Ernie Els Design Newsletter

29 May

All the latest news and stories from the world of Ernie Els Design & Hospitality.

1. Ernie announces new golf course design on Mexico’s stunning Baja peninsula
OLEADA Pacific Living & Golf, a brand-new 860-acre oceanfront resort community on the southern point of Mexico’s stunning Baja peninsula, is the location for the latest golf course design project in the Ernie Els Design portfolio. OLEADA Golf Links Los Cabos will be an 18-hole links-style championship course, situated 15 minutes from downtown Cabo San Lucas, set along OLEADA’s expansive one mile stretch of golden sand beach. With the Pacific Ocean as a backdrop for the breathtaking desert landscape, OLEADA will offer a unique untamed luxury experience that melds an unparalleled collection of resort and residential options. 

“This is an exciting project for our firm,” says Ernie. “Our goal will be to build a core golf course that harmonizes with nature. We envision a compact design that drapes naturally on the land, steps lightly on nature’s toes and functions as an environmental steward of the site’s indigenous flora and fauna. With its rolling dunes, elevation changes and majestic desert-meets-ocean setting, I believe we can produce a versatile test that will rank among the most beautiful courses we’ve ever built. We’re expecting completion in 2026 and it’ll be open to the public from day one. Thank you to everyone at OLEADA for making us feel so welcome. We’ve really enjoyed our site visits and we are looking forward to coming back again very soon.”

The site for the new golf course, a spectacular parcel of land on the Pacific Ocean, has an intricate maze of windswept dunes and sandy ridges. These natural landforms offer sheltered valleys and winding corridors ideal for the placement of golf holes. Ernie, a two-time winner of the Open Championship, has a special fondness for links courses and a deep knowledge of how seaside breezes dictate shot values and strategy. 

“Alongside introducing OLEADA to the world, we are honored to announce a spectacular championship course by Ernie Els, one of golf’s greatest players,” said Federico Gaxiola, project director at OLEADA Pacific Living & Golf. “As we create a destination founded in responsible luxury, we selected Ernie because of his true understanding of sustainable development and sound environmental practices.” 

To learn more about OLEADA Pacific Living & Golf, please visit the official website: oleadaloscabos.com.

2. Lido Lakes in Indonesia nears completion
Ernie Els Design’s senior design associate Greg Letsche was on site at Lido Lakes Resort in Sukabumi, West Java, Indonesia earlier this year and sent back some striking images, and a glowing report, as the golf course nears completion.

“It’s exciting that our firm’s first design in Indonesia is on such a great piece of land,” commented Ernie. “That allowed us to create a great golf experience, but also offer tremendous views over the surrounding mountains and valleys. Everything is looking great. For Greg, myself, and everyone on the team, that feeling of seeing a design come to life never gets old. The guys have done an incredible job.”

For more information on Lido Lake Resort, please visit the official website: https://www.lidolakeresort.com/

3. The Els Club Desaru Coast hosts back-to-back MENA Tour events
The Els Club Desaru Coast last month staged back-to-back events on the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) Tour, part of its inaugural Malaysian Swing. It is the sixth Ernie Els-designed course to have hosted a professional Tour event: Albany (The Hero World Challenge), The Els Club Dubai (Dubai Open Golf Championship), The Els Club Copperleaf (Tshwane Open), Anahita Mauritius (Mauritius Golf Masters and AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open), Wentworth West Course (BMW PGA Championship) and The Els Club Desaru Coast (back-to-back events on the MENA Tour in 2023). 

In fact, it’s been an eventful few months for the team at The Els Club Desaru Coast, being voted Malaysia’s Best Golf Course at the 2022 World Golf Awards. The club also received a Silver Award of Excellence for Best Course in Malaysia and a Bronze Award of Excellence for Best Clubhouse in Asia Pacific at the 2022 Asian Golf Awards.

