About Foundation

Mission Statement

“To identify talented young South Africans predominantly from families of limited resources and provide them with educational and life-skill assistance and playing opportunities in order to produce successful, well-rounded and educated young golfers.

Background

The Ernie Els Foundation was founded in 1999 with the purpose of identifying and assisting young talented individuals, in golf, predominantly from families of limited resources and to deliver to them educational assistance and playing opportunities in order to produce successful young leaders and develop their playing ability to its full potential.

The Foundation joined forces with the world-renowned Fancourt Hotel and Golf Estate in 2006 to establish the Ernie Els & Fancourt Foundation (EEFF).

The Foundation has now entered its third phase and has modified its involvement and responsibility with those youngsters that it supports to ensure that, while they receive the same guidance, assistance and leadership, it is done in an efficient way, which allows the Foundation to reach a larger number of deserving candidates.

From the beginning of 2010 our members stay at home with their families and attend their local schools. They are coached by their local PGA teaching professionals in consultation with the management of the EEFF. The members participate in tournaments locally and around the country, the reasonable costs of which are covered by the EEFF and they will attend an intensive golf-orientated and life-skills program.

In addition to the members, the EEFF has introduced an “associate” category, which takes the form of awarding once-off one-year educational and golf bursaries to talented young golfers. Those associates who show exemplary dedication and hard work could then be considered for membership in the following year.

The EEFF has also introduced a Graduate Support programme. Members who finished school can apply for support towards golf expenses. The focus will be on supporting those members who we believe will make it as golfers. Education is for their account.

All of the members of the EEFF are predominantly from families of limited resources and are at high school. The focus of the EEFF is very much on junior golf.
Since its inception, the EEFF has evolved to the point to which it now has three key focus areas:
- golf
- education
- golf orientated life skills weeks

This document sets out the objectives of the program. It identifies the role players in it and the criteria taken into account when considering applications for support. The process of applying for support is recorded and some benefits the members and associates receive is included. This document is to inform interested parties of the program. It must be pointed out that the program is continually undergoing changes with the intention of bringing about improvement, which means that the criteria for membership, for example, could change for future years.

The objectives of this program are as follows: 1. To uplift individuals predominantly from families of limited resources, who show a natural ability to excel at the sport of golf 2. To ensure that participants in the program attend an appropriate high-school educational institution that offers a well-rounded education 3. To develop each member’s golf skills, including the ability to compete in competitions 4. To develop the whole person (eg. leadership, life skills, community service, etc)

Application for inclusion into the program will only be considered if the applicant satisfies the following criteria. He or she must, 1. Be a South African citizen; 2. Be attending high school on a full-time basis up to Grade 12 (no part-time or home schooling, etc);

3. Have a stroke average of 80 or less for boys and girls; 4. Pass school’s December examination in year of application; 5. Be prepared to be an ambassador of the Ernie Els & Fancourt Foundation;

Membership is for one calendar year only (January to December).
Existing members must re-apply for membership not later than November of each year;
Membership will not extend beyond completion of his or her final year at school; or the calendar year in which he or she turns 19, whichever comes first.
The member must apply for graduate support.
To stay on the program the member needs to (at least) retain his or her average at school as when membership was offered.
To stay on the program the member needs to (at least) retain his or her stroke average as when membership was offered.

There will be continuous assessment of all members, associates and graduate support throughout the calendar year. Renewing of membership of the EEFF is dependent on satisfactory continuous assessment with an emphasis on performance at school and passing relevant tests and examinations.

It is the member’s responsibility to e-mail the following information through to the office of the EEFF on or before the 20th of each month:

Scores attained in tournaments or competitive rounds during that month (date, course, tournament, scores).
Test or examination marks received at school during that month.
Marks for assignments received at school during that month.

Furthermore, each member is expected to:
Update national handicap system immediately after each round played.

Failing to send one of these reports timeously can lead to a disciplinary process (see 18. Code of Conduct).
The Board of Directors will have the final decision regarding termination of membership. The Board is under no obligation to provide further reasons for termination of membership or to enter into any discussions with affected parties. This process is final and binding and not appealable.

Entry into the EEFF is by invitation only. The EEFF will hold numerous Talent Search Golf Days around South Africa. The different divisions of the SAJGF, WGSA and SA Golf Development Board assist the EEFF in identifying the players for these golf days. (Winning one of these events does not necessarily mean selection to the EEFF.) The EEFF also keeps up to date with junior results nationally and is in constant contact with the provincial divisions of the SAJGF, WGSA and the SA Golf Development Board. On request of the EEFF, applicants need to do the following:
1. Compile a brief, concise Curriculum Vitae of no more than 3 pages, which should consist of:
1. detailed golf achievements (no more than one page) and
2. June school report (1 page);
3. Applicants’ parents will need to undergo a confidential and appropriate means test.
The application form is available in “pdf” format on www.ernieels.com and should be downloaded and filled in before being faxed to supplied fax number.

