Gary Player - The Harder You Work The Luckier you Get

By Golf Fitness MagazineOctober 18, 2010, 6:11 pm

I have been fortunate enough throughout my writing career to have the honor of interviewing and meeting with some very astonishing people. Better yet, I have had the opportunity to play golf with some very interesting people as well. One great opportunity was playing with Mr. Gary Player’s son, Mr. Wayne Player, several years ago in a charity tournament in Florida.

You learn a lot about someone over 18 holes and as I walked away that day, I remember reflecting back on how very neat it was that Mr. Wayne Player spoke throughout the day with such respect and adoration for his father, throughout our round.

With that said, one of the truly great perks of being a journalist, is the opportunity to meet with, and learn about your subjects on a more personal level. As a writer, editor and golf hobbyist, I was every bit prepared to interview Mr. Gary Player. I had even had some first hand fun family stories from Wayne. However there was no way I could have truly prepared myself completely for one of the most enlightening 50 minutes of my life.

MR. GARY PLAYER was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 1935. At the very young age of 8, Mr. Player lost his mother. With the passing of his mother and his father working a very labor intensive job in the gold mines of South Africa, young Player was watched after by an African American man that would encourage play and exercise outside after school. A rather small child growing up, Mr. Player recalls the day when his older brother left for WWII to fight along side US forces. He told his younger brother Gary that he “must exercise to get bigger.” Of course, a little brotherly rivalry never hurts either, so with the loss of his mother, his father working in the gold mines to make ends meet, his sister in boarding school and his brother off helping America in the war, young Gary Player, worked hard at school, played outside and truly began exercising at the young age of 9.

SIXTY THREE years later, we sit down with World Golf Hall of fame legend Gary Player to discuss the long-term benefits that fitness has given to him in all aspects of his life; his golf career, his mental outlook on life and his overall health. I would have to agree with Mr. Player, when he jokingly remarks, “that at 72 years of age, he could possibly “beat” over 85% of 40 year olds in a fitness contest, hands down.”

Of course, Mr. Player goes on to say “he truly thinks he could actually beat 85% of 30 year olds in a fitness contest but he doesn’t want to sound too boastful.” As he genuinely chuckles, to me, it is truly apparent from just looking at him and listening to his daily activities and travel schedule that he probably could make all of us 40 something’s look bad.

HIKING a small mountain behind his home in South Africa before the crack of dawn, working out for an hour and a half in his home gym, swimming and ranching until dusk, are typical of a day in the life of Mr. Player--- when he is at home that is. Having traveled more than 14 million miles, Mr. Player, has probably traveled more miles than anyone in the world.

The week prior to our interview, he had been in China, India, Singapore, to name of few. Exhaustion however is not an option for this spry 72 year old, “being fit, and exercising has enabled me to be productive,” remarks Mr. Player.

Long before the benefits of golf fitness were thought to be necessary or even appropriate, Gary Player devoted himself to strength, conditioning and proper nutrition to stay competitive. Today Gary Player is living proof that the positive effects of golf-specific fitness have enhanced the longevity of his game and prevented injuries that have enabled him to continue an extraordinary career.

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After Further Review: Tiger's return comes at perfect time

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 2:19 am

Each week, takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

On the current state of golf as Tiger Woods returns to competition ...

Less than four days before Tiger Woods returns to official competitive golf for the first time in a year, Jon Rahm, the new second-ranked player in the world, won on the PGA Tour and Rory McIlroy made an impressive 2018 debut on the European Tour (T-3).

Not since Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus crossed paths at the 1960 U.S. Open has there been so many superstars all poised for big seasons, with world No. 1 Dustin Johnson having already won this year and Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas both coming off stellar seasons.

It’s a good time for golf. - Rex Hoggard

On Tommy Fleetwood's continued success ...

There have been scores of talented European players whose skills didn’t translate to the PGA Tour … and maybe, in a few years, Tommy Fleetwood will prove to be no different.

He sure looks like the real deal, though.  

His title defense in Abu Dhabi – on the strength of a back-nine 30 in windy conditions – was his third title in the past 12 months and 11th top-10 overall. A few of those have come in majors and World Golf Championship events, too, which led the reigning Race to Dubai champion to accept PGA Tour membership for this season.

