All the latest news from the world of golf, Ernie Els Wines, and across Ernie’s philanthropic interests, plus a dip into Ernie’s career archive.
1. Ernie’s 2021 Kit List
Ernie started this season with no major changes to his equipment, save for Srixon’s 2021 launch of its updated ZX irons and a new Z Star golf ball, both of which were in Ernie’s bag when he teed it up in his first event of the year on the Champions Tour in Hawaii. Read on to see the model and specs of Ernie’s full set of clubs, clothing, shoes and golf ball.
Driver: XXIO Eleven driver, 10.5 degrees
3-wood: XXIO Eleven 3-wood, 14 degrees, EvenFlow Blue 6.5 85x shaft
Irons 2-5: Srixon ZX utility irons with KBS S-taper 130X shaft
Irons 6-9: Srixon ZX irons with KBS S-taper 130X shaft (pictured below)
Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore wedges 52MB, 56MB, 60LB with KBS S taper 130X
Golf Ball: Srixon Z Star XV
Shoes: Puma IGNITE PWRADAPT Caged
Apparel: Bobby Jones & Sunice Sports
2. Bringing in the harvest at Ernie Els Wines
Harvest season is underway at Ernie Els Wines, an exciting time marked in traditional fashion with winemaker Louis Strydom performing a sabrage. This centuries-old ceremonial technique for opening a champagne bottle is usually performed with a saber, although fittingly Strydom skilfully did the deed with a golf club. Watch here: https://fb.watch/3T31Y8VI8W/
Strydom then showed a similarly deft touch by using the cork as a tee and hitting a decent pitch on to the vineyard’s chipping green.
Meanwhile, the team announced the release of its 2017 vintage of the Ernie Els Proprietor’s Blend (pictured below). This was a fantastic year at Ernie Els Wines and this is evident in the outstanding quality of this wine, which was given an impressive score of 94 Points by Tim Atkin, an award-winning wine writer and Master of Wine with over 30 years’ industry experience. Please click here to purchase online for R300 a bottle.
3. Ernie endorses evTS Firefly ESV electric vehicle
ev Transportation Services, Inc. an electric vehicle manufacturer focused on the essential services and urban mobility markets, announced in January that Ernie would be endorsing the company’s flagship all-electric, FireFly ESV lightweight commercial utility vehicle and serve as the company’s global brand ambassador.
“We are proud to have excited the interest in our vehicle by such a well known and talented sportsman,” said evTS Chairman and CEO David Solomont. “It is an honor to be associated with a gentleman who is respected not only in South Africa, but throughout the world for his competitive spirit, genuine personality and extensive philanthropic work.”
Ernie said, “We’ve been in talks with evTS for a while and I’ve been impressed by the company’s products and services, as well as its focus and ambition in the specialty vehicle market. We all know where the world is heading in terms of the switch to electric vehicles and we feel evTS has unique opportunities and competitive advantages in the commercial sector. It’s exciting for me to be able to jump on board and I look forward to working with the team and proudly representing the company on my travels around the world.”
ev Transportation Services Inc. (“evTS”) is a specialty vehicle manufacturer that produces purpose built, all-electric lightweight commercial utility vehicles and provides fleet management solutions. The Boston-based company is currently focused on the essential services transportation and urban mobility markets, which represent an annual domestic replacement market of approximately 100,000 vehicles, or roughly $2.5 billion annually. End user applications for the company’s vehicles include parking management, security and perimeter patrol, parks and sidewalk maintenance, utility meter reading, property and building management, airports, seaports, sanitation, university and corporate campuses, and last mile on-demand urban delivery.
For more information, visit the company’s website at www.evts.com.
4. ASM helping students chase ‘American Dream’
ASM Scholarships, founded in 2018 by CEO Christopher Vidal and Ernie Els, announced at the start of the year that it has now helped over 1,000 students secure sports scholarships at universities in America. ASM continues to support its clients throughout college until graduation and then assists in finding them professional sports or employment opportunities.
“We’re really motoring now in this initiative with ASM,” comments Ernie. “It’s great to see. And obviously all of us on the team, at The Els Group and at ASM, is proud to be able to help these kids fulfil their ‘American Dream’ by competing against the best in the world and more importantly receiving an education.”
ASM now has a team of 27 staff members, all whom have been on sports scholarships in America, working in offices in the US, Portugal, UK and South Africa. In addition, the company has over 250 agents operating worldwide.
Piet Pieters at The Els Group adds, “We’ve recruited students from 94 countries in 19 different sports, which is amazing. We also partnered several prestigious academies around the world, including with Sir Nick Faldo and Leeds United Football Club. Our goal remains simple: utilising sports scholarships as a vehicle to create a seamless pathway for students (aged 14-plus) to college in the US and eventually into either a professional career in their sport or a workplace of their choice that suits their individual talents.”
5. From the Archives
A few standout moments from this week in Ernie’s career. In 2007, playing in the Johnnie Walker Classic in Phuket, Ernie survived this playful encounter with an elephant (pictured below) and made his 82nd consecutive cut on the European Tour, an extraordinary run that is still an all-time Tour record. On the same day 11 years later, Ernie won the 2008 Honda Classic at PGA National. “This was a special tournament,” commented Ernie. “Never shooting over par all week on a very, very difficult golf course, with probably the toughest finishing stretch we play on the PGA TOUR, is very satisfying.”