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Profile and Career Wins

Ernie Els has 78 professional career victories to his name, including four Major Championships, two World Golf Championships and a record seven World Matchplay titles.

As a former World No.1 Ernie is one of the most prolific winners of his generation and the extraordinary global reach of his victories is almost without parallel.

He has triumphed in tournaments in South Africa, Europe, the US, Asia, the Far East, the Middle East and Australasia. Ernie was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011 and the South African Golf Hall of Fame in 2009.

Ernie was born in South Africa on 17 October 1969. As a youngster, he was outstanding in cricket, rugby and tennis. At the age of 13 he won a significant regional tennis event, the Eastern Transvaal Junior Championships. A year later aged 14 Ernie won the World Junior Golf Championship in San Diego, California. Ernie was just 16 years old when he formally competed against professional golfers. He was awarded his Junior Springbok colours in 1984, the State President Sports Award in 1987, and in 1988 his full Springbok colours. Ernie turned professional in 1989. 

Ernie’s business interests successfully encompass golf course design and hospitality, including The Els Club Collection, Els Performance Golf Academy, Els Club Estates and Big Easy Winebar & Grill, along with an award winning wine portfolio created by Ernie Els Wines in the heart of South Africa’s wine country, Stellenbosch. In recent years Ernie has also launched his own pet products business and a range of authentic, traditional Biltong.

Ernie has uniquely transcended his sport by virtue of his groundbreaking charitable endeavors and fundraising. The Els for Autism Foundation was established in 2009 by Ernie, his wife Liezl, and Marvin R. Shanken. The Foundation serves families around the world, and also offers in-person programs and services at The Els Center of Excellence in Jupiter, Florida, a world-class, 26-acre campus that is home to three separate non-profit organizations: The Els for Autism Foundation, The Learning Center, and The Learning Academy. 

Ernie’s other great philanthropic passion is The Ernie Els Foundation which operates in South Africa, established in 1999 to identify and assist young individuals predominantly from families of limited resources and to deliver to them educational assistance and golfing opportunities. Among its former members are 2010 Open Champion Louis Oosthuizen and multiple DP World Tour winners Christiaan Bezuidenhout and Branden Grace.

Career Wins


Principal Charity Classic, Wakonda Club, Des Moines, Iowa

62, 68, 65: 195, 21-under par

American Family Insurance Championship, University Ridge GC, Wisconsin

71, 64, 69: 204, 12-under par

1990 - 2023


World Golf Championships
World Matchplay Titles

Career Wins

Off the Golf Course

For his charitable endeavours Ernie has received many awards:

Charlie Bartlett Award by the Golf Writers Association of America.
Jefferson Award, essentially a Nobel Prize for Public Service, for outstanding athlete in service.
Named one of the ‘Top Five Most Positive Athletes in the World’ by the United Nations NGO Voting Academy.
Golf Foundation Spirit of Golf Award for his achievements as a player, for his contribution to golf and commitment to young people in golf and education.
Metropolitan Golf Writers Association (MGWA) Winnie Palmer Award for his foundation work on behalf of autism. The MGWA had previously conferred on Ernie its prestigious Gold Tee Award.
Eighth recipient of the Denver-based Nicholson Award for ‘a lifetime commitment and dedication to the game of golf’.
Ernie was also voted the ‘Golf Course Designer of the Year’ at the 2015 World Golf Awards.
Payne Stewart Award in 2015.
Heisman Humanitarian Award 2017 in recognition of work for autism.
Old Tom Morris Award 2018 from the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America.
Jim Murray Award 2018 from the Golf Writers Association of America.
Receives the Arnold Palmer Open Award presented by the Association of Golf Writers at the 2018 Open Championship.
In 2020 accepts Honorary Membership of the R&A.
In 2023 receives the Francis Ouimet Award in recognition of his contribution to golf and the community through his philanthropic endeavors, notably the Els for Autism Foundation.