Golf News | Gary Player son Wayne Player, lifetime ban from Augusta National, tribute to The Masters Lee Elder, marketing ploy

Wayne Player, son of golf legend Gary Player, has announced his lifetime ban from Augusta National after a guerrilla marketing attempt at the 2021 Masters.

At last year’s honorary farewell ceremony, in which Lee Elder – the first African-American man to compete in the major – was recognized, Wayne, who served as his father’s caddy, stood behind Elder , displaying a box of OnCore golf balls.

Although the locals’ player bar is well known, Augusta National has never publicly confirmed it.

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Gary Player plays his first tee shot during the 2021 Masters opening ceremony. (Getty)

This week, Wayne Player sat down with Golf Digest to explain his side of the Masters controversy.

“Well, they say there’s no bad publicity,” he said.

“I found out that wasn’t quite true.

“I got probably 50 texts after that, 40 of them saying I’m a marketing genius, 10 saying, ‘What the hell were you thinking?’

“It wasn’t premeditated, but it was a sticky thing.”

Despite his frustrating actions, Player said he was forgiven by Lee before he died aged 87 last year.

“I have Lee’s cell phone number. I called and said, ‘You know, Lee, I love you guys.

“You know, everyone said I was disrespectful for a special time for Elder. I said I was sorry, and I didn’t want to take his special time. And he said, ‘Wayne, you know how much I love you right?’ It didn’t cross his mind. It’s important that people know that.

The player also weighed in on his father’s similar behavior at this year’s competition, where the three-time champion was convicted of wearing a “Golf Saudi” logo to promote the dissident Saudi-backed golf league.

“We can judge, you know, the Arab nation for its traditions. I mean, where women are not allowed to walk around like we know women can walk around, they have to have a coat on their head. I mean, I don’t know, it’s not for me to criticize them, you know?” said Wayne Player.

“I mean, look, they’re very tough on law and order, you know, and they do everything that would be considered barbaric there, right. That’s what (Phil Mickelson) basically said.

“I just know my dad was thrilled, you know, to be part of the growth of the game of golf in Saudi Arabia.

“I mean he loves golf course design. He’s always loved it. He’s designed over 170 golf clubs and he’s a statesman.

“He always tries to help everyone, so no one should ever criticize Gary Player.”

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Michael C. Ford