Ernie Els Group Newsletter – April 2019

01 Apr

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

1. Ernie becomes first golfer in the OWGR era to register 300 career top-10s
With a tied-7th place finish at last month’s Maybank Championship, Ernie became the first golfer to register 300 career Top-10s since the inception of the Official World Golf Ranking in 1986.

Speaking in Malaysia, Ernie commented “The last three or four years have been a struggle, so I’m really happy that I’m playing good golf again. My body feels good and the ball striking is there now. On the greens I’m starting to feel really comfortable, so that means I can have a chance again to play with these guys. That’s what I want, to feel like I can have a chance playing Saturdays and Sundays and get myself in the mix again. That’s kind of my goal.”

Check out this graph from OWGR guru @Nosferatu…

Here is a list of some of Ernie’s other notable golf records and statistics…

  • Ernie holds the record for the most consecutive weeks inside the Top-10 of the Official World Golf Ranking (758 weeks between 19 June 1994 and 11 January 2009).
  • Ernie holds the record for the most consecutive cuts made on the European Tour (82, from the 2000 Johnnie Walker Classic to the 2007 Johnnie Walker Classic).
  • Holds the European Tour record for the lowest 72-hole total relative to par (29-under par, 2003 Johnnie Walker Classic).
  • Holds the PGA Tour record for the lowest 72-hole total relative to par (31-under par, 2003 Mercedes Championship).
  • Holds the European Tour record for the lowest first 36-hole total relative to par (18-under par, 2003 Johnnie Walker Classic).
  • Holds the European Tour record for the lowest first 54-hole total relative to par (23-under par, 2003 Johnnie Walker Classic).
  • Jointly holds the European Tour record for the most birdies in one round (12, 1994 Dubai Desert Classic).
  • Shot a career low round (60, 12-under par) at the 2004 Heineken Classic at Royal Melbourne.
  • Twice No.1 on the Race to Dubai (2003, ’04).
  • Three times European Tour Player of the Year (1994, ’02, ’03).
  • PGA Tour Rookie of the Year (1994).
  • 13 career hole-in-ones.
  • Ernie has represented South Africa in professional team golf on 22 occasions: 9 Dunhill Cups, 5 World Cups and 8 Presidents Cups. He is captain of the International Team at Royal Melbourne in 2019.
  • Ernie holds the all-time record for number of rounds in the 60s at The Open Championship, a total of 41.
  • Ernie was the first man in history to shoot all four rounds in the 60s in an Open Championship, a feat he achieved at Royal St George’s in 1993. He then did it again at Troon in 2004.

2. Premier Excursions offers ‘VIP Package’ to the 2019 Presidents Cup
Premier Excursions, part of the Premier Africa Group, one of Ernie’s commercial partners, is offering a superb 5-star hosted hospitality package to attend the 2019 Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne in Australia from December 10-16. This is golf viewing, VIP-style, and represents a unique opportunity to enjoy this bi-annual contest, where Ernie and Tiger Woods will lead their respective teams in four days of world-class matchplay golf. This once-in-a-lifetime trip, which has a limited number of places still available, includes the following highlights:

  • 6 nights at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in VIP Club Access Deluxe King Rooms.
  • Exclusive credentials to our private Premier Excursions Suite from Thursday to Sunday.
  • Premier Suite includes premium food and beverages.
  • Suite hosted by Premier Excursions hosts and special guests.
  • Tuesday & Wednesday practice round general admission.
  • Daily luxury transfers.
  • One incredible sightseeing excursion of your choice or play one of Melbourne’s top golf courses.
  • Extended journeys to the highlight destinations in Australia and New Zealand.

Another attraction in the Premier Africa portfolio is Ernie’s ‘Golf, Sights & Safari’ South Africa Collection, which offers three incredible sightseeing, tourism and leisure adventures. These three journeys offer travellers the very best of what South Africa has to offer. Every detail has been meticulously planned to offer an immersive and seamless travel experience.

“The manner in which Premier Africa is able to deliver an African experience is remarkable,” comments Ernie. “Their team of local expert hosts, excursion managers and destination guides all share a passion for South Africa, evident in their delivery and in the feedback from clients.”

For more details on the Presidents Cup VIP package, please visit the dedicated web-page:

For details on any of Premier Africa’s other adventures, please email or telephone +1 866 598 8484.

Bon Voyage!

3. Els for Autism announces partnership with Arcis Golf
Arcis Golf, the second largest owner-operator of private, resort, and daily fee clubs in the US, launches a campaign that expands its partnership with The Els for Autism Foundation, established in 2009 by Liezl and Ernie Els.

The ‘Arcis Round Up For Autism’ program begins in conjunction with April’s now traditional World Autism Awareness Month. At 60 Arcis Golf clubs around the country, members, guests and patrons will be encouraged to ‘round up’ to the nearest dollar on any purchases of merchandise, food and beverage, or golf as a donation to Els for Autism. Additional contributions will be accepted through September, with clubs or individuals raising or donating $15,000 or more invited to send a two-person team to play in the annual Els for Autism Golf Challenge Grand Finale in mid-October.

