The popular Ernie Els Invitational, a prestigious Pro-Am golf tournament staged to raise funds for young, upcoming golfers, will be held at Fancourt from 18 to 21 December.
Major sponsors as well as the 17 foundation members will play on The Links at Fancourt with Els on Monday 18 December.
The Invitational itself will be played on Fancourt’s Montagu and Outeniqua golf courses on Tuesday 19 and Wednesday 20 December.
Other than Ernie Els himself, the event will feature a number of top professional golfers including Branden Grace, Thomas Aiken, George Coetzee, Dean Burmester, Haydn Porteous, Zander Lombard and Brandon Stone. Morné Morkel, Mark Boucher, Jacques Kallis, Jean de Villiers, Victor Matfield, Ross Cronjé, Malcolm Marx, Nick Mallett and Roland Schoeman are only a few of the sporting luminaries in the celebrity line-up.
The tournament is presented by SAP and the Fancourt Foundation.
Major corporate sponsors have contributed to the success of the event and their teams comprise top South African opinion leaders and international businessmen.
The event is a four ball alliance with the pros playing a separate stroke-play tournament; there will be 34 four balls in total.
Each round is followed by an innovative pro-pro shootout and a team elimination shootout, which is always an exciting addition.
Rugby commentator Matthew Pearce and raconteur Barney Girnun are the host auctioneers for Tuesday evening’s auction, where sought-after memorabilia will be auctioned off to keen bidders to raise funds for the foundation.
Ernie Els and Fancourt owner Dr Hasso Plattner present the Invitational to raise funds for the Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation (EE&FF), which aims to help provide educational and life-skill assistance, as well as playing opportunities, to talented young South Africans, predominantly from families with limited resources, in order to produce successful, well-rounded young golfers.
The foundation has 17 members, four of whom are women. In addition to coaching and education, the EE&FF provide playing opportunities for the members by covering their travel and accommodation expenses to top amateur events around the country.
Two former members, Jovan Rebula and professional Christiaan Bezuidenhout, and an existing member, Kaleigh Telfer, will also compete in the Invitational.
Rebula is Els’ nephew, while Bezuidenhout, who turned professional in 2015, has just gained his European Tour playing privileges for the 2018 season.
Telfer and Rebula are both studying at Auburn University in Alabama, USA. One of the members, Zethu Myeki, is second in SA Women’s Amateur golf and is currently representing South Africa in India.
The foundation’s awards dinner will form part of the Ernie Els Invitational welcome function, where numerous members will be recognised for their outstanding golf and academic achievements during 2017.
“The event is always an outstanding success and it is great to see Ernie being able to network amongst friends, family, sponsors and their guests, and of course the members of the foundation,” says Annie Lawson, event director of the EE&FF.
“Ernie is a great host and ensures that all have a fantastic time for the right reason.”