To say that Ernie Els is a golfing icon is somewhat of an understatement. From the moment that he burst on to the international golfing scene, winning the 1994 U.S. Open at Oakmont Country Club, until the present day, the charismatic South African has remained ever-present at the top of leaderboards around the world. Not only has he built a reputation for being one of the smoothest swingers in the game, capturing four majors titles, a record seven World Matchplay titles and 70 professional career victories along the way, Els has also created his own empire, becoming a major player in both the wine and golf design businesses.
At the end of October, we had the opportunity to sit down and talk with The Big Easy at the launch of his first ever-golf course creation in Southeast Asia - The Els Club Teluk Datai, located on the paradise island of Langkawi. Typically relaxed, Ernie was in great spirits as hosted over 200 dignitaries and the world’s media, which included playing nine holes in the company of Her Majesty Raja Permaisuri Agong Tuanku Hajjah Haminah, The Queen of Malaysia.
Ernie we’re sat here in what can only be described as paradise, you must be immensely proud of the magnificent layout you have created at The Els Club Teluk Datai?
This is, without doubt, the most spectacular golf course setting I have had the pleasure of working on and I am incredibly excited about the prospect of inviting the first visitors to come and enjoy what has already been voted the region’s ‘Best Golf Course’ at the recent 2014 Asia-Pacific Property Awards.
The course is truly breath-taking and I am delighted with what we have achieved here. I endeavoured to make the most of this unique location, nestled between ancient rainforest and the Andaman Sea, and I believe that we have done just that.
It was an honour to hit the opening tee shot alongside Her Majesty and I would personally like to thank all of those in attendance for their support in what we are confident is set to become one of the world’s most revered golf course designs.
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