Gary Player Design Opens New Course in Bulgaria

Gary Player officially opened Thracian Cliffs Golf & Spa in Cape Kaliakra, Bulgaria on June 4. He was joined by Bulgarian businessman and developer Krassimir Guergov, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov, celebrities, local politicians and businessmen, and the team from Thracian Cliffs for the grand opening.

Thracian Cliffs is the second Gary Player-designed layout in Cape Kaliakra (BlackSeaRama opened in July 2009). It is set along the stunning cliffs overlooking the Black Sea. "I've been playing golf for 56 years and have never seen a site like this anywhere in the world," Player said. "I've never played on a golf course where you can see the ocean on every single hole. It is truly incredible."

The course and resort were designed to preserve the look and feel of the traditional local architecture while taking advantage of the beauty and characteristics of the seafront environment and undeveloped splendor of Kaliakra National Park.

"Thracian Cliffs is in many ways our most unique design to date," said Marc Player, CEO of Black Knight International. "The Black Sea is visible from every hole and the white cliffs make for a visually stunning backdrop," he added.

The course was designed with multiple tees, with the Black or back tees allowing it to be set up for championship play. "The Black tees are tough," said Gary Player. "Krassi wants to bring a European PGA Tour event to Bulgaria so we had to design Thracian Cliffs and BlackSeaRama with that in mind, but also not make the courses too difficult for the higher handicappers.

"The response from the players who participated in the Mercedes Cup (Bulgaria's first amateur tournament) last week was very positive and I think we accomplished our goal. I am really looking forward to playing the course now that it is completed," he added.

The eighth hole has received a lot of attention and may be recognized as one of Europe's best. The tee sits atop a cliff with the green set some over 120 feet below, cut into the hillside and surrounded by the Black Sea. The hole measures over 230 yards from the tips.

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