The Board of Directors will have the final decision regarding selection for membership. The Board is under no obligation to provide further reasons for selection of membership or to enter into any discussions with affected parties. This process is final and binding and not appealable.

Parents must sign an agreement, indemnity and waiver before their child can accept the invitation to become a member or associate of the EEFF. As all members and associates should predominantly be from families of limited resources, parents or guardians must be prepared to do a means test.

The following play a role within this program:
1. Ernie Els & Fancourt Foundation;
2. The member and his or her parents;
3. The school;
4. SAJGF.

Please note that any medical costs must be covered by parents and their own medical aid funds.

The choice of high school is left up to the parents, however, it is recommended that members and associates stay at their present high school. No home-schooling is permitted. The management of the EEFF will communicate directly with the school, its principal and the member’s/associate’s teacher, as well as communicating with parents about academic affairs.

Associates and members are expected to report back to the EEFF on a monthly basis on test and assignment marks. The average academic marks must improve year-on-year in order to retain support from the EEFF.

The PGA professional teacher must be approved by the management of the EEFF. This coach will give regular monthly reports to the EEFF. Each member and associate must show continuous dedication, commitment and improvement throughout the year in order to be considered for support by the EEFF the following year.

The teaching of life skills is an important facet of the EEFF program. Members and associates of the EEFF are expected to write regular letters of thanks to Ernie Els and Dr Plattner, filling them in on their progress and underlining their appreciation for the support extended to them.
They are expected to dress appropriately for tournament prize-givings and to thank the organisers personally before leaving the golf course.

At as many tournaments as possible, members will be given life-skill instruction on topics amongst which will be making appropriate speeches and dealing with the media and handling interview situations.

It is the member’s responsibility to make sure that he is entered for a tournament.
Participation in a tournament is subject to approval by the EEFF.

At Order of Merit events, all members of the EEFF will travel and stay together for the duration of the event (even if the event takes place in the hometown of some members). The EEFF staff member managing the group of EEFF members for that particular event will be in loco parentis and will have the final say on all disciplinary matters etc. Rules and regulations apply equally to all members.

Members will always be dressed according to golf rules.
For the duration of tournaments, all members will be dressed the same at all times.
Shoes should be clean at all times.
Callaway caps must be worn at tournaments and practice sessions.

Golf is a sport that requires high standards of behaviour and sportsmanship and relies heavily on honesty, integrity and self-regulation. While society in general may have gravitated towards a less rigid approach to discipline, manners and etiquette, the EEFF believes strongly that its members and associates should strive to set an example to their peers and should at all times show the utmost respect towards themselves, fellow members, staff and the clubs, Foundations and Associations that they represent.

Being a member or associate of the EEFF is a priviledge which comes with responsibility and is available only to a select few; members and associates are therefore expected to bear this in mind when considering their approach both on the golf course and in day-to-day life.

The EEFF supports the code of conduct as set out by the South African Junior Golf Foundation and expects its members to stick vehemently to this code as set out below.

The following conduct, both on and off the course will not be acceptable or tolerated at any time:
1. Smoking while representing the EEFF, The South African Junior Golf Foundation National Team or a provincial division.
2. Drinking of alcohol whilst representing the EEFF, The South African Junior Golf Foundation National Team or a provincial division.
3. Partaking in the smoking of or distribution of drugs of any description whilst representing the EEFF, The South African Junior Golf Foundation National Team or a provincial division.
4. The use of offensive language whilst representing the EEFF, The South African Junior Golf Foundation National Team or a provincial division.
5. Presenting oneself in a manner, which may cause negative comment in both one’s personal and dress presentation.
6. The throwing of clubs or the abuse of golfing equipment.
7. Conduct, which may offend the etiquette or the rules of golf as laid down by the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews.
8. Any other behaviour or act, which may be offensive to acceptable social protocol.

RULES AND REGULATIONS
This part of the document contains a few basic rules.

DISCIPLINARY CODE
Aim
The aim of the disciplinary code is:
To promote positive discipline and exemplary behavior among all members on and off the golf course and to identify members who display bad sportsmanship and to take the necessary remedial steps.

Principles
The principles on which this disciplinary code are based are:
Non-discrimination and equality.
Privacy, respect and dignity.
The right to a fair and unbiased hearing or investigation.

