Your Location: Set change
Open in App

Ernie Els

Ernie Els, commonly known as The Big Easy, is a South African professional golfer, universally admired in the international golfing fraternity, not only for his talent and dedication to the sport but also his approachable manner.

Born Ernest Theo Els in Johannesburg on 17th October 1969, he quickly realized at a young age the captivation of golf and made a commitment to the sport. He developed his skill under the guidance of the revered South African golf coach Llewellyn van Leeuwen, today, Ernie Els is an inarguable legend of the game.

Els earned his nickname, “The Big Easy,” thanks to his easygoing personality, along with his commanding physical stature – towering at 6-foot-3 – and the smooth swing which underscores the effortless power behind his shots. Interestingly, Ernie Els was an accomplished tennis player in his youth, with cricket and rugby also listed as his prowess, but it was golfing that ultimately stole his heart.

Els’ professional journey kicked off in 1989, and since then, he turned several challenges into victories, thanks to his talents, doggedness, and unwavering focus. A significant portion of his success can be attributed to his dedication to the sport and the sincere resolve with which he approaches each tournament.

Recognized for his exceptional golfing talent, Els has achieved notable victories in various golf championships around the world. With 71 career victories, he has left a definitive mark on the sport’s landscape. His portfolio boasts of four Major Championships, two each at the U.S Open and the Open Championship. At his prime, he was undeniably one of the planet’s premier golfers—holding the World No. 1 spot in the official world golf rankings in 1997 and 1998.

As a testament to his expansive career, Ernie Els is one of only six golfers to twice win both the U.S Open and The Open Championship. Other than these two feats, he has recorded top-10 finishes at the Masters Tournament and PGA Championship multiple times, reflecting his all-around skillset in different golf terrains and conditions.

Apart from his wins, Els has also served as a mentor to many aspiring golfers, demonstrating remarkable passion for the development of future golfing talents. He founded the Ernie Els & Fancourt Foundation in 1999, designed to help talented South African youth reach their potential in golf.

Off the golf course, he has become widely recognized for his philanthropic endeavors. After his son Ben was diagnosed with Autism, Els started the Els for Autism Foundation in 2009. The foundation focuses on providing resources for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder and has made significant strides in improving the condition’s research and treatment methods.

Els’ influence on the game extends further than his illustrious playing career. He has made his mark in the golf course design industry, with his company, Ernie Els Design, being involved in creating over 12 distinguished, award-winning golf courses around the globe.

Over his illustrious career, Els has received commendations for his contributions to the sport. He was draped in the prestigious World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011, one of the sport’s highest honors.

Els often arises in conversations about the greatest golfers of his generation, and his contributions to the sport are indelible. His soft-spoken nature, coupled with his intense competitive spirit, creates a juxtaposition that both captivates and endears fans and fellow players alike.

The name Ernie Els won’t be forgotten in the annals of golf history as he continues to be an ambassador of the game. His life’s body of work on the course and off magnifies his role as an inspiring figure in the world of golf. His legacy as a golfer, a mentor, and a philanthropist emphasizes that there’s more to success than just winning tournaments.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your Trip: No items added yet...
Your trip itinerary is added here...