All the latest news and stories from the world of golf, Ernie Els Design, and across Ernie’s various philanthropic interests, plus a dip into the archives for one of the standout moments in Ernie’s career.
1. Ernie set to swing back into action at the RBC Heritage at Hilton Head
It seems a long time ago – and a very different world – since we all last enjoyed some live competitive golf. Indeed for Ernie, his last tournament appearance was at the Hoag Classic way back at the beginning of March, when he registered his first victory on the Champions Tour.. So Ernie’s sense of excitement at getting back into the swing of tournament golf at the upcoming RBC Heritage is understandable, palpable and no doubt shared by golfers and golf fans all over the world.
“Yeah, I’m keener than ever to get out and play some tournament golf again,” said Ernie. “It’s been a while. And I think Liezl is keen to get me out of the house, too,” he joked “Seriously, though, it’s hard to think of many better places to return to action than at beautiful Hilton Head. It’s always been one of my favourite stops on the PGA TOUR. I know a lot of the guys feel the same way, too.
“Obviously this is going to be a very different vibe to what we’re used to. And of course we’ll miss the fans. But keeping everyone safe – players, caddies and tournament personnel – has to be the priority for now. And in any case, it’ll be a wonderful week I’m sure. We all want to see sport returning. And hopefully golf fans all around the world will be just as relieved to be watching some golf on television as we are to be out here playing again. I can’t wait.”
After the RBC Heritage, Ernie will then tee if up at another of his favourite events, the Memorial Tournament, followed by an appearance in the Ally Challenge on the re-configured 2020/21 Champions Tour schedule.
2. Leisure club at The Els Club Dubai nears completion
When The Els Club Dubai celebrated its 10-year anniversary in 2018, ambitious plans were set in motion to create a leisure club that would match the world-class standards of the rest of the club’s facilities and Ernie Els Design golf course. Just two years on and this multi-story, much awaited expansion is in its final phase.
When completed, this 5-star leisure facility will boast an urban-chic gym, a stunning restaurant and two swimming pools accompanied by a pool bar and a kids’ pool. Although all active golf members at The Els Club Dubai will have full access to the facilities, The Els Club will also be offering a new sector of membership termed ‘The Social Membership’. This will be available for non-golfing members, giving them access to the gym and swimming pools.
The expected date for opening is September 2020, just in time for the season to start in Dubai. Along with being the only golf club in the region with such a substantial leisure facility, The Els Club Dubai promises a country club type escape within the community of Dubai Sports City. The offering is targeted towards families and will serve as a compliment to the award winning ‘desert links’ golf course.
3. Els Performance Golf Academy wins again
Els Performance Golf Academy [EPGA] in Vietnam has been voted ‘Best Academy & Range’ at the Vietnam Golf Awards for the second consecutive year. The facility, located in the beautiful master-planned Ecopark residential community close to Hanoi, was also awarded ‘World’s Best Par-3 Course’ at the World Golf Awards in 2019.
“It is an honour for us all at EPGA to once again receive this prestigious award as “best golf academy” in the Vietnam Golf Awards held at the stunning Hanoi Opera House,” commented Andrew Matthews, Managing Director EPGA. “As a 5-star academy, the coaching plays a huge part in our success, and our elite team of PGA coaches and teaching assistants have done an awesome job and will continue to help improve their clients’ golf games and strive to set new standards for coaching in Vietnam.”
Matthews goes on to say, “The whole EPGA team works tirelessly to deliver exceptional levels of customer care, and to ensure we exceed the customers expectations at all points on their journey with us. We have also been working closely with the Vietnam Golf Association [VGA], to promote golf in Vietnam. As the official academy of the VGA, it is important for us to keep progressing and moving the game forward. This country has such huge potential in the world of golf and we are proud to be playing our part in its growth and popularity.”
The coaching staff at EPGA Vietnam have also been adding new technology to the facility’s teaching toolbox. “Hackmotion is one of our latest additions,” says Head Teaching Professional Quintin van der Berg. “It’s very easy to use and instant wrist data is available after every shot for clubface corrections. It also has live bio-feedback mode to do ‘real feel’ training.”
Van der Berg adds, “A few of our instructors are also due to be completing US Kidsgolf certification to further allow them to add additional skill sets to our already popular ‘Little Easy’ Young Athlete program.”
For more information visit the website: http://elsperformancegolfacademy.com.
4. From the Archives
9 June: On this day in 1996, Ernie won the Buick Classic at Westchester CC, New York, with rounds of 65, 66, 69, 71 for a 13-under par aggregate. Ernie would return the following year and defend his title with four rounds in the 60s.