Golf News for Tuesday, April 29, 2014 | Courses

Gary Player Design leads Golf Digest's 2014 golf course rankings

Golf Digest has just released its biennial "Top 100 South Africa Courses" list and Gary Player Design achieved an unprecedented result as five of the top six courses belong to the firm's portfolio. The Links at Fancourt in George maintained the No. 1 spot and was followed by Leopard Creek in Malelane and Gary Player Country Club in the 2nd and 3rd positions. Blair Atholl (No. 4) and Montague at Fancourt (No.6) rounded out the list's Top 10.

"Having The Links at Fancourt recognized as the best in South Africa is a great honor, and having five courses be ranked in Golf Digest's Top 10 is absolutely fantastic," said Gary Player.

"I have been given many opportunities to create designs that reflect the true nature of my beloved country and I am very proud of the courses we have designed here. South Africa offers such diverse natural landscapes; it makes the golf course come alive and has enabled us to create some truly incredible designs. We have 325 truly unique courses and each present their own design challenges, but there is always something special about working at home," said Player.

A coveted list, the publication's rankings are based on course evaluations by 120 volunteer panel members throughout South Africa and are qualified based on seven criteria: shot values, playability, resistance to scoring, aesthetics, design variety, memorability and conditioning.

"Gary Player Design is widely considered the finest design firm globally, which as founder makes me very proud indeed, and these rankings from Golf Digest are most rewarding," said Marc Player, Black Knight International CEO.

Golf Digest South Africa also recognized several other ranking categories, including: "Top 25 Most Difficult Courses," "Top 25 Most Scenic Courses," "Top 10 Best 18th Holes," "Top 10 Best Opening Shots," "Top 10 Bunkers," "Best Conditioned Courses" and more. Considering the vast number of high caliber courses in South Africa, Gary Player Design is also proud to have several of its courses included within all of these competitive categories.

"The recognition we are receiving for our work is really gratifying," said Scott Ferrell, President of Gary Player Design. "We pride ourselves in designing courses that embrace the natural characteristics of the area and to be considered in such high regard by an independent ranking group exemplifies the continued progress of our designs in South Africa and around the world."

About Gary Player Design
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.

Press Contact:
Gary Player Group
Grace Vine, 864-477-2720

Castillo & Ruig Communications
Spencer Castillo, 310.664.8843