Ernie Els

Ernie Els

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Celebrity Speaker For Hire: Ernie Els

Ernie Els is a South African professional golfer. Els is a former World No. 1 ranked golfer who is sometimes referred to as “The Big Easy” due to his imposing size combined with his effortless golf swing.

Growing up in South Africa, Els excelled in a variety of sports. Young Ernie first learned the game of golf from his father, and by the age of 14 he was playing with a scratch handicap. Els won the Junior World Golf Championship in 1984 and the South African Amateur Championship at the age of 17. In 1989 Els turned professional and he won his first pro tournament in 1991 on the Southern Africa Tour. Els has 70 professional career victories including four major championships: the U.S. Open in 1994 at Oakmont and in 1997 at Congressional, and The Open Championship in 2002 at Muirfield and in 2012 at Royal Lytham & St Annes. He is one of only six golfers to have won both the U.S. Open and The Open Championship twice.

Els married his wife Liezl in 1998 and together they have two children, Samantha and Ben. In 2008 Els made public that his five-year-old son was diagnosed with autism. Through the Els for Autism Foundation, Els focuses his charitable efforts on raising funds and awareness for autism.



  • Established in 2009, The Els Center of Excellence is a 26-acre facility that offers on-site education for 300 students
  • The Ernie Els & Fancourt Foundation, founded in 1999, helps young, talented golfers to develop their full potential, both in education and playing opportunities.
  • Els has designed over 10 golf courses around the world

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