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Secrets to Longevity: ‘Under-Eating’ and Ice Baths – Insights from 88-Year-Old Gary Player

At 88 years old, the South African golf legend showcased his enduring skill and vitality by launching a tee shot that would impress golfers a quarter of his age. Alongside golf icons Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson, he took on the role of Honorary Starter at the prestigious tournament.

Following a large gathering of spectators, the trio teed off to mark the beginning of the event. Player, known for his three Masters titles, humorously remarked on the challenges of placing the ball on the tee before elegantly splitting the first fairway with his drive.

After his signature leg-kick celebration, Player retreated to the Augusta National clubhouse, where he shared insights on maintaining his perpetual youth. Reflecting on a visit to a gerontologist in India, he revealed the key to his longevity: a regimen that includes daily adherence to specific practices.

Among his secrets, Player emphasized the importance of undereating over excessive exercise, citing it as crucial for longevity. He highlighted the significance of moderation in diet and exercise to avoid health issues like Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (REDs), which can have detrimental effects on an athlete’s well-being.

Despite his retirement from competitive play in 2009, Player’s remarkable career spanning five decades yielded 165 tournament victories and nine major championships. Renowned as the “World’s Most Traveled Athlete,” he recounted accumulating over 15 million air miles during his active years, emphasizing his commitment to physical fitness and mental well-being.

In a similar vein, Nicklaus and Watson, both Masters champions in their own right, shared their perspectives on staying healthy and happy. Nicklaus credited his family for his youthful spirit, while Watson echoed Player’s advice on maintaining a balanced lifestyle filled with love, laughter, and responsible choices.

Appreciation for America

Despite his South African roots, Player, who received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from former President Donald Trump, expressed profound admiration for the United States. Describing it as the greatest country on earth, he urged gratitude for the nation’s contributions to the world and emphasized the importance of self-appreciation and national pride.

Reflecting on a memorable encounter with President Dwight D. Eisenhower during his early Masters participation, Player commended the former president’s dedication to freedom and praised the United States as a beacon of opportunity and honor. His sentiments echoed a deep appreciation for being part of the esteemed tournament and for the privilege of experiencing all that America has to offer.