The whole family has enjoyed a wonderful couple of weeks in the UK. This place is hard to beat when the weather behaves…which it has just recently.
There’s been lots going on, for sure. Liezl and I have been to Wimbledon a few times to watch the tennis. That’s always a real treat. I’ve been to watch some test cricket at Lords with my buddy Kevin Pietersen…and I even did a short stint with Michael Atherton and Shaun Pollock in the Sky Sports commentary box. Click goo.gl/tVGc7P to see that. We had some fun that day. I’ve also played some social golf, enjoyed a braai some evenings at the house, and we’ve also been catching-up with a few friends.
The next few weeks were shaping up pretty good, too, with two weeks of fantastic links golf to look forward to – the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open at Dundonald Links, the fourth event on the European Tour’s new Rolex Series, followed by The Open Championship at Royal Birkdale the following week. It doesn’t get any better than that.
Sadly, due to personal reasons I’ve had to withdraw from this week’s Scottish, which was a real shame. I’d heard great things about Dundonald Links and was looking forward to the challenge of a traditional, pure links test, located on that same beautiful stretch of coastline as Turnberry. It looks like everything is in place for a special week, though, with a superb venue, a strong field, a great sponsor and wonderful fans who really know their golf. I wish everyone well and, again, I’m sorry I can’t be there.
Of course, that means I’ll be turning my attention to next week’s Open and obviously that’s always an exciting prospect. More on that in next week’s report. For now, I just want to mention again that the 2017 Golf Challenge is now in full swing and going really well. This charity-driven event, now in its seventh year, consists of a number of regional events at top-rated courses across the US and Canada from May through September, with a Grand Finale in October at The Breakers in Palm Beach.
In recent weeks, we’ve visited iconic venues such as Hazeltine National, Philadelphia Country Club and Chambers Bay. And in the coming weeks we’ll be at some other standout venues including TPC Boston, Liberty National and Harbour Town Links, among others. As in previous years, we’re blessed with a really incredible schedule and we’re grateful to all the golf clubs that support us and, of course, to all the players who take part and raise funds for Els for Autism. Remember, every single charity dollar helps us in our drive to better understand the aspirations of people with autism spectrum disorder and help them to fulfil their potential to lead positive, productive and rewarding lives.
It’s the same with another of our fundraising initiatives in South Africa, the Drive to SA Open, which is also proving to be a huge success. We’ve had great support, with more than 100 competitors taking part at each of the events so far. In fact, at our latest event at Randpark this week we had 144 players teeing it up. Seems everything about this year’s Drive to SA Open is bigger and better than last year! Thanks to our sponsors on the day, Sizwe Group, and to Craig McCloud, Karl Bauwermeister, Lemon & Lime, and to Francois Swart and his team for looking after Els for Autism once again in such wonderful fashion. We really appreciate it. If you’d like to take part in any of our regional events, visit http://www.ernieelscentre4autism.co.za/events.asp or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for your interest and your support.
Finally, I thought you might like to take a look at a video, which was part of an interview that I recently did for a cover story in the latest issue of GOLF magazine in the US. Click here: http://www.golf.com/els. Thanks guys, it was a lot of fun!
Okay, that’s about it for now. Follow me on Twitter @TheBig_Easy.