The inaugural Els Club Charity event has raised 90,000 USD for autism and a local Dubai golf charity, after challengers got the chance to play Ernie Els over one hole at Dubai Sports City.

Autism is a lifelong disorder which impairs a person’s ability to communicate and relate to others, and became part of Els’ life after his son Ben, now aged six, was diagnosed with the disorder.

Nine amateur golfers, each representing a local sponsor, competed, and on each hole a 10,000 USD charity donation from the sponsor was the prize for one or other of the designated charities – Els’ Autisms Charity or the Shaikh Maktoum Foundation – depending on whether Els or the amateur won the challenge, with the amateur benefiting from a full handicap allowance.

“It’s been good fun today,” said the three-time Major winner. “I really appreciate the support that both Dubai Sports City and Golf in Dubai have given autism today.

“It means a lot to me. I am sure that the funds will be put to good use and I would like to thank all companies here in Dubai who supported today’s event.”


Ernie Els beat: Lee Tabler (representing Troon), Jim Muldoon (represeing Arcapita), Duleep George (representing Gulf News) and Ronnie Corbett (representing Golf in Dubai)

Ernie Els lost to: Rodney Marsh (representing Emirates Airlines), Nic Bruwer (representing Dubai Duty Free), Surender Kandhari (representing Dubai Sports City, Al Dobowi Group, First Group, Ten Sports, BMG Middle East Development), Farbod Dowlatshahi (representing Delwood) and Colin Baxter (representing Hydroturf).

Where next?

Tour news: Butch Harmon expecting a “ready” Tiger Woods
Industry news: Tiger Woods Dubai announces board formation and memberships
Equipment news: Modern putters guide