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The Els for Autism Foundation 2016 Golf Challenge Culminates on November 4 & 5 for Sixth Annual Las Vegas Finale

3 Million Raised in 2016 and 15.5 Million Total Raised Since Established Six Years Ago

Jupiter, Fla. (Date) – The 2016 season culminates November 4-5 at the Encore at Wynn Las Vegas for teams that have raised $13,000, in a two-day event hosted by Ernie Els and his wife Liezl. The Grand Finale winners receive special access to the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open on November 4th, 2016 followed by a welcome reception hosted by the Els family. In conjunction with the PGA Tour tournament, The Ernie Els #GameON Autism™ Golf Clinic will offer a specialized orientation of golf to individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) for 18 participants from Families for Effective Autism Treatment of Southern Nevada (FEAT). On November 5th, 2016 finale participants will compete in a golf tournament at Wynn or Bali Hai Golf Clubs, followed by an awards ceremony in the evening with major prizes courtesy of IRISH LINKS. Els for Autism staff will host a full day Autism Seminar for BCaBA and BCBA professionals, who can earn Behavior Analyst Certification Board continuing education credits from 8:30 am to 4 pm.  An Autism Spectrum Award will be presented for the second year in a row recognizing Gloria Mendoza, the SAP Autism at Work participant, who is recognized for her demonstration of character, attitude, and contribution.


Ernie Els, whose 13-year old son Ben is who is affected by autism, founded the Els for Autism Foundation in 2009 with his wife Liezl.   The couple said, “we could not be more grateful for the continued support provided by our friends and sponsors who participate in the Golf Challenge Series time and time again. We’ve had many new players, fundraisers, and sponsors join us this year in addition to our outstanding original family of advocates and we look forward to seeing the finale qualifiers in Las Vegas.  Thank you to everyone for your passionate hard work this year which enabled us to continue construction of The Els Center of Excellence in Jupiter, FL as well as provide a variety of new programs and services for individuals with ASD.”


The Els for Autism Golf Challenge

The Els for Autism 2016 Golf Challenge is the largest international charity-driven amateur golf tournament in history.  The Golf Challenge was created by World of Golf Hall of Famer and four-time Major Champion, Ernie Els.  It consists of a series of Super Regional events at top-rated courses across the United States and Canada from May through October.  Over the 2016 series, a team’s fundraising ability is valued as much as their performance on the golf course. Teams have competed in a combined low-net event for a selection of first class regional prizes. The Gallery Club option is open to all individuals (non-players) who want to fundraise within their communities and join in the Finale event.

Since its inaugural 2011 series, the Els for Autism Golf Challenge has raised over $15.5 million for autism thanks to 9,800 rounds of golf and over 40,000 donations. The series has also helped raise awareness of autism spectrum disorder, which affects a staggering 1 in 68 children and 1 in 42 boys.

National Organizing Sponsors include Presenting Sponsor, SAP, who also co-hosts the Grand Finale. The event would not be possible without the support of Wine Spectator, Adams Golf and RBC, who round out the National Sponsor family. With the generous support of these highly-regarded brands, the Golf Challenge continues its promise of funding development of The Els Center of Excellence, a state-of-the-art autism center located in Jupiter, FL, and hub of worldwide operations for The Els for Autism Foundation.

For more information about the Golf Challenge, the Finale event, sponsorship opportunities, and registration information visit:

– ENDS –

Mary Kay Willson, Tournament Director

Photography: Can be downloaded for editorial use at:  Please contact after event date for photos and video to distribute.


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The Els for Autism Foundation

The Els for Autism Foundation was established in 2009 by PGA TOUR golfer Ernie Els and his wife Liezl (residents of Jupiter, FL) shortly after their son Ben was diagnosed with autism. The Foundation’s mission is to help people on the autism spectrum fulfill their potential to lead positive, productive and rewarding lives. Els for Autism has offices in the U.S., Canada, South Africa, and the UK. To help fulfill its mission, Els for Autism is building a state-of-the-art Center of Excellence in Jupiter, FL, with a local, national and global reach.

Donations can be made online at and by check (made payable to ‘Els for Autism’) and addressed to: Els for Autism Foundation, The Els Center of Excellence, 18370 Limestone Creek Rd, Jupiter, FL 33458.