Ahead of the start of 2021 Masters at Augusta National Course in Georgia, three-time tournament winner and nine-time major champion Gary Player has joined Golf Saudi as its latest and most influential ambassador to date.
One of the most-decorated golfers of all time, Player will be working with Golf Saudi to help implement a shared vision for the sport and its future development within the Kingdom.
The news was announced shortly before Gary Player took up his traditional role as the Honorary Starter of the Masters alongside Jack Nicklaus and Lee Elder, with their tee shots officially due to open the tournament and continue a tradition that began back in 1963.
Since Golf Saudi’s inception in late 2018, Gary Player has been supportive of the organization’s development plans, regularly attending events, including both the 2020 Saudi International powered by SoftBank Investment Advisers, as well as the inaugural Golf Saudi Summit in the same year.
As part of his role as an ambassador with Golf Saudi, Player will share his views on how health and wellbeing are integral to the long-term success and sustainability of the game. As such, he will support and champion Golf Saudi’s growth plans for the game, in bringing golf to the wider population within Saudi Arabia.
“I have long-admired the vision of Golf Saudi, but more importantly the work that is being done on the ground to provide access to the sport for all levels,” said Player, who won his first major title at the 1959 Open Championship. “I have had many fantastic experiences visiting the Middle East and was lucky enough to visit Saudi Arabia to see first-hand the great work that is under way, in particular the effort and focus to introduce the country’s youthful population to the health benefits the sport can provide.”
As a renowned course designer, Player has also had initial conversations with Golf Saudi about how to further develop the Kingdom’s infrastructure and deliver on the scale of the organization’s ambition when it comes to playing its part in Saudi Arabia’s transformation and meeting Vision 2030 targets, particularly in regard to the socio-economic benefits golf course development can bring to the country.
“We are privileged to have Gary Player join us as our latest international Golf Saudi ambassador and support our ongoing development,” Majed Al-Sorour, CEO of Golf Saudi, said. “Since his first visit in early 2020, we have kept in regular contact with Mr. Player and his interest in introducing golf to the younger members of Saudi Arabia’s population remains undimmed.”
“Following his appointment as an official ambassador, we are looking forward to learning from his expertise and benefiting from his strong track record within the game to help us build a golfing ecosystem, which future generations can be proud of,” he added.