1. 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 young golfers.
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 (EE&FF). The EE&FF was based at Fancourt for three years (2007-2009).
From the beginning of 2010 the members reverted to staying at home with their families. They were coached by their local PGA teaching professionals in consultation with the management of the EE&FF.
The members participated in tournaments locally and around the country, the reasonable costs of which were covered by the EE&FF.
The EE&FF changed its focus from a junior to amateur program in 2015. Members who have finished school can apply for support towards ongoing golf expenses. The focus is on supporting those members who the EE&FF believes would be successful as professional golfers.
The EEFF encourages the amateur members to further their studies and is prepared to make a contribution towards their studies. The EE&FF makes use of the Macsteel Maestros Life Skills Program.
Since its inception, the EE&FF has continually evolved, always maintaining its three key focus areas:
- Education and,
- Golf-orientated life skills.
3. EDUCATION AND COACHING PROGRAM
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 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:
- To uplift individuals predominantly from families of limited resources, who show a natural ability to excel at the sport of golf;
- To ensure that high-school aged participants in the program attend an appropriate high-school educational institution that offers a well-rounded education;
- To encourage our members to further their studies;
- To develop each member’s golf skills, including the ability to compete in competitions;
- To develop the whole person (eg. leadership, life skills, community service, etc);
5. CRITERIA FOR MEMBERSHIP TO THE PROGRAM
Application for inclusion into the program will only be considered if the applicant satisfies the following criteria: He or she must:
- Be a South African citizen;
- If of high-school age, be attending high school on a full-time basis up to Grade 12 (no part-time or home schooling, etc);
- Have a stroke average of 75 or less;
- Be prepared to be an ambassador of the EE&FF.
Membership of the EE&FF is on a one-year, renewable basis and it is performance based.
The EE&FF will cover the following costs for each member:
- Annual education fees – up to a maximum of R11 000 per member per year where applicable.
- Annual golf club membership.
- Annual driving range membership (Vodacom Golf Village or equivalent).
- Golf tuition – PGA Professional teacher approved by EEFF.
- Golf equipment:
New members will receive:
- One set of golf clubs
- One golf bag per year
- One pair of golf shoes per year
- One dozen (12 balls) golf balls per month
- Two gloves per month
- 3 caps per year
- Golf clothing consisting of: 6 golf shirts per year; 1 pullover/jersey per year, 1 EEFF blazer.
- Members must purchase their own black and stone trousers, white and black belt and black shoes.
Attending approved list of tournaments – costs related to:
- Official local union tournaments (EEFF pays entry fee and R50 meal allowance per day per local union tournament). Club competitions and sponsored golf days for own account.
SAGA Amateur, SAGA Junior or WGSA NOoM tournaments:
- Amateurs – a maximum of 13 tournaments per year (travel – only when a member needs to fly, accommodation, meal allowances R250 per day, caddies R200 per day, practice round and practice balls).
- Juniors – a maximum of 7 SAGA Junior Tournaments per year (travel – only when a member needs to fly, accommodation, meal allowances R250 per day, no caddies for juniors, practice round and practice balls).
- Golf orientated/life skills programs – the Macsteel Maestros Life Skills Program.
This “agreement of benefits” is subject to change without notice at management discretion.
- Further support for an additional year will only be considered:
2.1 If the applicant shows continuous improvement.
2.2 Achieve individual goal set for member.
2.3 The support will be performance based.
The EE&FF reserves the right to appoint a member who might not necessarily qualify within the strict parameters of the criteria as laid out above.
The final decision on membership or support rests with the EE&FF and it is furthermore under no obligation to enter into any correspondence with interested parties. This process is final and binding and not appealable.
7. TERMINATION OF MEMBERSHIP
- Membership is for one calendar year only (January to December).
- Existing members must re-apply for membership not later than September of each year;
- Membership will not extend beyond completion of his or her third year of amateur golf.
- To stay on the program the member needs to (at least) retain his or her average at school as when membership was offered.
- Amateurs must pass their courses annually.
- To stay on the program the member needs to (at least) retain his or her stroke average as when membership was offered.
- Membership will terminate automatically when turning professional and support will stop with immediate effect.
8. PROCESS OF EVALUATION
There will be continuous assessment of all members throughout the calendar year. Renewing of membership of the EE&FF is dependent on satisfactory continuous assessment.
