It’s been a while since my last website report, so let’s see if we can get you up to speed on all the latest news both on and off the golf course.
First of all, we got February rolling with news of me joining the ISPS HANDA stable of global ambassadors. I’m proud to represent a company with such admirable values; they’ve long been great supporters of both professional and grassroots golf. They also must be congratulated for the amazing work that they do in aid of blind and disabled golf across the world. It’s good to be on board.
On the tournament front, February saw us make a couple of stops on the PGA TOUR over in California, teeing it up at Pebble Beach and Riviera. Obviously these are two iconic venues that I always love to return to, but this time it was definitely not with the results we were looking for. There was plenty of good play in there, but alas not the consistency that we’re still searching for and working hard to achieve.
Elsewhere, this is a busy time for The Els for Autism Foundation. World Autism Day is not far away on the horizon, Monday April 2nd. We’ve got a lot of exciting events planned for that day and, in fact, that whole month. Click here to get a little taste of what’s in store: http://www.elsforautism.org.
Before that, though, the team just launched the eighth annual Els for Autism Golf Challenge, supported by organising sponsors SAP and Wine Spectator. It’s still one of the largest international charity-driven amateur golf tournaments in history, having raised more than $18 million since its inception in 2011. That’s a truly humbling statistic and we have our family of dedicated sponsors, players and donors to thank for that. All the details that you need to know, including how to sign-up for this year’s Golf Challenge either as a donor or as a golfer, can be found at our dedicated website: www.e4aGolf.com. Thank you for your support. Maybe I’ll get to see you at our Grand Finale at The Breakers Palm Beach on October 28-29?
In the coming weeks we also have our 10th Annual Wine Spectator & Cigar Aficionado Els for Autism Pro Am, a very special day on the calendar. Can’t believe it’s already 10 years since we started this event! Thanks to the support of many of my fellow TOUR pros, many legends of the game, and again our ever-loyal sponsors and partners, we’ve raised around $10 million from this event alone. Together with the $18 million raised from the Golf Challenge, it’s enabled us to turn our dreams into a reality with the opening of an incredible, dedicated campus serving individuals with autism spectrum disorder, not just in the US but all around the world.
Anyway, back to the golf. I’m using these few weeks off at home to work hard on my game and continue testing clubs with my new sponsors, XXI0, Cleveland and Srixon. The irons and wedges were sorted pretty much straight away and I’m very happy also with how I’m rolling my Bloodline putter. So, the main focus these past few weeks has been on the driver from XXI0 and that’s going nicely, too. I hit the ball really well off the tee at Riviera after we’d tested some drivers in Florida earlier that month, so you know, all the pieces of the jigsaw are slotting into place. Of course I’m feeling some pressure to play better and get some results, but that’s the nature of the game. I still expect a lot of myself and, as I’ve said before, my desire and hunger for competition are as strong as ever.
And needless to say it’s exciting to have tournaments like the Valspar Championship and the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill coming up soon. Then after that we’re in Texas for the Houston Open. That’s a nice little stretch, so let’s see how we go.
Okay, that’s about it for now. Follow me on Twitter @TheBig_Easy.