Disciplinary Process
All correspondence in the disciplinary process will be in writing. A member or associate will be informed in writing of any alleged transgression of the Code of Conduct and will be given appropriate time to respond to the allegations or to rectify his or her behavior. Should behavior not improve, the member or associate will be informed in writing of the EEFF’s course of action.

Guidelines
In order to give guidelines of expected behaviour and consequences for anti-social conduct, the EEFF has established this “code of conduct”, which makes use of a points system to record negative behaviour.

Negative points
The transgressions in the current code of conduct are put into two different categories: category A, for serious transgressions and category B, for less serious transgressions.

The different categories and points for each transgression are:

Category A (Transgressions which will lead to the termination of membership)

Transgression Points
1. Use of drugs of any description (see below)
2. Distribution of drugs of any description (see below)
3. Possession of drugs of any description (see below)

A member found guilty of these transgressions will be asked to leave the EEFF immediately.

Category B (Transgressions which will lead to the suspension of certain privileges)

The EEFF reserves the right to use its discretion in enforcing the below mentioned transgressions, e.g. giving 20 points for smoking and withdrawing the individual from a tournament.

Transgression Points
1. Drinking of alcohol whilst competing in any SAGA, SAJGF
or Foundation tournament/competition – 30 points
2. Physical assault on any person – 50 points
3. Theft of any nature and being in possession of stolen goods – 50 points
4. Vandalism of any property – 50 points
5. Disrespect shown towards staff of the EEFF – 50 points
6. Any act, behaviour or comments made that are contrary
to the values of the EEFF, SAGA and SAJGF and which
might bring any of the aforementioned into disrepute in any way – 30 points
7. Neglect of schoolwork or golfing commitments (participating
in local SAJGF tournaments) – 25 points
8. Conduct which may be contrary to the etiquette of golf as laid
down by the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews and
generally accepted – 25 points
9. Not attending appointments (individual sessions with coach, etc) – 25 points
10. Disrespect shown to fellow members – 25 points
11. The use of offensive or foul language whilst competing in any
SAGA, SAJGF or Foundation tournament/competition – 25 points
12. Throwing of clubs or abuse of golfing equipment – 25 points
13. Smoking whilst competing in any SAGA, SAJGF or Foundation
tournament/competition (including hubbly bubbly) – 20 points
14. The use of cell phones and/or iPods on the golf course
or any practice facility – 20 points
15. Being in the company of members who are smoking whilst
competing in SAGA, SAJGF or Foundation tournament/competition
(including hubbly bubbly) – 10 points
16. Any behaviour or act which may be offensive to
acceptable social protocol – 10 points
17. Continuous lack of punctuality 10
18. Neglecting to complete or submit any requested reports properly – 10 points
19. Not abiding by the dress code (practice sessions/travel/
tournaments/prize givings, etc) – 10 points
20. Presenting oneself in a manner which may cause negative
comment in both personal and dress presentation – 10 points
21. Leaving hotel, guesthouse, etc, without permission whilst
under the supervision of the EEFF – 10 points
22. Serious aggressive behaviour or temper outbursts – 10 points
23. Visiting prohibited areas – 10 points

If a member accumulates 100 points for transgressions in category B, in a period of 12 months (January – December), the membership of the member will be terminated immediately. Points obtained in this category are halved at the end of the year and are carried over to the next year.

The Board of Directors will have the final decision regarding termination of membership. The Board is under no obligation to provide further reasons for termination or to enter into any discussions with affected parties. This process is final and binding and not appealable.

Unwarranted and negative criticism of the Ernie Els & Fancourt Foundation or any of the programs run by the EEFF by members, associates or their parents in public will be seen in a very serious light. There are very open lines of communication between management of the EEFF and members, associates and their parents. Should there be any unresolved issues, parents especially are encouraged to discuss these in writing with the CEO, who will consult the Board of Directors if necessary. Direct open communication with the CEO, criticism and suggestions are encouraged.

Third party reports of criticism that have not been raised with the appropriate staff at the EEFF could lead to the member’s or associate’s immediate termination from the EEFF.

It is important for our members to be involved in outreach programs and to this end, every member of the EEFF is encouraged to do community or volunteer service work. This can take the form of belonging to his or her school Interact Group or similar or finding and taking on projects individually.

The Educational, Coaching and Life Skills programs are designed to develop a well-rounded, yet competitive individual who will, during his or her time on the program, be encouraged to play competitive golf and also participate positively within his or her community.

NOTE: These points are an illustration of the workings of the Ernie Els & Fancourt Foundation. The Board of Directors reserves the right to make changes to any of the above without notice at management discretion.

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