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All the latest news and stories from the world of golf, Ernie Els Design, Ernie Els Wines, and across Ernie’s philanthropic interests.

1. Ernie announces ambitious new designs on Zimbali Lakes in South Africa
Ernie Els has signed a deal with Kuwait Stock Exchange-listed IFA Hotels & Resorts to create a golf course and associated facilities at the R10 billion Zimbali Lakes development on the KwaZulu-Natal North Coast. It will include an Ernie Els Signature Golf Course, Els Performance Golf Academy, Ernie Els Suites, an apartment development linked to the golf academy for around 200 students, and a Big Easy Bar & Grill. This combination of facilities is the first such set-up by Ernie and his award-winning design firm on the African continent and is expected to boost golf tourism to South Africa.

“We are excited to partner with Zimbali Lakes and IFA Hotels & Resorts as we share like-minded ambitions and values,” commented Ernie. “What we’re creating here is going to be very special indeed. This is a perfect opportunity for us due to Zimbali Lakes’ location, close to the King Shaka International Airport, and also with some of the best schools in South Africa in close proximity.”

Speaking of the wider virtues of this area, Ernie went on to say, “Ballito has more gated communities per square metre than any other area in South Africa, which boasts many high-end properties that others around the world would love to call home. Club Med choosing to develop just north of Ballito indicates that this will now become an international destination, and with that comes huge international investment opportunities and exposure.”

Ernie also announced that he will set-up a home at Zimbali Lakes. “Many people will know that my primary home is in Florida, however my family will always call South Africa home,” he commented. “Being able to spend time in a quality location such as this, where security, privacy, and lifestyle come first, is not too hard a decision. Also, the mild weather conditions on the north coast during the winter months will be perfect to spend time with my family and friends here.”

Wayne Krambeck, senior vice-president of operations at Zimbali Lakes, added, “Ernie building at the estate is one of the most exciting aspects of our relationship with him. He knows this is one of the hottest property markets in South Africa at the moment.”

Werner Burger, CEO of IFA Hotels & Resorts South Africa, said the deal marks a turning point for the golf tourism industry in the country and the continent. “We are pleased to announce our partnership with the Ernie Els Group. This collaboration will strengthen our position in the market and enable us to provide enhanced lifestyle solutions and services to our residents, visitors to the region and to South Africa as a whole. By combining our expertise and resources, we will drive innovation, customer satisfaction, and business growth.”

“We believe this will be a great fit that will benefit everyone,” commented Ernie. “Around 20 years ago, I had initial discussions with Mr Burger about doing a project together so I was pleased when he approached me about the opportunity at Zimbali Lakes. We believe this will probably be one of the last golf course residential developments to be constructed in South Africa.”

For more information on Ernie Els Design, visit the website:

2. Seven major champions chip-in to help raise $800,000 for Els for Autism
Ernie welcomed 17 of his fellow tour professionals, combining for a total of 17 major championships between them, alongside 58 amateurs for a day of fun and fundraising at this year’s annual Els for Autism Pro Am. As is customary at this event, a pairings party and dinner took place the previous evening at The Els Center of Excellence, with the great Jack Nicklaus in attendance. This was followed by golf the next day at the splendid Old Palm Golf Club in nearby Palm Beach Gardens, a golf course designed by Raymond Floyd who was part of the stellar line-up of tour pros playing that day. By the end of proceedings, an impressive $800,000 had been fundraised, with every cent and dollar going to The Els for Autism Foundation. 

Writing on social media later that evening, Ernie commented “Sending my personal thanks to all the participants and sponsors who made our latest Els for Autism Wine Spectator Cigar Aficionado Pro Am such a special day. Once again, we are humbled by the spirit of kindness and generosity that contributed to another incredible fundraising total. And special thanks to my friends at NetJets for their continued support for Els for Autism and the incredible work being done to help children with autism and their families. This is life-changing and our life’s work.”

For more information on Els for Autism, including details of how to donate, please visit the official website:

3. Construction begins at Oleada Golf Links on Mexico’s Baja peninsula
This Ernie Els Design course will form part of a new 860-acre oceanfront resort community on the southern point of Mexico’s Baja peninsula. This spectacular parcel of land has an intricate maze of windswept dunes and sandy ridges, which offer sheltered valleys and winding corridors, ideal for the placement of golf holes. Ernie, a two-time winner of the Open, has a special fondness for links golf and a deep knowledge of how seaside breezes dictate shot values and strategy. 

“Mother Nature did a great job here, so our vision is to build a golf course that harmonizes with its environment,” commented Ernie. “Because the native contours and dune formations are so good, very little earthmoving will be required. 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 best and most beautiful courses we’ve ever built.”

Along with the golf course, OLEADA will offer: oceanfront living; world-class resorts; a nursery, orchard and garden; nature, fitness, hiking and biking trails; and much more. Every amenity will be created through a hospitality and wellness centered mindset aimed to provide opportunities to enjoy life at its fullest.

“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.” 

The course is due to be finished in 2026 and will be open to the public from day one. To learn more about OLEADA Pacific Living & Golf, visit

For more information on Ernie Els Design, including a full list of the golf courses in the firm’s expanding portfolio, visit the website: 

4. Ernie announced as a captain’s assistant for the 2024 Presidents Cup
Mike Weir has selected Ernie as one of his captain’s assistants for the International Team at this year’s Presidents Cup, which will be played at The Royal Montreal Golf Club in Canada for the second time in the event’s history. Ernie will be alongside fellow captain’s assistants Trevor Immelman, Geoff Ogilvy and Camilo Villegas. 

Writing on social media after the announcement, Ernie commented: “I’m really looking forward to being a captain’s assistant to @mweirsy for the @presidentscup in September at The Royal Montreal Golf Club. This wonderful competition has been a big part of my life ever since I played my first match almost 30 years ago. It’s an intense and enjoyable week and I love being a part of it. Our international team has an incredible spirit; we’re all determined to give it our maximum effort and see if we can win it for Weirsy on his home turf!”

Ernie played in eight Presidents Cup teams between 1996 and 2013: Played 40, Won 20, Lost 18, Halved 2. Ernie then went on to captain the Internationals at the 2019 Presidents Cup in Australia. 

5. Sometimes the best things come to those that wait!
The team at Ernie Els Wines is pleased to announce that its 2014 Ernie Els Signature Cape Bordeaux Red Blend has achieved a Top-10 result in this year’s 10-Year-Old Wine Report convened by in association with Amorim Cork. It is proof once more of the skills of the winery’s long-standing winemaker, Louis Strydom, and his ability to produce wines of such quality that they will gracefully age for a decade or more.

Tasting Notes: ”The 2014 vintage was matured for 20 months in barrel, 80% new. Red and black berries, violets, some leafiness and earth on the nose. The palate is full but balanced. Impressive depth of fruit and fresh acidity before a savoury finish. Plenty of detail.”

We still have some bottles of the 2014 vintage in our cellar and available to purchase, but you may have to act fast! Please feel free to contact us at: