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Els for Autism Golf Challenge Tees Off at US Open Host Venue Chambers Bay, Washington, on August 10

Teams play major courses, win major prizes and support a major cause

JUPITER, Fla. (June 16, 2015) – The ‘Els for Autism Golf Challenge,’ the brain-child of World of Golf Hall-of-Famer and four-time Major Champion Ernie Els, will stage one of its 20+ Regional events on Monday, August 10, at Chambers Bay, Washington. Amateur golfers are being invited to take up the ‘Challenge’ by registering two-person teams for the event and in doing so raise funds for Els for Autism. Registration is $500/player and includes golf, a welcome lunch, a sunset awards dinner overlooking Puget Sound, an exclusive Els for Autism Gift Bag and the chance to win great prizes. Teams can register online at:

The Chambers Bay event is one of over 20 events being staged at top-rated courses across the U.S. and Canada between May and October, as part of the largest charity-driven, national golf series in the North America, which culminates in a Series Finale in Las Vegas in November. Chambers Bay features towering sand dunes, massive fairways, and breathtaking views of the Puget Sound and snow-capped Olympic Mountains. Located in University Place, Washington, this 18-hole, walking-only course provides an authentic links experience for players of every ability. This week, the course will test the pros as the 2015 U.S. Open makes its Pacific Northwest debut at Chambers Bay.

The Washington event is being supported by our Gold level sponsor, The Boeing Company, the world’s leading aerospace company and largest private employer in Washington state. The event is being chaired by Matt Laukaitis, a senior executive at SAP; the Presenting Sponsor of the Golf Challenge Series.

On the day of the tournament the club will also host a free Ernie Els #GameON Autism™ Golf Clinic hosting local children with autism through a partnership with the Autism Society of Washington and The First Tee of South Puget Sound. Made possible by support from PGA REACH, The First Tee, The Honda Classic, Adams Golf and Southwest Airlines, these clinics are specifically designed for individuals on the spectrum and use golf as a medium to develop life skills, encourage social interaction and promote healthy living.

In this event series, a team’s fundraising ability is valued as much as its performance on the golf course.  Teams will compete in a combined low-net event for a selection of regional prizes and all teams that raise $13,000 or more will join Els and his friends from the PGA TOUR at the Series Finale in Las Vegas in November, where major prizes will be up for grabs, including trips to Ireland and Greece.

Ernie Els, whose 12-year old son Ben is profoundly impacted by autism, and who set up the Els for Autism Foundation in 2009 with his wife Liezl, is appealing to golfers to get involved:

“We are delighted to celebrate the fifth year of the Golf Challenge with our family of dedicated sponsors, players and donors. The Foundation has taken massive strides forward in the last year thanks to the support of some amazing companies and people who have taken this cause to heart; many of whom have connected to us through the Golf Challenge. It has been pretty amazing to witness the vision that Liezl and I had of creating a world-class Center start to take shape, and we are so excited to be welcoming our first students through the doors this August and taking our global outreach programs to the next level.  Our event at Chambers Bay, which has the generous support of my on-course sponsor, Boeing, offers amateurs the chance to test their skills at this year’s US Open venue while supporting a cause that impacts one in 68 children.”

Els added: “In addition, the Golf Challenge has already touched a lot of people through the #GameON Autism Golf clinics. This year, not only will we once again be holding clinics at every Golf Challenge venue, we have also launched a pilot that will help us develop #GameON Autism Golf into a comprehensive program so that more individuals with autism can have access to golf worldwide.”

A family of highly-respected global brands are supporting Ernie in his philanthropic efforts through the 2015 Golf Challenge. Organizing Sponsors include Presenting Sponsor, SAP; Adams Golf, RBC and Wine Spectator.  The Challenge is also supported by an impressive team of Contributing Sponsors including: Boeing, ECCO, Hospitality America, IRISH LINKS, Maui Jim, Southwest Airlines, and The Honda Classic.

Chambers Bay joins a selection of first-class courses, PGA TOUR stops and Major hosts including; Floridian National Golf Club, FL; Harbour Town Golf Links, SC; TPC Boston, MA; and Baltusrol Golf Club, NJ. For more information about the Golf Challenge, the full events schedule and to register visit:

Since the inaugural 2011 series, the Els for Autism Golf Challenge has raised over $9 million for autism thanks to 7,500 rounds of golf and over 17,500 donors pledging funds. The series has also helped raise awareness of a disorder that that now affects 1 in 68 children and 1 in 42 boys.

