Golf News for Monday, December 2, 2013 | Courses

Gary Player will not design South Africa's Zimbali Golf Course

Gary Player and Gary Player Design will no longer have any further involvement as the designer of the new Zimbali Lakes Golf Course near Durban, South Africa. Developer IFA Hotels and Resorts and Black Knight International announced that they would be going their separate ways, after over ten years of various environmental and other challenges that delayed construction of the golf course.

"We wish IFA and Zimbali Lakes the best as they continue to pursue approvals to build this golf course. We have many active projects around the world, and have taken the view that our resources and attention should be prioritized elsewhere," stated Scott Ferrell, President of Gary Player Design.

Black Knight International CEO Marc Player added, "We have worked hard for 10 years through challenging conditions, but we felt that continued delays were not in our best interest. IFA and Zimbali understandably could not make the commitments we sought, so we have mutually agreed to part company. I do hope that Zimbali will build on past successes, as it will be good for the Durban economy and South Africa in general."

"The decision to part ways was arrived at jointly and while we are disappointed to lose our association with Gary Player Design we do understand their decision and wish them well," commented Werner Burger, IFA CEO.

For more information, please contact Grace Lipscomb-Vine, Archivist & Media Coordinator, Gary Player Group, at +1 864-477-2720, or

Widely recognized as the world's most successful golf course architectural firm, Gary Player Design established by Marc Player in 1983 has completed over 325 championship courses spanning the globe. With an ever-increasing number of courses stretching across five continents and encompassing more than 35 countries, the firm is renowned for its select and ecological approach to design.

Magazines such as Golf Asia, Travel & Leisure, Golf Digest, Golf Week, Golf World Worldwide Golf, and The Complete Golfer have consistently listed Gary Player courses among the top places to play. Travel & Leisure Golf named Leopard Creek in South Africa one of the top ten Best International Courses; Geneva National was referred to by Golfweek as the best course you can play in America; and Golf, Inc. named BlackSeaRama in Bulgaria the 2010 International Development of the Year. Awards and accolades such as these are numerous, and for good reason. Gary Player Design doesn't simply design the course and walk away; they also provide the consulting services that will guide a newly established project through the implementation steps necessary to ensure success. The results are premier golf courses & resorts that provide golfers with a unique style of luxury, the challenge of risk versus reward, and a truly memorable experience.

Although Gary Player's golfing expertise influences every project, Gary Player Design offers three tiers of golf course design service; Black Knight Design™, Player Design™, and Gary Player Signature Design™. On Signature Design projects, Mr. Player is involved in every phase of design and development. With over 50 years of professional golf experience, Player, The World's Most Traveled Athlete™ has visited and studied most of the great golf courses of the world so he understands that the design of a course takes both vision and respect for existing conditions. His design philosophy, and also that of The Player Group, is to create challenging yet playable courses that enhance the existing resources and retain the natural beauty of the land. Environmental sensitivity is a cornerstone of Gary Player's passion for golf course design.

Gary Player, often referred to as the Black Knight, is one of the century's greatest golfers and one of the original inductees into the World Golf Hall of Fame. He is one of only five golfers to ever win the Grand Slam on the PGA Tour and the only golfer to win the Grand Slam on both the regular and Champions Tour. Over the course of his career, Player participated in 438 Tour events, placed in the top 25 in 281 of them, and won 165 worldwide tournaments. Player, whose career earnings exceed $15 million, is a legend in his own time. Currently serving as The Global Ambassador to the World Golf Hall of Fame, he has been a three-time President's Cup Captain and is ranked by Golf Digest as one of the top ten all-time golf greats. Player's iconic status in sport adds immeasurable marketing value to all golf course design assignments he accepts. His legacy will most certainly ensure Gary Player's Design success for many years to come.