Ernie Els

Full Name
Theodore Ernest Els
Website:
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Year of Birth
1969
Place Born
Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa

World Golf Hall of Fame – Class of 2011: “He was 16 in 1986 when he became the youngest player to win the South African Amateur. He won the South African tour school title at 19. In 1991, he turned professional and launched one of the most globetrotting careers the golf world has seen since fellow South African and Hall of Fame member Gary Player began his famous barnstorming.”

Ernie Els grew up in Germiston, on the outskirts of Johannesburg, where he played a wide variety of sport, excelling at cricket, rugby and tennis. Indeed, his prowess with a tennis racquet was such that he won the Eastern Transvaal Junior Championships at the age of thirteen.

He played golf at Kempton Park Golf Club with his older brother Dirk and his father Neels and was soon down to scratch and entering competitions. In 1984 he won the Junior World Golf Championship for the 13-14 age group in San Digo, beating Phil Mickelson into second place.

His golf career continued to blossom back in his home country, winning both the Boys and Men’s South African Championships in 1986, then he turned professional three years later following another national triumph, this time in the South African Amateur Stroke Play Championship.

The first of more than seventy professional victories for “The Big Easy” arrived in 1991 at the Amatola Sun Classic (a now-defunct event on the Sunshine Tour) which was played on the course at King Williams Town Golf Club in the Eastern Cape.

Over the following three decades, Ernie would win four Majors, seven World Match Play titles and two World Golf Championships, as well as representing South Africa and the International Team in twenty-two editions of the Alfred Dunhill Cup, World Cup and Presidents Cup between 1992 and 2013.

He formed Ernie Els Design at the start of the new millennium, a few years after the Els course debuted at Mission Hills Golf Club Shenzhen. Ernie would probably be the first to admit his design input for this Chinese layout was minimal, though the marketing blurb will no doubt talk up his involvement with ...

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Featured courses designed, remodelled and added to by Ernie Els

Albany

3rd Bahamas Ranking 13th Caribbean Ranking

Officially opened in December 2010, the links-style course at the Albany resort measures over 7,400 yards from the back tees, configured as five par fives and five par threes with the remaining holes laid out as par fours.

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Anahita

3rd Mauritius Ranking

Anahita Golf & Spa Resort hosted five editions of the Afrasia Golf Masters beginning in 2010, when a large number of professional and amateur players participated in a week-long series of competitions.

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TaylorMade

Els Club - Copperleaf

14th Gauteng - Best in Area 43rd South Africa Ranking

Formerly known as Gardener Ross, the Els Club at Copperleaf in Gauteng is home to South Africa's first Els Club and the Big Easy’s golf course is laid out on a parcel of land that Ernie’s grandfather once called home.

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Els Club - Dubai

8th United Arab Emirates Ranking 9th Middle East Ranking

The Els Club was the first completed venue within a multi billion dollar development at Dubai’s Sports City that now includes the world’s first purpose-built Manchester United Soccer School facility...

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Els Club - Teluk Datai

5th West Malaysia - Best in Area 5th Malaysia Ranking 72nd Asia Ranking

The Big Easy transformed the old Ted Parslow-designed Datai Bay golf course into The Els Club Teluk Datai, which is one of the most exciting new 18-hole layouts in South East Asia...

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Highland Gate

2nd Mpumalanga - Best in Area 20th South Africa Ranking

Located near Dullstroom in South Africa's premier fly-fishing area, Highland Gate Golf and Trout Estate boasts an Ernie Els Signature course that opened to critical acclaim in 2014.

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Hoakalei

17th Hawaii - Best in Area

The course at Hoakalei Country Club is a modern Ernie Els design, laid out on an old sugar cane plantation next to the former US Navy airfield at Barbers Point on the island of Oahu.

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Oubaai

12th Western Cape - Best in Area 38th South Africa Ranking

The signature hole at Oubaai is the par three 17th, played downhill to what, in modern course design parlance, is termed an “infinity green” with the sparkling Indian Ocean as a backdrop.

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