The 10 Commandments: Gary Player’s take…

Posted by on Sep 27, 2016 in Blog | 2 comments

Though I am not a golfer, I was struck by the death of golfing great Arnold Palmer. It set me thinking about the other golfing great I heard about constantly during my childhood, Gary Player, and I wondered if he was still alive. The answer is yes, and he seems to be thriving and continuing with a great deal of charitable work around the world – his foundation having donated over $50 million. I found that out by visiting his website, and was struck when on it by his 10 commandments, which I have reproduced here. Player is of course a committed Christian, and I think it shows in the values he promotes. See what you think of them…

  1. Change is the price of survival.
  2. Everything in business is negotiable, except quality.
  3. A promise made is a debt incurred.
  4. For all we take in life, we must pay.
  5. Persistence and common sense are more important than intelligence.
  6. The fox fears not the man who boasts by night but the man who rises early in the morning.
  7. Accept the advice of the man who loves you, though you like it not at present.
  8. Trust instinct to the end, though you cannot render any reason.
  9. The heights of great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but that while their companions slept were toiling upward in the night.
  10. There is no substitute for personal contact.

I was especially struck by number 3 – a promise made is a debt incurred. Biblically, your word is your bond, but this seems to be a conviction that has lapsed for most people – and I don’t think its a good thing. So delighted to see that Player lists it as a command.

For those who have never heard of Gary Player, he is often classified as the most successful golfer of all time, with 165 victories in a career that spanned five decades. They included winning golf’s Grand Slam by the age of 29, and being the only winner of the Grand Slam on both the Regular and Senior Tours.

Well – enough of that… this isn’t a sporting blog… but I did think Player’s 10 commandments were worth noting. And I am also struck by how often those who have climbed to great heights have maxims that guide them. Without a set of firm convictions, it is unlikely that we will get anywhere… though do note that Player’s first command is that ‘change is the price of survival’ – an interesting first choice.

As always, nice chatting…





  1. Gary Player was my favourite professional golfer when I played junior golf (14-15/1981-82). I loved watching Pro Celebrity at Turnberry. These are a great set of commands to live by. Like how you picked out the third command, but even more how important it is to live by a set of firm convictions… think I’ll be revising mine. Thanks Brian.

  2. Saw Gary Player’s 10 Commandments on a plaque at the ‘Player Course’ @ Geneva National & felt it was Well Worth Copying & Sharing as Best I could……..
    Mike Campbell Sr

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