Ernie’s Latest News – 8 December

08 Dec

Although last week was a week off for me, we made a trip over to the Bahamas to spend a day at one of our Ernie Els Design courses, Albany (pictured above), which as you’ll probably know was hosting the PGA TOUR’s Hero World Challenge for the second consecutive year.

It’s a superb location and a great event, one that raises a lot of money for charity through Tiger’s Foundation, and it’s fair to say that this year’s tournament had the whole golfing world watching as Tiger made his return to competitive action. It’s pretty tough coming back after a long stretch on the sidelines. I’m sure he’ll have been pretty satisfied to have come through the week in good shape and also happy that he topped the birdie-tally (24) for the week.

Having the spotlight on Albany was great news for us, as it meant we got to showcase to a global audience a golf course and development that we’re all extremely proud of. I thought the conditioning of the course was superb, as it is all year round, so hats off to the whole team on that front, especially as Hurricane Matthew went through there little over a month ago. Congrats also to Hideki Matsuyama on his fourth win in five starts. It’s been quite the year for Hideki and he’s really had his foot on the gas these past few months. In fact, for his final 20 rounds of 2016 he’s 89-under par. That’s some playing.

It’s also been a standout year for one of South Africa’s brightest young talents, Brandon Stone, who won last week’s Alfred Dunhill Championship at the stunning Leopard Creek Golf Club. Brandon now holds our nation’s two biggest golf titles, having also won the SA Open earlier this year. Stats junkies will appreciate that Brandon’s victory was the 138th for South African golfers in European Tour history. Anyway, I look forward to welcoming Brandon and all the other players and fans at Glendower in January, where I’m the official tournament host. We’ve got a really strong field, including Rory McIlroy, and it’s shaping up to be another wonderful week for our national open.

So, what’s happening this week? Well, despite the fact there’s no tournament action for me, there’s actually quite a lot going on. It started on Monday when I played in Ken Duke’s annual pro am at The Floridian, a golf course that’s just a short drive from our home in Jupiter. Ken always has some great guests at the pro am and he has been a great supporter of our causes, too.

Then on Tuesday morning I was taking part in an ECCO golf day at PGA National. I was excited to try out the new ECCO COOL shoe (pictured below), which is one of the highlights of their 2017 collection and features some innovative new technologies offering a blend of comfort, support, breathability and 100% waterproofing. Please click here for the full story.

ECCO COOL 2017

Later on this week I’ve got a couple of other sponsors’ engagements and a member-pro weekend, all of which are local to me here in Florida. All in all, it’s a fun week and there’s plenty of golf in there, too. No complaints there, obviously!

Okay, that’s about it. I am looking forward to next week when I will be using the week for practice and training before heading to Colombia for an exhibition match with Camilo Villegas, Angel Cabrera and Sebastián Muñoz. It will be another new country and experience for me in 2016 so I am looking forward to it!. More on that in my next report.

In the meantime, follow me on Twitter @TheBig_Easy.

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