South Africa has consistently produced good golfers, and Ernie Els ranks among the best of them, one of seven South Africans to have won a major championship. "The Big Easy" is a four-time major winner, having captured the US Open and the oldest title of them all, The Open Championship, twice each.
Voted South Africa's sportsman of the twentieth century, Gary Player is one of only five people to have won golf's Grand Slam, has 163 international tournament victories to his name - 63 more than the great Jack Nicklaus - and is thought to have travelled further for sport than any athlete in history.
When Gary Kirsten did well, South Africa did well. Over the course of an 11-year career the nuggety left hander from Cape Town became the rock upon which the South African team built its batting. And when he was finished he owned most of the important South African batting records.
Before Retief Goosen, before Ernie Els and before Gary Player there was another South African golfer who started the tradition of excellence among players of the southernmost country in Africa: Bobby Locke.
Natal Sharks' eighthman Gary Teichmann played 42 tests for the Springboks, leading the national team on 36 occasions and establishing a reputation as a hard-working, committed, courageous and fair player throughout the rugby world.
The first Protea to capture 300 test wickets, Allan Donald was for some time the most successful Test bowler in South African cricketing history, and ranks among the best in the history of the game.
At the height of his career, 'The Rose of Soweto' established himself as a charismatic, gifted boxer and a favourite of the South African public - and captured two world titles in the process.
He was the shortest ever boxing world champion, and the only South African to win four world titles. But it was "Baby Jake" Matlala's heart that captured the imagination of the South African public.
South African tennis star Amanda Coetzer epitomised the saying: "Dynamite comes in small packages". She stands only 1.58 metres tall, but her heart was one of the biggest on the WTA Tour, and her never-say-die attitude reaped big rewards in a career that began back in 1988 and lasted 16 years.
A criticism often levelled at Barry Richards is that at times he found the game of cricket too easy and became bored. This criticism says much about the ability of the man - way above that of the average provincial or test cricketer.