All the latest news and stories from the world of golf, Ernie Els Design, Ernie Els Wines, and across Ernie’s philanthropic interests.
1. 12th annual Golf Challenge hits its fundraising target
A total of 687 teams, 1,373 participants and 667 separate donations amounting to $3,528,385 are the key numbers behind the 2022 Golf Challenge, the 12th instalment of this groundbreaking series of regional fundraising golf events at top-rated courses across the US and Canada. And last month all the winners, sponsors and top fundraisers gathered at the now traditional Grand Finale, a two-day extravaganza of golf and entertainment at the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar in Nassau, Bahamas, including a round at the spectacular Ernie Els-designed Albany golf course. Ernie and Liezl are pictured above at the event with the team from Els for Autism (from left-to-right; Lily Jezerinac, Liezl Els, Paige Thomas, Olivia Butler, Dr. Marlene Sotelo, Jennifer Nicholas, Dr. Erin Broker Lozott, Ernie Els).
“The Grand Finale is one of the highlights of the year for Liezl and me,” commented Ernie. “It’s a pleasure for us and the rest of the team at Els for Autism to spend time with everyone who earns their place at the Grand Finale and to have some fun together. Liezl and I have spoken about this before; we’re humbled by their commitment and efforts to raise money for our foundation. They have our sincere gratitude and respect. They’re literally helping change peoples’ lives, making a positive impact for individuals and families affected by autism spectrum disorder. And the results of their fundraising efforts are evident every day in the wonderful work being done at The Els Center of Excellence.”
Since its inception in 2011, over 20,000 rounds have been played in the Golf Challenge and a total of over $33 million has been raised, an incredible achievement. Every dollar and cent benefits the Els for Autism Foundation, which is committed to better understanding the aspirations of people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and helping them to fulfill their potential to lead positive, productive and rewarding lives, through:
- Understanding the nature of ASD and facilitating the development and delivery of treatment therapies, educational programs, training programs, and recreational programs as well as residential and independent living programs.
- The development of global outreach that will facilitate the sharing of best practices and programs.
- Raising awareness and promoting the value, acceptance and inclusion of people with ASD.
To sign up for updates and news on how to participate in the 2023 Golf Challenge, please visit the website: https://e4agolf.com.
2. Francis Ouimet Scholarship Fund announces honor for Ernie Els
Ernie will receive the 2023 Francis Ouimet Award at the organisation’s annual banquet on April 3, in recognition of his contribution to golf and the community through his philanthropic endeavors, notably the Els for Autism Foundation. The Francis Ouimet Scholarship Fund awards millions of dollars in need-based college scholarships each year to deserving young men and women who have worked at Massachusetts golf courses.
“First of all, I want to thank the team at the Francis Ouimet Scholarship Fund for this honor, commented Ernie. “Like most golfers, I know the incredible story of Francis Ouimet, a poor 20-year old local caddie who beat two of the game’s greatest players in a playoff to win the 1913 US Open. Mr Ouimet then went on to achieve great things off the golf course. He was a true gentleman, a kind man who never forgot his humble roots. So this scholarship is a fitting legacy – golf changed his life and this fund in his name does the same thing, providing opportunities for young people to obtain a college education. It’s something we’re passionate about too and, indeed, it’s the cornerstone of our work at the Ernie Els & Fancourt Foundation in South Africa. I congratulate the team at the Francis Ouimet Scholarship Fund on everything that they’re doing.”
Ernie went on to say, “This award means a lot to me. And to be joining a roll call of past recipients that includes some of my own personal heroes such as Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player, that’s the icing on the cake. Liezl and I are very much looking forward to the annual banquet in April; it sounds like it’s going to be a special evening.”
Francis Ouimet is one of the most honored players in history. He shook up the golfing world winning the 1913 US Open, one of the greatest upsets in the history of sport. He won the U.S. Amateur in 1914 and 1931. He also played on the first eight Walker Cup Teams and was Captain of the next four. Revered as a golfing goodwill ambassador, he became the first American elected Captain of the R&A in 1951. He has been named to every golf Hall of Fame, has a room named after him in the USGA Museum. The U.S. Senior Open Trophy is also named after him, as are several others around the country. The Francis Ouimet Scholarship Fund began a Francis Ouimet Award for Lifelong Contributions to Golf.
3. Ernie Els Biltong launches in pro shops in the US
It was in the latter part of 2019 when Ernie launched a range of Biltong, a popular traditional South African product made by seasoning and drying meat. It began with online sales and is now being rolled-out in selected pro shops across the United States. “This Ernie Els Biltong is seriously good stuff,” says Ernie. “The flavour is just how I like it. It’s an authentic South African recipe, a tasty and nutritious, high protein product, the perfect high-energy snack for golfers, athletes, or anyone on-the-go leading a busy life.”
Biltong is a cured and dried meat product that dates all the way back to the European settlers in Southern Africa in the 17th century. With limited resources and no way to protect their meat from the hot climate, the settlers refined the curing process as a necessary means of preservation. Standing the test of time, this delicious and effective curing process is still utilised around the world. It’s a great natural source of vitamin B-12, iron, and protein, helping with muscle maintenance and assisting in the creation of red blood cells and the restoration of amino acid supply. With a multitude of nutritional benefits and an unbeatable flavour, Biltong is one of the world’s most popular snacks.
“Here at Ernie Els Biltong, we pride ourselves in bringing together the traditional South African inspired recipe and quality USA products to make an outstanding biltong,” commented a spokesperson for the company.
For online orders, visit the website www.ernieelsbiltongusa.com.
4. Ernie Els Wines Christmas Specials available now online
Halloween is done and dusted, so in most circles it’s probably socially acceptable to at least have a glance forward to Christmas! With that in mind, Ernie Els Wines has launched some gift box sets featuring some of its wines, including the award winning 2015 vintage of the iconic Bordeaux-style Signature blend. The team has also announced that its recently released Major Series Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 has received a Double Gold Medal in the prestigious Veritas Awards.
Click here for more information or to place an order for any of the Ernie Els Wines Christmas Specials and indeed its wider portfolio of wines.