Player's event into 12th year

2011-10-27 16:49

Cape Town - The Gary Player Invitational golf event will celebrate 12 years of making a difference in the lives of underprivileged children in South Africa when it tees off at the prestigious Zimbali Country Club in KwaZulu-Natal from 11-13 November 2011.

The tournament is the final of the four-tournament international series that includes the United Kingdom, United States, and China, and which makes up one of the biggest charity series in world golf.

The format of each tournament partners professionals from the Regular Tour and Champions Tour with business leaders and celebrities or sports stars in a pro-am competition. But the tournaments have at their heart the act of giving back to those less fortunate, and throughout its history the Gary Player Invitational series has raised more than R250-million for its beneficiaries worldwide.

“Golf has shown itself to be the leader among all sports when it comes to raising funds for charity. But it has been the unwavering support of the world’s top golfers and the presence of celebrities of the stage, screen and other sports who have given freely of their time that has been central to the success of the Gary Player Invitational in South Africa,” said Marc Player, CEO Black Knight International.

“Most of them share our dedication and commitment to create a sustainable society and our desire to give back to the less fortunate in the community. We are indeed privileged to be able to bring all these personalities together to keep this dream alive for a 12th consecutive time,” he added. 

The event’s status as South Africa’s premier charity golf tournament is enhanced by the longstanding support of its committed sponsors.

Presenting sponsor Coca-Cola, whose involvement also extends to the Gary Player Invitational in China, has been partnering with the Player Foundation on this series since 2002 to raise funds for needy children around the world.

Coca-Cola South Africa President Bill Egbe said, “We are pleased to support this Invitational which has as its central objective the uplifting of communities in South Africa. Helping to ensure the health of the communities where we live and where our business operates is integral to everything we do.”

This has been complemented by the other partners and suppliers, most of whom have supported the event since its inception in 1999 and have an even longer association with South Africa’s Grand Slam champion, including the technology leader in business software solutions, SAP, as well as Rolex, Johnnie Walker, UPS, Callaway and Audi.

Black Knight International Managing Director Marc Tudhope said this level of commitment from their partners and sponsors underlines the significant loyalty and support that has seen the Gary Player Invitational in South Africa grow in strength.

“What began as a personal project on Gary Player’s farm in South Africa, where he built a school and church for the local children, has thanks to the support of our partners and sponsors grown into a tournament that annually makes a significant impact in the lives of underprivileged children.”

This marks the first time that the Gary Player Invitational will be played in KwaZulu-Natal at the Zimbali Coastal Resort, following its move from The Links at Fancourt.

“We are delighted to stage this premier event and look forward to building on the phenomenal success of this tournament by providing a world-class resort that will hopefully make for a memorable week for all concerned. We are also excited about next year’s tournament which will be played on the newly opened Championship golf course designed by Gary Player,” said Wessel Witthuhn,President Africa and Indian Ocean IFA Hotels & Resorts.

Zimbali Country Club