Sunday, August 18, 2013


Dear Gary Player,

         Sorry you are now not the oldest man to strip naked for a photo shoot. Here I am a few months short of 80. That’s three years older than you.
         ESPN magazine seems to be a bit slow publishing my picture, but I can’t help it if they don’t recognise one that’s even more sensational than the one of you that appeared in its annual The Body Issue.
         Possibly you won’t agree but I thought that the one of US volleyball player Kerry Walsh Jennings beat both of us.

Is this Player?

         All this exercise business is totally overrated if you ask me. I know I won’t convince you as you constantly brag about the fact that you do 1 000 sit-ups a day and plan to push it up to 1 200 and have also won a few golf tournaments.
         Another one of your self boosting observations is that "Most people my age haven’t seen their private parts in 10 years because they have such a big stomach." (As a golfer it couldn’t be more serious if you can’t see your balls)

Mark Wiebe of the US
winner of the 2013 Senior British
         The last time I looked I could see mine and if I couldn’t I could definitely feel them. Does that still count?
         The only time I do a sit-up is when I get to the dinning room table for a slap up meal of just about everything that is edible.
         Like a good golfer I see you are increasing the greens part of your diet from 70% to 85%.
     But tell me Gary is there any evidence that cows live longer than people? Aren’t they supposed to be blowing up the world with their gas? So imagine what it will be like if all the millions of people went out to graze as you seem to be advocating.
Or is this Player?

         From what you say Gary you are absolutely perfect. You have no aches or pains and you take no medication or supplements at all. And of course you have the body of a 77 year old.
Kerry Walsh Jennings

         Unlike you I take tablets for high blood pressure and cholesterol and I don’t mind taking them for any other problems I might have. I also swallow vitamins by the handful.
Of course you had to add that on your horse breeding ranch Mr Perfect helps mix cement and carry poles.
         I have had three back operations, probably caused by not doing nearly enough sit-ups. It was nothing to do with picking up 50 kg bags when I too was farming I can assure you. As a result the only golf I have played was more like hockey. 
         Currently I climb up on the roof of our house to fix gutters and leaks. I also build walls and generally see to the maintenance.

But I don’t tell the whole world about it.

         I like the way you say, "People who are my age, they’re dead" as if still being alive is another one of your great achievements.
         Has it ever occurred to you Mr Perfect that you might have been lucky enough to come off the assembly line with the right genes and that this is the main reason for your good health with 1 000 sit-ups a day and all that jazz having very little to do with it?
Player is serious
 about Player
         The Old Boy’s section of the magazine of the school I went to has a sort of roll of honour for those who have reached 80 or more. The oldest one in the latest edition is 97 and there are lots of others between him and the 80 year olds.
          I doubt very much whether many of them attribute their longevity to your kind of rigorous exercise regime. So I don’t think you can hold it up as the perfect recipe for a long and ache free life for all of us.
         You say you are a grandfather of 23 as if that was all your own work. But in reality that’s a minus because you have indirectly contributed to over populating an already very crowded world.
         It would seem that you are far from being the ideal person to teach the grandkids that bragging is not the way to behave. If golf was a team sport like cricket or rugby your fellow players would have knocked modesty into you a very long time ago.
  You also promote yourself as an anti-obesity role model because you say this is "an issue of the utmost urgency. You go on to tell us, "If I can encourage today’s youth to focus on health and fitness, I will count that as a great victory."
         All very noble. You hardly need to be a genius or a cultural expert to knock a little ball around, but as a South African, who has paid a few visits to the States, you now seem to think you know what’s good for that entire country.
         The Sunday Times quoted you as saying; "The trouble with Americans is that they don’t appreciate America enough." Of course if anybody should know about this it’s our roving expert on nations Mr Perfect.
        I can't think of a tactful way of saying this Gary so here goes. You are not quite as perfect as you seem to think. In fact you have a huge flaw – your BIG BIG HEAD.
Jon, a well-known shrink who has a sign on his desk which says,
Once I thought I was wrong, but I was mistaken. 

P.S. Has nobody every mentioned to you Gary that if you have achieved significant things in life everybody knows about them, so you don’t have to keep reminding them every time you appear in the Media. You will no doubt remember two of your most recent modesty gems that you gave The Telegraph about your first British Open win at Muirfield. This was after you hit the headlines when you had the balls to pose nude for ESPN quite contrary to the stuffy dress code of any golf club you have ever been in. Here they are.

        "I walked up to the President a Mr McMaster and told him I was going to win. I was still a long way back and he probably thought I was mad, but I knew I could do it."

       And this is what you recalled 50 years later you told The Telegraph. "Playing with old clubs and the ball of the time I managed to shoot 68 with a double bogey at the end. I thought to myself, 'Gee you must have been pretty good back then.'”  

Kiss to build a dream on

*Note to my Blog Readers:  It’s unlikely that Gary hasn’t told you but just in case you don’t know he won nine major golf tournaments as well as three senior British Opens. He was also the third golfer in history to win the grand slam (all the major titles in the same year) and during his career he triumphed at a total of 165 tournaments in six continents. 

P.P.S. Player(79) in his second childhood showing off like a five year old.
Gary as modest as ever just before the 2016
Olympic Games

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