Beginning at Riviera, he plans to play exclusively in the States through May, then reassess for the rest of the year. Hope he sticks, because he’s a fun personality with tons of game. - Ryan Lavner

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Rahm passes Spieth to become world No. 2

By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:25 am

With his win Sunday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, Jon Rahm picked up his second PGA Tour victory and moved to No. 2 in the FedExCup points standings.

He picked up one more No. 2, too.

The 23-year-old Spaniard passed Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, behind only Dustin Johnson.

In 19 months, since June 2016, Rahm has rocketed from No. 776 in the world to No. 2, thanks in part to his low divisor, his number of events played.

Asked after his playoff victory over Andrew Landry to discuss his rapid ascent up the world rankings, Rahm was almost at a loss.

“It's hard to believe to be honest, passing Jordan Spieth,” he said. “That's a three-time major champion. I only have two wins. He's got 10-plus, right? It's again – I've said it many times – I never thought I was going to be at this point in my life right now.”

Rahm may only have two PGA Tour titles, but this is his fourth worldwide win in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. He also took the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and the DP World Tour Championship on his way to claiming the European Tour’s 2017 Rookie of the Year Award.

Dating back to the start of last season on the PGA Tour, Rahm has racked up 12 top-10s, three runner-ups, and two wins.

He will head to Torrey Pines next week ready to defend for the first time.

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Brady compares self to Woods after winning AFC title

By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 1:05 am

Tom Brady and Tiger Woods are two of the all-time greats in their respective sports ... a fact that is not lost on the five-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.

Fresh off leading the New England Patriots to a AFC Championship victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brady was asked about winning the game despite a cut on his throwing hand - which made national news heading into the matchup.

His response invoked the name of a certain 14-time major winner, something that would be tough to pull off, if not for the fact that he is, you know, Tom Brady.

“I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that," the 40-year-old told reporters after the game. "It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament."

Tiger Woods winning with his "C game" may be a distant memory for golf fans, but no matter what game he brings, his next chance to win comes next week at Torrey Pines during his official comeback to the PGA Tour.

Brady has a shot at his sixth Super Bowl title in two weeks. The Patriots would probably benefit from him bringing a little better than his "C game" as well.

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Rahm beats Landry in playoff to win CareerBuilder

By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:00 am

Jon Rahm birdied the fourth extra hole Sunday to defeat Andrew Landry in a playoff, win the CareerBuilder Challenge and move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Here’s how things played out in overtime at PGA West:

Leaderboard: Rahm (-22), Landry (-22), John Huh (-20), Adam Hadwin (-20), Martin Piller (-20), Kevin Chappell (-19), Scott Piercy (-19)

What it means: This is Rahm’s second PGA Tour win and his fourth worldwide victory in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. Rahm took the early lead Thursday with an opening 62 and after rounds of 67-70, he started the final round two back. On Sunday, he made five birdies without dropping a single shot on the intimidating Stadium Course. In the clubhouse at 22 under, Rahm watched as Landry made birdie on 18 to force a playoff.

Rahm missed birdie putts that would have ended the tournament on the final hole of regulation and on each playoff hole. Finally, on his fourth trip down 18 of the day, his birdie bid found the cup. With the victory, Rahm passes Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, trailing only Dustin Johnson. He enters next week at Torrey Pines looking to defend for the first time.

Best of the rest: A two-time winner playing his second full season on the PGA Tour, Landry shot 68 Sunday, making birdie on the 72nd hole to force extras. Once Rahm finally made birdie on the fourth playoff hole, Landry's putt to extend slid by on the right edge. This is Landry's best career finish on the PGA Tour. Had he won, he would have secured full Tour status through the 2019-20 season and earned invites to the Masters, Players, and PGA Championships.

Round of the day: Sam Saunders fired an 8-under 64 to register this best finish of the season, a tie for eighth at 18 under. The reigning Tour Championship winner was 9 under par through 12 holes before making bogey at 13 and parring his way into the clubhouse.

Biggest disappointment: Overnight leader Austin Cook was eyeing his second win of the season but never contended. The RSM champion carded two double bogeys Sunday en route to a 3-over 75, dropping him from the 54-hole lead to a tie for 14th.

Shot of the day: Rahm's putt to win:

Quote of the day: "One of us had to do it and either one of us would have been a well-deserving champion." - Rahm on his playoff victory over Landry