-Cola adds to an impressive list of professional tournaments hosted by the Lost City Golf Course over the years. The par-72 course has regularly featured on both the Sunshine Tour and European Tour calendars and, at close to 7 000 metres in length, has established itself as more than a challenge for the modern golfer.
For more information on the Gary Player Invitational, visit www.garyplayerinvitational.com and follow @GPInvitational on Twitter – #GOLFandGIVING / #GPISA2014
For more information please contact:
Meagan Fester – Black Knight International
+27 21 448 7777
Grace Vine – Black Knight International
+1 864 477 2720
ABOUT BLACK KNIGHT INTERNATIONAL
Established in 1983 by Marc Player, Black Knight International is a global holding company for The Player Group and the constantly expanding family of Gary Player® brands. With a powerful presence in North and South America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa, Black Knight is a multicultural and multilingual company offering branded services for the leisure and real estate industries. This rapidly growing firm is diverse and infused with the same tenaciousness and drive as Gary Player, world renowned iconic golfer. The holding company divisions include: Gary Player Design, Player Real Estate, Black Knight Enterprises, Black Knight Solutions, Black Knight Capital, Gary Player Academies, and The Player Foundation.
ABOUT THE PLAYER FOUNDATION
The Player Foundation was established in 1983 by Marc Player. What began as an effort to provide education, nutrition, medical care and athletic activities, for a small community of disadvantaged children living on the outskirts of Johannesburg, South Africa has now blossomed into an organization that circles the globe bringing aid to underprivileged children and impoverished communities.
The Foundation is funded primarily by four Gary Player Invitational events presented through Black Knight International. Pairing celebrities and professional golfers from the PGA and Champions Tours with businessmen and international sports figures, the annual tournaments are staged in the United States, China, Europe and South Africa. The proceeds of these tournaments and other special events provide funding for an ever- expanding number of institutions around the world, including the Blair Atholl Schools in South Africa, the Pleasant City Elementary School in Palm Beach, the Masizame in Plettenberg Bay, South Africa, and AIDS infected children in Baoshan, a drug-infested city located on the China-Burma border. Since its establishment, The Player Foundation has donated over $50 million dollars to the support of children’s charities, the betterment of impoverished communities and the expansion of educational opportunities throughout the world.
Gary Player, acknowledged as a world-class humanitarian, believes that the strength of our future depends upon the abilities of our children. “I have found that the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others does not thrust itself upon us,” Player says, “But we do not need to look hard for it either. When you spot the chance to give back to the world, act on it. You will have made life better, for others, and for yourself.”
The Gary Player Foundation is a non-profit 501 C (3) organization managed by Black Knight International in Palm Beach, Florida.
ABOUT THE COCA-COLA COMPANY
The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) is the world’s largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands. Led by Coca-Cola, the world’s most valuable brand, the company’s portfolio features 15 billion-dollar brands including Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca-Cola Zero, Vitamin Water, Powerade, Minute Maid, Simply, Georgia and Del Valle. Globally, it is the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, ready-to-drink coffees, and juices and juice drinks. Through the world’s largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy its beverages at a rate of 1.8 billion servings a day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, the company is focused on initiatives that reduce its environmental footprint and which support active, healthy living; as well as creating a safe, inclusive work environment for its associates; and enhancing the economic development of the communities where it operates. Together with its bottling partners, the company ranks among the world’s top 10 private employers with more than 700 000 system associates. For more information, visit www.thecoca-colacompany.com, follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/CocaColaCo or visit our blog at www.coca-colablog.com
ABOUT THE BENEFICIARIES:
WINGS AND WISHES
Wings and Wishes was started by staff at the Coca-Cola Sabco bottling company in Port Elizabeth to collect air-miles to transport critically ill children to receive super-specialist medical care.
WILDLANDS CONSERVATION TRUST
The Wildlands Conservation Trust has networks in 35 communities transforming the lives of South African waste-preneurs and tree-preneurs who grow over 600 000 trees and hand-collect over 3 million kilograms of recycled waste annually. The waste and trees are bartered for bicycles, building materials and food as part of the Wildlands’ vision to restore the ecosystems that underwrite the welfare of these communities.