Telling It Like It Is
Golf Monthly|February 2022
Revered South African Gary Player reflects on a glittering career and gives his view on some of golf’s talking points
By Garrett Johnston. Photographs by Getty Images

O fall the rounds of golf you’ve played, what’s been the most memorable?

That’s very difficult to say. To me, the most famous tournament in the world is The Open Championship because it’s the test of a man’s mind as well as his skill. And there’s no yardages. You hit a sand wedge maybe 150 yards one day, the next it’s a 3-iron. So it’s not a matter of looking at your book and saying you’ve got to hit your stock shot.

Then as you play The Open, you’ve got to be careful you don’t feel sorry for yourself as you all don’t play in the same conditions. It’s sunny in the morning, there’s no wind, but the rain and wind can come up in the afternoon. Tiger Woods shot an 81 at Muirfield in 2002! So in these big events you’re playing against 156 people, not one on one. People like to say, ‘It’s golf, it’s the same for everybody’ – well no, it isn’t. The course often plays different in the afternoon – the greens have got more indentations, the bunkers are not quite as smooth, the fairways have grown a bit, the greens have grown a bit, it’s a different game. Golf is the most difficult sport.

If you had one last round, where would you play?

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