The Els Center of Excellence

Funds raised from the Golf Challenge go towards the creation of The Els Center of Excellence; a state-of the-art autism center that will bring together the critical elements of early intervention, education, applied research, transition to adulthood, medical and professional services, and adult services all on one campus. The Center will host an education program for 300 children on the autism spectrum ages 3-21 and will be a hub for Els for Autism’s multi-faceted global outreach program that will make best practices in education and therapy available to children, families and autism experts both across the U.S. and internationally.

The Center is on track to welcome its first students in August this year when it opens The Lower School and The Els Center of Excellence Auditorium Building.  These are the first components that are being delivered of a 26-acre campus that, once complete, will also include an Upper School, extensive sports and outdoor recreational facilities a cafeteria, a medical and professional services building and an adult services component.


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Photography: Can be downloaded for editorial use at: 


  • To donate by check: make out checks to Els for Autism and address to: Els for Autism, 3900 Military Trail, Suite 200, Jupiter, FL 33458
  • To donate online visit:

The Els for Autism Foundation
Was established in the US in 2009 by PGA TOUR golfer Ernie Els and his wife Liezl (residents of Jupiter, FL) shortly after their son Ben (now 12) was diagnosed with autism. Els for Autism has foundations in the U.S., Canada, South Africa and the U.K. The Foundation’s overarching mission is to help people on the autism spectrum fulfill their potential to lead positive, productive and rewarding lives.  In the U.S., to help fulfill its mission, Els for Autism is currently building a state-of-the-art Center of Excellence in Jupiter, FL, with a local, national and global reach and is in the middle of a capital campaign to finance the development. In addition, the Foundation recently introduced Ernie Els #GameON Autism™ Golf, an initiative focused on using golf as a life skills development tool.

  • Foundation website: 
  • Golf Challenge website:
  • Facebook:                             /ErnieElsGolf
  • Twitter”                                  @ElsForAutism

Ernie Els #GameON Autism™ Golf
Developed by Els for Autism in collaboration with PGA REACH and The First Tee, #GameON Autism Golf is focused on

building self-esteem and confidence in a fun, welcoming and supportive environment; encouraging participants to learn golf skills while practicing specific autism learning concepts. In Spring 2015 Els for Autism launched a nationwide pilot for the program; with over 100 children in seven cities across the U.S. taking part.  The program consists of nine group lessons and takes four and a half weeks to complete with golf lessons taking place twice a week. Each session has a specially designed lesson plan that delivers golf instruction paired with specific autism focused learning concepts.  The pilot, supported by PGA REACH and a grant from New York Collaborates for Autism, is an important step towards developing what began in 2013 as one-day, one-off introductory clinics that ran alongside the Foundation’s annual Golf Challenge fundraising series, into a comprehensive and measurable program that can be, ultimately, rolled-out nationally and internationally.



Boeing (

Boeing is the world’s largest aerospace company and leading manufacturer of commercial jetliners and defense, space and security systems. Boeing products and tailored services include commercial and military aircraft, satellites, weapons, electronic and defense systems, launch systems, advanced information and communication systems, and performance-based logistics and training.. With more than 162,000 employees worldwide, Boeing provides products and support services to customers in 150 countries and is one of the largest U.S. exporters in terms of sales.

  •        NATIONAL:

As market leader in enterprise application software, SAP helps companies of all sizes and industries run better. From back office to boardroom, warehouse to storefront, desktop to mobile device – SAP empowers people and organizations to work together more efficiently and use business insight more effectively to stay ahead of the competition. SAP applications and services enable more than 195,000 customers to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and grow sustainably

Adams Golf (
Adams Golf, maker of the No.1 Hybrid on Tour, offers a complete line-up of innovative, easy-to-hit products for golfers of all skill levels. Follow Adams on Twitter @AdamsGolfInc and #ElstoAdams

Wine Spectator (
Wine Spectator, published 15 times per year, illuminates and educates wine lovers and epicureans. Wine Spectator is renowned for its in-depth wine tasting reports and Buying Guide, travel and fine dining features, chefs’ menus, personality profiles and thought-provoking editorial.

As one of North America’s leading diversified financial services companies, RBC is among the largest banks in the world, as measured by market capitalization. It employs approximately 80,000 full- and part-time employees who serve more than 15 million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients through offices in Canada, the U.S. and 51 other countries.

Contributing Sponsors

Contributing Sponsors for the series include Boeing, ECCO, Hospitality America, IRISH LINKS, Maui Jim, Southwest Airlines, and The Honda Classic.