“Arcis Golf is proud to support the Els for Autism initiative through the participation of our generous members and guests,” said Blake Walker, Founder and CEO of Dallas-based Arcis Golf. “Our goal is to promote the tremendous work of the Foundation, as well as raise funds for programs that create a better future for people with autism spectrum disorder as one in every 59 children in the US is affected by autism.”

“The support and partnership of Arcis Golf is truly appreciated,” said Ernie, who established The Els for Autism Foundation in 2009 with his wife, Liezl, after their son Ben was diagnosed. “By rounding up and engaging golfers in this simplest of actions, we can generate funds to learn more about autism.”

For more information on Els for Autism and the state-of-the-art campus, The Els Center of Excellence, in Florida, with a local, national and global reach, please visit the website:

For more information on Arcis Golf, visit the website:

4. Ernie’s Vietnam design in the running for world’s best par-3 course
The Els Performance Golf Academy [EPGA], one of Asia’s top practice facilities and home to the Vietnam National Golf Team, has been shortlisted in the category of ‘World’s Best Par-3 Course’ at this year’s World Golf Awards.

The World Golf Awards serve to celebrate and reward excellence in golf tourism through an annual awards programme and forms part of the prestigious World Travel Awards. In 2015 Ernie won the ‘Designer of the Year’ award.

Voting for this year’s awards began on 21 February and runs until 15 September. The World Golf Awards Gala Ceremony takes place at The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, Abu Dhabi, on 29 October 2019. Cast your vote here:

The EPGA is located in the beautiful Master planned Ecopark residential community close to the vibrant Vietnamese capital Hanoi.

“Here at EPGA, Ernie has designed a fantastic par-3 course to complement our other 5-star facilities at the No.1 rated golf academy in Vietnam,” comments managing director Andrew Matthews. “This beautiful course caters for all levels of golfers, and is nice test of the short game skills of anyone who plays it. Stunning views of the surrounding Ecopark development and the lush green landscapes around the lake make this course a real joy to play.”

The EPGA has recently appointed a new Director of Instruction. Quintin van der Berg originates from South Africa and is a PGA AAA qualified coach with extensive experience working with players on Tour and at various facilities in Spain and in his homeland.

“I’m extremely honoured to be heading up the EPGA Academy in Hanoi and promoting the brand of fellow countryman Ernie Els,” says Quintin. “I’m passionate about helping players of all abilities take their game to new heights. I also enjoy utilising new technology to provide simple instruction, without any guesswork, to allow golfers to enjoy their game and also get the most of it.”

The EPGA boasts an incredible driving range with grass tees, state of the art teaching studios and technology, as well as a well-maintained 9-hole par-3 course to satisfy all golfers’ needs and provide a practice heaven ideally suited to improving their game. The nearby Ecopark also provides accommodation offers for those wishing to visit and enjoy some of what Vietnam has on offer.

5. Spotlight on Ernie Els Design
It is 10 years since the Ernie Els-designed Hoakalei Country Club in Hawaii officially opened for play. Straight away it was recognised by the prestigious Links magazine in the US, whose panel of experts voted it best new golf course of 2009.

“That was one of our first awards at Ernie Els Design and it was a proud moment for us,” recalls Ernie. “We were thrilled to be entrusted with this wonderful project, which was the first new course to be built on the island for a decade. In terms of construction it remains one of our most challenging projects to date and I think that makes it all the more satisfying when you see what’s been achieved there. The golf course looks absolutely fantastic and the way we configured the hole routings, combined with the trade winds, means it’s the type of course that never plays the same from one day to the next. We continue to hear positive feedback from the team at Hoakalei and the members and tourists who play there.”

Hoakalei Country Club is located on the Hawaiian Island of Oahu, just 20 minutes from Honolulu and overlooking the stunning Ewa coastline.

Speaking at the time of the opening, Nancy H. Maeda, Executive Vice President at Haseko, the developers of Hoakalei, commented: “We felt that the Ernie Els Design team brought a number of strengths to the project. Ernie was very accommodating with his time throughout the planning, design and construction process, which had a huge impact in terms of member cultivation, media relations and community goodwill. We were also extremely impressed by the amount of time the team took to not only study the site but also to understand the culture. The end result was a site plan and design that was truly tailored to our location. It’s been an incredibly rewarding and mutually beneficial relationship from the start. In Hawaii, we have a concept called ‘ohana, which means family, and we’re pleased to say that the Ernie Els Design team has become a member of ours. We continue to stay in touch, even though the course is now complete.”

Nancy also expressed what a positive impact the Ernie Els brand had on the project’s success. “Ernie’s name has been very attractive to our prospective members. But beyond that, his brand is one that complements ours, with a commitment to quality and community. On the golf course side, Ernie has built a reputation for carving courses from natural environments that are both challenging and fun. This is true at Hoakalei; our members really love the course. From the start, they’re hooked and want to play it again because it makes you think about your shots and strategy. It’s very seductive that way.”

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