FOR GARY PLAYER’S 80TH BIRTH­DAY ON

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - The Golf Life -

Novem­ber 1, friends and fam­ily will gather to de­liver cards, gifts, a book of mem­o­ries, 80 birth­day spanks and a pinch to grow an inch. Which is only fair, see­ing how in his 62 years as a pro, it was Player who did most of the spank­ing. He won 165 tour­na­ments world­wide, 24 of them on the PGA Tour and nine of them ma­jor cham­pi­onships. He’s one of ve play­ers to cap­ture the ca­reer Grand Slam.Af­ter he turned 50, he won 19 times on the Cham­pi­ons Tour, six of them se­nior ma­jors. He has also raised more than $50 mil­lion for char­ity through The Player Foundation. As a golfer, course de­signer and phi­lan­thropist, Player has iced a lot of cakes.Along the way, he has run up some cu­ri­ous num­bers, real Ri­p­ley’s Be­lieve It Or Not! stu , much of which Player him­self is quick to point out.Among the feats: 24 000 000 KILO­ME­TRES FLOWN Since 1953, Player has own an es­ti­mated 24 mil­lion kilo­me­tres.“Cer­tainly more than any golfer, and I think it’s more than any hu­man be­ing in his­tory, in­clud­ing pi­lots and as­tro­nauts,” he told Golf Di­gest in 2002.We’re not so sure about the as­tro­naut part, but we know the busiest com­mer­cial air­line pi­lots log about 725 000 kilo­me­tres a year, so he out­strips them eas­ily.The 24 mil­lion kilo­me­tres works out to about 2 700 Jo­han­nes­burg-to-Lon­don trips. 325 COUR­SES DE­SIGNED Player has de­signed 325 cour­ses world­wide, ac­cord­ing to Gary­Player.com, which is 75 per­cent of the to­tal num­ber of cour­ses in South Africa to­day. If the lay­outs av­er­age 50 hectares, that comes to about 162 square kilo­me­tres – about half the size of the Vaal Dam. If you had built each hole along the N1, they would stretch from Cape Town past the Beit Bridge bor­der post into Zim­babwe. STOM­ACH CRUNCHES A DAY Player does 1 000 stom­ach crunches daily. Over 55 years (we’ll give him seven years’ worth of days o ) that’s more than 20 mil­lion crunches. Men’s Health es­ti­mates it takes 48 000 crunches to shed one kilo­gram of body fat. So Player has lost 412 kilo­grams, or roughly six full ver­sions of him­self.

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