All the latest news and stories from the world of golf, Ernie Els Design, Ernie Els Wines, and across Ernie’s philanthropic interests, plus a dip into the archives for one of the standout moments in Ernie’s career.
1. Presidents Cup update: A captain’s blog…
As the top-8 qualifiers for the International team were announced, captain Ernie Els talked strategy, analytics and also assessed the individual qualities of the men that have now punched their tickets to Royal Melbourne.
Marc Leishman: Marc has been the most consistent player on our team. Being Australian, it’s going to be a big week for him. I think he can take a leading role. He’s played quite a few of these now and he can give a lot of knowledge to my players. He’s definitely going to be one of my leader group guys.
Hideki Matsuyama: Hideki is a great and talented player. This will be his fourth Presidents Cup and he’s going to be very familiar with what it’s all about. He’s not been on a winning team, we came close in Muirfield and Korea so I can see him being very keen to win. He’s had a few close run-ins with the U.S. Team, so he’ll be ready to fight. His character is that he’s a winner. He’s won some of the big events that we have out here. He takes it very seriously.
Louis Oosthuizen: Louis is just so solid as a player. He’s a team guy and I can’t ask for a better player to be on this team. He’s got a great sense of humour and he can keep the guys loose. Everything you can think of in a team environment, that’s Louis. He loves the competition. He loves getting up for it and he’s great in a team format.
Adam Scott: I remember playing with Adam in his very first one in 2003 and he’s been on every team since then. He’s really stepped up to the plate to make this team. He was not in the team when qualifying started but he’s played himself into the team. He’s very vocal and very much up for it. With all the new stuff that I’ve brought into the team, he’s really bought into it and it gives me confidence to keep steering the team ahead. He’s the pillar of this team.
Abraham Ancer: Winning the Aussie Open, he understands the Australian culture of golf. I know how much he wants it. A real steely player. I played with him at The Open a few weeks ago, he drove it well and he’s a really good, solid player all round and someone I’m happy to have on the team.
Haotong Li: Haotong is a strong player and he’s got a great game. I’ve played with him many times and at The Open two years ago where he nearly won with a 63 in the final round. He’s got all the qualities of a world-class player and maybe become No. 1 in the world one day. He’s that kind of talent. I like his style of play and he’ll be great in the team environment. He’s quite a lively character and he’s quite outspoken in a confident way. He’ll carry his weight in the team room very well. Good putter, and on his day, he can go as low as anybody. I am really excited to have him on the team.
C.T. Pan: CT is a newcomer and we’ll do our homework to get him comfortable in the team environment and get him the right partner. Overall, he’s got a very sound game. He manages his game very well and he’s a good putter. As a rookie and a person from Chinese Taipei, it’s a big deal.
Cameron Smith: Cameron is very solid. With Marc Leishman last year, they played good at the World Cup of Golf. He’s very familiar with the golf course and surroundings and I’m looking for him and the other Australians to have a good week. If they can, the fans will be really involved. Cameron is kind of the young star in Australia now and he can really make a difference for us. They will be one of the pairings which will come up automatically not only through the data that will show but through their World Cup performance which was phenomenal. We will look at them as a potential pairing, absolutely.
Ernie goes on to say…
“Summing up, this is as good as I could have asked for. I’ve got guys who have played in the Presidents Cup many times and I’ve got rookies. The guys who are pillars of our team have really stepped up to take their places in this team. I’m impressed how they’ve conducted themselves. For the top eight, I think the one-year qualifying cycle has worked well. The guys knew they had to play well this season and they showed it. For instance, Adam Scott played himself right into this team. He was nowhere near when qualifying started and he’s played great since we started. Same with Louis Oosthuizen who stepped it up. They obviously had a plan of trying to make this team and I’m happy they did.
“Looking ahead, the captain’s four picks will be announced during the week commencing November 4. There’s been talk about me being a playing captain, but that isn’t happening. I want to be driving the ship, I want to be in the engine room and be there for the guys. It is hard to do that and also play golf.
