Quinta do Lago, Portugal: Ernie Els has been voted Golf Course Designer of the Year at the 2015 World Golf Awards, part of the World Travel Awards.
Els, a four-time Major winner, World Golf Hall of Fame member and acclaimed golf course designer, triumphed in a strong category of nominees populated by many other high-profile designers including Jack Nicklaus, Greg Norman, Gary Player and Sir Nick Faldo.
Els said: “When I started my playing career, designing courses was a big interest of mine and it was always my intention to follow in the footsteps of guys like Gary and Jack, so to be nominated alongside them and to be voted the winner is phenomenal and a huge thrill.
“We have a great team of talented, dedicated people at Ernie Els Design and we’re passionate about what we do. It’s all about quality for us. The golf courses that we create are part of my legacy to the game of golf and it’s important to get it absolutely right.”
Ernie Els Design is a Full Business Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.
This latest award completes back-to-back wins for Els and his team at Ernie Els Design, after The Els Club Teluk Datai – a Golf Facility Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation – took the prize of World’s Best New Golf Course at the inaugural World Golf Awards in 2014.
When the Els-designed Albany in the Bahamas hosts next month’s PGA Tour’s Hero World Challenge it will become the fifth course in the Ernie Els Design portfolio to host a professional Tour event, following The Els Club Dubai (Dubai Open Golf Championship), The Els Club Copperleaf (Tshwane Open), Anahita Four Seasons Golf Resort (Mauritius Golf Masters and 2016 AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open) and Wentworth’s West Course (BMW PGA Championship).
The World Golf Awards serves to celebrate and reward excellence in golf tourism, world class courses and golf destinations. Votes are cast by professionals working within the golf travel and tourism industry – senior executives, travel buyers, tour operators, agents and media professionals – and also by members of the public.
Speaking on behalf of the World Golf Awards, Managing Director Chris Frost said: “I would like to congratulate Ernie on this achievement. Throughout the year a record number of votes have been cast by leading golf tourism professionals worldwide as well as hundreds of thousands of golf consumers in more than 100 countries. Golf tourism’s highest accolade is truly deserved and rewards your commitment to excellence and determination to become the undisputed market leader.”
The formal presentations took place in the Conrad Algarve at the Quinta do Lago Resort, representing the centrepiece of a three-day itinerary for the event.
Receiving the award was President of Ernie Els Design, Thomas Rubi. He said: “As one of world’s leading boutique golf design firms, we count ourselves lucky to work with some of the finest developers around the world, who share the vision and passion on bringing truly remarkable golf courses from paper to reality. We take their trust in us seriously, and together have been able to deliver hugely successful world renowned projects.”
Doha, Qatar: The month of April is synonymous in golf for the Masters, and each year Education City Golf Club runs its own version of the tournament over the course which hosts the European Tour’s Commercial Bank Qatar Masters.