“We’re all extremely proud of what we’ve created at Desaru Coast and it’s gratifying to see the team getting the recognition they deserve; hosting these MENA Tour events is another feather in their cap,” said Ernie. “The three-nines layout of the Ocean Course has stunning views of the South China Sea and plays through the native rainforest vegetation with strategic-placed water bodies. It’s a varied and very well-balanced test of golf. The Valley Course, which we designed in partnership with Vijay Singh and which hosted the recent Tour events, is a different proposition. Small, well-guarded greens, big undulations and dramatic views combine to offer another memorable experience. The 45 holes all together represent a stunning destination for the discerning travelling golfer.”

MENA Tour Tournament Director Stuart Daly said: “We can’t wait to return to The Els Club Desaru Coast. The golf course provides so many opportunities and challenges to the players. The hospitality we have experienced from our hosts in Malaysia has been outstanding. The team at The Els Club Desaru Coast and our official hotel, Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast, have both been world-class.”

Established in 2011, the MENA Tour is one of the 20 ‘Eligible Golf Tours’ recognised by the Official World Golf Ranking. The Tour offers professional and amateur players, in particular from the MENA region, a chance to play competitively at top-class venues, providing them with a platform to showcase their talent and gain experience. 

For more information on The Els Club Desaru Coast, please visit the official website: https://desarucoast.com/elsclub

4. Anahita in Mauritius celebrates its 15th anniversary
Nearly 15 years have passed since our team had the pleasure to design and deliver the superb Anahita Golf Club on the picturesque east coast of Mauritius. The breathtaking 18-hole course faces the iconic Île aux Cerfs and is located within a 213-hectare estate with two 5-star hotels and a prestigious residential development. The course stretches along the island’s largest lagoon and has twice hosted the Afrasia Bank Mauritius Open in 2016 and 2018, tri-sanctioned on the DP World Tour, the Sunshine Tour and the Asian Tour, which has become a global reference point for all golfers visiting this beautiful Indian Ocean destination.

“One of the strengths of this golf course is we were able to maximise the visual impact of the surrounding scenery, but at the same time preserve the coastline’s natural beauty,” explains Ernie. “The hole-routings move in and out of the trees, along the water, and back, giving players great variety and magnificent views of the ocean. Another of the features that makes this course stand out are some of the interesting design touches that we’ve been able to integrate into the layout; such as the use of existing dry-stone walls as strategic hazards, links-style burns and classic, grass-downed bunkers which reveal just a sliver of sand from the player’s-eye view.”

Since its official opening in 2008, Anahita Golf Club has strived to improve the high standards and to offer the best possible experience to all players. Recent efforts have centered on elevating the short game area and the academy, including the installation of a radar system, which enables instructors to analyse swings in meticulous detail and provide valuable data to enhance players’ performance. Anahita Golf Club has also partnered with Callaway to set up a fitting centre, the only one in Mauritius.

These improvements have been driven by the Anahita team under the leadership of its new manager, Tristan Freslon, who arrived earlier this year in January and brings many years of experience from one of Belgium’s most prestigious clubs.

For those who wish to play this superb course, do not hesitate to contact the golf team at events@anahitagolf.com or visit the website: https://www.anahita.mu/en.

5. Hoakalei Country Club in Hawaii hosts LPGA Tour event
Hoakalei Country Club at Ewa Beach, about 20 minutes from Honolulu, hosted the LPGA Tour’s LOTTE Championship for the second year running in April 2023. This spectacular Ernie Els designed golf course, which officially opened for play in 2009, blends in beautifully with the natural landscape of the Ewa coastline, offering expansive vistas of the cherished Ewa plains and the legendary surf bathed in sunshine.

“It was fun watching some of the action on television,” commented Ernie. “Looks like everyone had a great week. The course looked beautiful and the way we configured the hole routings, combined with the trade winds, mean that it’s the type of course that never plays the same from one day to the next. It’s a good test, firm but fair, which is exactly what we had in mind when we designed this course.”

Hoakalei had previously hosted a US Open sectional qualifier in 2010 and was voted one of the ‘Best New Courses of 2009’ by prestigious Links magazine in the US.

For more information, please visit the official website: https://www.hoakaleicountryclub.com/.

More Information
To view the portfolio of Ernie Els Design courses, those open for play and currently in development, please click here: https://ernieels.com/design/portfolio-of-courses/ 

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