“We’re really going to work now with my analytics team. This kind of thing never really came into the equation back in the day, but it’s different now. We have in-depth stats and a process that we believe helps us match-up players. That’s why the captain’s four picks might not necessarily be the next players on the list; it’s more a case of selecting the next best four complimentary players to the eight that we already have. Then it’s about getting the guys to connect on a personality level. It’s a challenge for the Internationals to gel as a team when you’ve got multiple nations involved, but that’s been a major focus of ours these past 10 months, to help get everyone over the uncomfortable zone and feeling like a team. We’re happy with the prep we’ve done on that front and, of course, in the coming weeks and months our efforts only intensify.”
2. Ernie launches new pet treats business
Ernie Els Pet Products launched last month with an exciting new range of nutritional, tasty training treats for dogs and cats.
Manufactured in FDA and USDA approved plants, Ernie Els Champion Dog Training Treats & Pet Treats for Cats are both available in chicken and salmon flavours. They contain no nasties; only human-grade, natural ingredients sourced from ethical suppliers exclusively in the US (chicken) or Chile (salmon). Seven treats are offered initially, with eight more coming in the latter part of 2019. All products can be made with CBD oil.
“Food is fuel; we know how true that is for athletes,” says Ernie, a lifelong dog owner. “The same ethos holds true for your dog or cat. As responsible owners, keeping our pets active and healthy through proper nutrition is something we should all take seriously. That’s what Ernie Els Champion Dog Training Treats & Pet Treats for Cats are all about. Basically, doing right by your beloved pet.”
Els personally launched the product at SuperZoo in August 2019. Produced by World Pet Association, this annual, must-attend show attracts more than 10,000 retailers, product suppliers and service providers. Ernie was on-site, meeting visitors, introducing the product and signing autographs.
“SuperZoo was the perfect platform for us to launch our product,” said Ernie. “It was a lot of fun meeting the trade and also the pet owners, who were excited about our Champion Training Treats. So too were the dogs! It is an entirely new arena for me and it’s a great product. I love the idea that we can use my name to help give our four-legged foodies healthier, happier lives.”
Visit the website: www.floridapettreats.com.
Telephone: 561 409 0379
3. An American road trip with Els Iced Coffee
It sounds like some road trip. Capitol Hill, Pebble Beach, Yosemite National Park, the Golden Gate Bridge, Napa Valley, the iconic Biltmore Estate in North Carolina, the beautiful Preserve Club & Residences on Rhode Island. And it is!
Indeed, this is just a small snapshot from the itinerary that Cayce Kerr, co-founder of Els Iced Coffee, embarked upon at the start of this summer. And he ain’t stopping any time soon. Awareness for this exciting new drink, best served chilled, is snowballing at quite the rate. Els Iced Coffee is on a roll.
“Our brand is growing by leaps and bounds like you can’t imagine,” says Kerr. “Lots of great things are happening and it’s truly an exciting time for us. I’m loving being out on the road ‘pressing some flesh’, meeting our customers and connecting people with our product. They love it, they tell their friends, word spreads. Hey…that’s what makes the world go round, folks.”
Also this summer, Ernie welcomed Steven Jackson to the team as Partner & COO at Els Iced Coffee. Jackson is an experienced entrepreneur with a proven track record in the alcoholic-beverage industry. Since 2007, Jackson has held multiple roles within the industry. His vast knowledge of the supplier and distributor channels make him a perfect for this new role. His last seat was with Southern Glazer Wine & Spirits managing a $40 million dollar book of business across three States.
“In this ever-changing industry, the most powerful and enduring brands are built from the heart,” comments Jackson. “They are real and sustainable. Their foundations are stronger because they are built with the strength of the human spirit, not an ad campaign. The companies that are lasting are those that are authentic. This is the reason I am a part of Els Iced Coffee.”
Els Iced Coffee launched in 2017 with three flavours (original, chocolate and mint chocolate). The key ingredients are fresh cream from a dairy in Wisconsin, a blend of coffee flavours and, of course, alcohol. It is the first such product available in the US with a 12.5% ABV content, which partly helps explain its unique taste.
Contact & Sales
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4. From the Archive
5 September – On this day in 2010 Ernie completed his 758th consecutive week in the Top-10 of the Official World Golf Ranking, a record that still stands to this day. Ernie won four times that calendar year: back-to-back on the PGA TOUR at the WGC – CA Championship and Arnold Palmer Invitational, followed by the PGA Grand Slam of Golf in Bermuda and lastly the South African Open at Durban Country Club in December.