The Naas Botha of today is a well-known rugby commentator on the South African Supersport Channel, but in his day as a player he was one of the most feared match-winners in the game, best known for his deadly boot.
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.
It's well known that South Africa has produced some of the all-time greats of golf, cricket and rugby. Less well known is the fact that a man destined for American football's Hall of Fame, the scorer of the most points in the history of the NFL, was born in Parys and raised in Durban, South Africa.
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.
Elana Meyer was among the world's elite athletes for over 10 years, establishing world records at 15 kilometres and the half marathon, and boasting five of the 15 best half marathon times in history, a consistency matched by few other athletes.
South Africa is blessed with three world-class canoe marathons, each offering the paddler a supreme challenge along with genuine camaraderie in a field that includes not only those trying to win, but also those who come to compete with themselves and the river.
A left-handed batsman who struck the ball with immaculate timing, making the game look at once simple and stunning, Graeme Pollock was arguably the greatest left-hander in cricket history, with a test average second only to Sir Donald Bradman.
For the golf enthusiast, South Africa is a wonderful destination - and that's an understatement. The country boasts an ideal climate for spending time out on the fairways under the bright African sun, and golfers here are blessed for choice.