'Gary Player - Golf's Global Ambassador from South Africa to Augusta' by John Boyette

By: Dr. John Wagner


After reading it, I found this book could be titled, "Gary Player at the Masters and a Few tournaments Outside South Africa." It contains a lot of superficial information and very little depth about the featured subject.

On the second page of Chapter 1 is the following paragraph: "Mother's dead when you're eight, and your father's working in a gold mine twelve thousand feet underground. Your brother's fighting alongside the Americans in the last world war at seventeen years of age. My sister's in boarding school, and I come home to a little crummy house. An hour and twenty minutes to get home, by streetcar and bus, and there's no one there at a dark house. Not easy. You leave at 5:30 in the morning, get dressed, cook your own breakfast, travel to school on your own, eight years old, that's tough. Nobody to help you."

In that single paragraph are many intriguing questions. In the following sentences, I learn that Player's father was a "good single-handicap player." Again, what kind of father is this who can play golf, send a daughter to boarding school, and leave an eight-year-old to fend for himself?

This is just a poor start for a book. If you are going to raise so many questions, answer them, but the majority of the rest of the book is about his playing at the Masters. For people my age this is just sports-page reading.

For younger people trying to learn more about Gary Player and the person, there's not much here. I had hoped to learn a lot more about his family and what happened to them as Player became a great golfer but, again, got only sketchy information.

It was like the author wrote this without having spent many hours interviewing Player. I found this wasn't an interesting read, and I grew up watching the "Big Three."

"Gary Player - Golf's Global Ambassador From South Africa to Augusta," by John Boyette, Published by The History Press Charleston, SC, $21.99, 128 pages, ISBN 978.1.60949.621.0

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