Ernie Els, a four-time major champion, member of the World Golf Hall of Fame (2010) and founder of the Els for Autism Foundation (2009), will be the recipient of the 2018 Old Tom Morris Award from the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA).
Els also founded The Ernie Els Foundation in 1999 in his homeland of South Africa, and then joined forces with the Fancourt Hotel and Golf Estate to establish The Ernie Els & Fancourt Foundation to help identify underprivileged teens who show talent in golf and give them a chance to reach their full potential in sport and education.
GCSAA’s highest honour, the OTM Award has been presented annually since 1983 to an individual, who through a lifetime commitment to the game of golf, has helped to mold the welfare of the game in a manner and style exemplified by Old Tom Morris. Morris, a four-time Open Championship winner, was the long-time superintendent at St Andrews in Scotland until his death in 1908.
“I am honoured and humbled to be asked to receive the Old Tom Morris Award from the Golf Course Superintendents Association,” said Els. “As I have grown in my involvement with the game of golf, from professional golfer to golf course designer, I have come to value more and more the role of golf course superintendents. They are as vital to this game as ever, and as vital to this game as anyone.”
“By any measure, Ernie Els is one of the greats of the game, and it is the distinct privilege and honour of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America to recognize this industry giant for all he has accomplished on and off the golf course,” said Rhett Evans, GCSAA CEO. “He elevates the human spirit in all of us to be better people and a more compassionate society.”
A list of past Old Tom Award winners is available at https://www.gcsaa.org/about-gcsaa/awards/old-tom-morris-award