The four living major winners from Southern Africa, who between them have won 17 major titles, were rewarded for a lifetime of service to the game of golf and proud ambassadorship of the SA PGA Tour.
The quartet was awarded magnificent golf trophies and Honorary Member Player badges by Southern Africa PGA Tour commissioner Johan Immelman at a private function during the Nedbank Golf Challenge at Sun City.
Through the achievements of these four most esteemed protagonists, Southern Africa has gain a reputation as a breeding ground for some of the greatest talent in golf.
Despite its comparatively small golfing population, South Africa trails only the USA in number of major titles and number of World Cup titles won.
The board and members have unanimously agreed that it would be only fitting that the Tour bestow honorary membership on these players, said Southern Africa PGA Tour commissioner Johan Immelman.
Not only for what theyve done for the game of golf, but in particular what theyve done for the Southern Africa PGA Tour and especially, as ambassadors for our country. We are immensely proud to reward these players with our highest honour.
Gary Player, winner of nine major championships, is one of only five players in the history of the game and the only non-American to win the coveted Grand Slam. Player won three Masters titles, three Open Championships, two PGA Championships and a US Open title in his glittering career. In recent years, Player has added an impressive nine Senior Tour major titles to his tally.
Player, now 69 years of age, is the only player in the 20th century to win an Open in three different decades and has won in each of his five decades as a professional.
Price, who has won three major titles, and Player have both were inducted into the prestigious World Golf Hall of Fame, which is arguably the zenith of professional golf achievement.
With three and two majors respectively, there is no doubt that Ernie and Retief will join them as soon as they reach the age when they are made eligible, Immelman added.