The year 2019 has proved to be a bumper one for the Els for Autism golf days with barely a moment to pause and reflect on what has gone by, writes WADE PRETORIUS.
From the start at the South Coast gem San Lameer Country Club, via Omeya Golf Club in Namibia, with stops at long-time partner clubs, it has been a season to remember. From the record auction at St Francis Links to the scintillating scoring at Randpark and the fun and games as the day made its debut at Waterkloof Golf Club. And there’s still more to come!
Off the course, Nico van Rensburg and his team have been hard at work helping raise funds and awareness for the Braamfontein centre. The exposure on SuperSport, alongside the Lions Rugby Union’s fundraiser with Radio Raps at Emirates Airline Park, shows no stone has been left unturned in a bid to make significant strides towards improving the lives of all living with autism.
There have been a number of famous faces seen along the way, although none has managed to book a place at the final at Lost City, with the ultimate prize being a place at the Nedbank Golf Challenge Pro-Am. Speaking of Africa’s Major, the possibilty of teeing it up with three-time winner Lee Westwood or SA’s No 1, Louis Oosthuizen, should be enough incentive for those lucky, or should we say skilled, enough to win one of the qualifiers to continue hitting the range and course in the buildup.
Only days at Silver Lakes and Ebotse Links remain if you want to sign up and take your chance of joining in the fun, laughter and golf for Ernie’s most cherished cause.
‘I’m proud of our members and can always count on them to give 100% when asked to respond to these great causes’ – Meyer du Toit, San Lameer
‘It’s truly been a remarkable effort by Nico and his small team and we’ve seen how things have grown over the past few years. The trend is increasingly positive and Royal are proud to play a small role in helping fulfil the vision of Ernie’s cause’ – Chris Bentley, Royal Johannesburg and Kensington
‘As a proud supporter of the Lions, I am thrilled to be working with the union to raise awareness for autism’ – Ernie Els
‘It was a great evening. One of the best you’ll see. We can’t wait to see if other days around the country can come close to matching us. The guys in the room were simply fantastic, paying properly for the items up for sale’ – Jeff Clause, St Francis Links
‘This year, in the buildup to the event I happened to meet a young boy, Liam Fouche, who lives with autism. It was quite an emotional moment as we too often leave little time to pause for thought about the event and what families like Liam’s go through on a day-to-day basis. We knew it would be special for Liam’s folks to attend the evening function’ – Dan Zwiebel, custodian of Els for Autism golf days in Namibia
‘We always try to generate a good spirit among the participants but we didn’t need to encourage the Waterkloof players to come to the party. They were fantastic and we certainly will be back’ – Nico van Rensburg, Business Manager, Els Group
‘We are humbled to be a part of this series and connected in some small way to helping those living with this condition. We are humbled by Ernie’s contribution and can see how its going from strength to strength’ – Karl Bauermeister, CEO, Sizwe Asset Finance