It is the member’s responsibility to update his/her files before the 20th of each month:
- Statistics attained in tournaments must be updated after every tournament.
- Test or examination marks received during that month (if applicable).
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.
9. PROCESS OF SELECTION
Entry into the EE&FF is by invitation only. The different divisions of the SAGA Junior Golf, WGSA, SA Golf Development Board and other academies assist the EE&FF in identifying possible new members. The EE&FF also keeps up to date with junior results nationally and is in constant contact with the provincial divisions of the SAGA Junior Golf, WGSA and the SA Golf Development Board. On request of the EE&FF, applicants and parents will need to complete a membership form.
10. AGREEMENT, INDEMNITY, WAIVER, MEANS TEST
The parents or guardians must sign an agreement, indemnity and waiver before their child can accept the invitation to become a member of the EE&FF. Parents or guardians must be prepared to do a means test.
11. MEDICAL AID
Please note that any medical costs must be covered by parents and their own medical aid funds.
If applicable, the choice of high school/college/university is left to the parents, however, it is recommended that members stay at their present high school etc. No home schooling is permitted. The management of the EE&FF will communicate directly with the school, its principal and the member’s teacher, as well as communicating with parents about academic affairs.
13. GOLF COACHING
The PGA professional teacher must be approved by the management of the EE&FF. This coach will give regular monthly reports to the EE&FF. Members must show continuous dedication, commitment and improvement throughout the year in order to be considered for support by the EE&FF the following year.
14. LIFE SKILLS
The teaching of life skills is an important facet of the EE&FF program. The members of the EE&FF are part of the Macsteel Maestros Life Skills Program. 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.
15. PROCEDURE FOR ENTERING AN ORDER OF MERIT TOURNAMENT
- It is the member’s responsibility to make sure that he/she is entered for a tournament.
- Participation in a tournament is subject to approval by the EE&FF.
- At Order of Merit events, all members of the EE&FF will travel and stay together for the duration of the event (even if the event takes place in the hometown of some members). The EE&FF staff member managing the group of EE&FF members for that particular event will be in loco parentis (if applicable) and will have the final say on all disciplinary matters etc. Rules and regulations apply equally to all members.
17. DRESS CODE
- Members will always be dressed according to golf rules.
- For the duration of tournaments all members will be dressed in Ernie Els & Fancourt Foundation logo shirts or pullovers at all times. Members who not adhere to the dress code – the EEFF will stop all support for an unlimited time.
- Members are allowed to wear their own rain gear.
- Shoes should be clean at all times.
- Adams/TaylorMade caps must be worn at tournaments and practice sessions.
17. CODE OF CONDUCT
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 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 of the EEFF is a priviledge which comes with responsibility and is available only to a select few; members 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 SAGA and WGSA 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 EE&FF. (10 points)
2. Drinking of alcohol whilst representing the EEFF. (20 points)
3. Partaking in the smoking of or distribution of drugs of any description whilst representing the EE&FF. (Immediate termination of membership).
4. The use of offensive language whilst representing the EE&FF. (10 points)
5. Presenting oneself in a manner, which may cause negative comment in both one’s personal and dress presentation. (10 points)
6. The throwing of clubs or the abuse of golfing equipment. (20 points)
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. (10 points)
8. Any other behaviour or act, which may be offensive to acceptable social protocol. (10 points)
9. Members who not adhere to the dress code – the EE&FF will stop all support for an unlimited time. (20 points)
10. Not showing respect to the EE&FF staff. (20 points)
If a member accumulates 100 points for transgressions mentioned above, 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 principles on which these are based are:
Non-discrimination and equality.
Privacy, respect and dignity.
The right to a fair and unbiased hearing or investigation.
All correspondence in the disciplinary process will be in writing. A member 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 behaviour. Should behaviour not improve, the member will be informed in writing of the EE&FF’s course of action. 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 EE&FF by members or their parents in public will be seen in a very serious light. There are very open lines of communication between management of the EE&FF and members 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 EE&FF could lead to the member’s immediate termination from the EE&FF.
It is important for our members to be involved in outreach programs and to this end, every member of the EE&FF is encouraged to do community or volunteer service work. This can take the form of playing golf with development players for example.
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: This document is presented as 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.