There is only one way to start this blog and that is to congratulate Hideki Matsuyama on his win in Augusta. His first major championship and a first win for Japan in a men’s major. What a week for him and his family.
Obviously I have played quite a bit of golf with Hideki over the years and was thrilled to have him on my team at the last Presidents Cup. We are also fortunate to share the same sponsor at Srixon / Cleveland Golf. The quality of his shot, the quality of his whole game, is incredible and for several years I have been saying that he would win a major. I’ve told him too many times! I’m so proud of him, even for how he handled the pressure in Augusta and with the weight of an entire nation on his shoulders. You deserve this victory my friend; Enjoy the moment.
To me, it seems like it’s been a while since my last tournament, so I’m looking forward to getting back in action at this week’s Chubb Classic here in Florida at Tiburon Golf Club. Next up is the Insperity Invitational at Woodlands. Country Club in Texas. I have been playing a lot of golf in the last 4-5 weeks and the game seems to be in good shape; Let’s see if we can get things out on TOUR.
Throughout April you will see that we have a new panel on my bag (pictured below), with the SAP Hummingbird logo in recognition of Autism Awareness Month. This global initiative is always a great collaborative effort on our part. Obviously the Els for Autism team is busy and doing a great job with various fundraising initiatives and programs to raise awareness and greater understanding of this condition. But it’s also wonderful how other players, tournament directors and sponsors support Els for Autism with their fundraising campaigns.
SAP in particular has really strengthened itself, as always, with a #DriveChange campaign. As parents of an autistic child, Liezl and I are able to experience firsthand the value and acceptance of autistic individuals, so it is inspiring to witness SAP’s commitment to creating an inclusive workplace for autism. This year they are donating to Els for Autism the sum of $ 2,500 for each birdie done by me and fellow SAP Ambassador Cameron Champ on the Friday of the tournaments we will play through April. Cameron set a high standard with seven birdies in the Valero Texas Open R2 and six birdies in the Masters on Friday. No pressure then!
Seriously though, it’s always incredibly humbling to receive this level of support from so many friends, players, sponsors and business partners. We also have to mention PUMA, which is donating a portion of the sales of its FASTEN8 golf shoes to Els for Autism through April. From Liezl, myself and the whole Els for Autism team, we just want to thank everyone from the bottom of our hearts. For more information visit the website: https://www.elsforautismo.org/.
Elsewhere, one of my Clif Bar partners has launched a new range of “Thin” (pictured below) in three tasty varieties: Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Peanut Brownie and White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Flavor. Clif Bar is a great company to get involved with. I love the way they do business, focusing on organic ingredients and sustainability, and I love the product. You know, food is fuel. You need the right things to keep your distance, keep your energy levels high and play your best golf from the first tee to the 18th green. Clif Bar does the job, that’s why you’ll find their energy bars in my golf bag. We always have a supply even in the car, for long journeys.
Speaking of keeping my distance, I will be interested in trying out the new TroonFit Bootcamp, which I have heard is one of the programs offered by the brilliant new Country Club at The Els Club Dubai (pictured below). This is unlike any other facility in the Middle East, both in terms of the range of services and the caliber of equipment. It’s a wonderful addition to the award-winning Ernie Els designed golf course, which has become like a home away from home for me since we opened to play in 2007. I’m looking forward to my next visit.
Ok, that’s it for now. I will write again soon. In the meantime, follow me on my social channels at the links below.