Ernie Els Net Worth 2024, Biography, Age, Height

By Alice Moreno

Ernie Els, whose real name is Theodore Ernest Els, is often called “The Big Easy”. He was born on 17 October 1969 in Johannesburg, South Africa, making him 54 years old. He stands 191 cm (6 ft 3 in) tall and weighs 210 lb (95 kg). Ernie resides in Wentworth, United Kingdom.

He is a South African professional golfer who turned pro in 1989. His best rank in the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) was 1st on 22 June 1997. Currently, he ranks 1412th. He has played in 6 events recently, with an average of 0.0417 points and a total of 1.66748 points. Throughout his career, he has won 75 professional tournaments. Ernie swings right and has earned $53,210,447 from his golf career. His net worth is $85 million, with endorsements from Boeing, Callaway Golf, RBC, and SAP. His wealth primarily comes from golf and endorsements.

Ernie Els’s parents are Neels and Hettie Els. He is married to Liezl Els since 1998, and they have two children.

Quick Facts About Ernie Els

NameErnie Els
Real NameTheodore Ernest Els
NicknameThe Big Easy
Age/Birthday17 October 1969 (age 54)
Weight210 lb (95 kg)
Height191 cm(6 ft 3 in)
BirthplaceJohannesburg, South Africa
ResidenceWentworth, United Kingdom
ProfessionSouth African professional golfer
Turned Pro1989
Best OWGR Rank1st (22 June 1997)
Current OWGR Rank1412th
Average Points0.0417
Total Points1.66748
Actual Events Played6
Professional Wins75
Career Earnings$53,210,447
Net Worth$85 million
EndorsementsBoeing, Callaway Golf, RBC, RBC, SAP
Source Of WealthGolf and Endorsements
FatherNeels Els
MotherHettie Els
Marital StatusMarried
SpouseLiezl Els​(m. 1998)

Ernie Els Biography

Ernie Els was born on 17 October 1969 in South Africa. He is a skilled golfer and was once ranked World No. 1. People call him “The Big Easy” because of his height, 6 ft 3 in, and smooth golf style. He has won over 70 games in his career. Four wins are major titles: the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open Championship in 2002 and 2012. Only six golfers, including Els, have won the U.S. Open and The Open Championship twice.

In 2003 and 2004, Els was the top earner on the European Tour. He also won the World Match Play Championship seven times. For a while, he earned the most money in European Tour history. He was number one in the World Golf Ranking. By 2013, he spent 788 weeks in the top ten rankings. After his 2012 Open Championship win, he ranked fifteenth worldwide. In 2010, he was chosen for the World Golf Hall of Fame and joined in 2011.

Now, Els plays mainly on the PGA Tour Champions. Apart from golf, he designs golf courses. He also helps young golfers in South Africa through his charity. He owns a business that makes wine.

Ernie Els Net Worth

Ernie Els Net Worth

Ernie Els, a famous golfer, has impressive career earnings of $53,210,447. His overall net worth stands at $85 million.

On top of his golf earnings, endorsements have brought in an additional $16 million. Thus, his primary sources of wealth are his golf career and endorsement deals.

Estimated Career Earnings

Est. Earnings$49,385,598$3,824,850$53,210,447

Source: Spotrac

Ernie Els Early Life

Ernie Els grew up in Lambton, located in Germiston, South Africa. During childhood, he was an all-rounder, participating in sports like rugby, cricket, and tennis. Golf entered his life at 8, introduced to him by his father. The Germiston Golf course was where Ernie honed his skills.

Interestingly, he was not just a developing golfer. At 13, he showcased his talent in tennis by winning the Eastern Transvaal Junior Championships. However, as he progressed in golf, his prowess became apparent. He outperformed not only his father but also his older brother, Dirk. By the age of 14, Ernie had achieved a scratch handicap in golf, signaling his potential in the sport. This achievement led him to decide to concentrate solely on golf.

1984 was a significant year for young Ernie. He clinched the title at the Junior World Golf Championship in the Boys 13–14 category. Notably, the well-known golfer Phil Mickelson finished second to him that year. Another feather in his cap came when, just a few months after turning 17, he won the South African Amateur. This victory was historic as he became the youngest-ever winner, breaking a longstanding record set by Bobby Locke in 1935. Ernie’s growing reputation took him to the 1987 British Amateur Championship. He successfully qualified for the 64-player match play segment. However, his journey in that championship ended earlier than expected.

Ernie Els Career

Ernie Els Career

In 1989, Ernie Els won the South African Amateur Stroke Play Championship. He then chose to turn professional that same year.

By 1991, he celebrated his first win as a pro on the Southern Africa Tour, now known as the Sunshine Tour. He topped the Sunshine Tour Order of Merit during the 1991/92 and 1994/95 seasons.

1993 marked a milestone for Els. He won the Dunlop Phoenix in Japan, his first victory outside South Africa. 

The following year, 1994, was even more significant. Els triumphed in the U.S. Open, his first major championship. The contest was intense. After 72 holes, he was tied with Colin Montgomerie and Loren Roberts. They faced an 18-hole playoff. Despite a challenging start, Els matched Roberts with a score of 74. The competition extended to sudden death. On the second hole, Els secured a birdie, clinching his inaugural U.S. Open title.

Ernie Els showcased his talent globally in his early career. He clinched the Dubai Desert Classic title on the European Tour. At the Toyota World Match Play Championship, he outplayed Colin Montgomerie with a 4 & 2 win. The following year, he successfully defended his World Match Play title, beating Steve Elkington 3 & 1. Els then won the GTE Byron Nelson Classic in the U.S. Afterward, he returned to South Africa and secured two more victories.

1996 was another standout year for Els. He achieved a third consecutive win at the World Match Play Championship at Wentworth, besting Vijay Singh 3 & 2 in the final. This was a historic win. No golfer had ever won this one-on-one tournament three times in a row before. Els wrapped up the year with a victory at the South African Open, his home tournament.

2002 Ernie Els began with a victory at the Heineken Classic at the Royal Melbourne Golf Club. Traveling to America, he faced and defeated the World Number One, Tiger Woods, to claim the Genuity Championship. The highlight of his season was the Open Championship at Muirfield. Battling harsh conditions, Els emerged victorious from a four-person playoff, securing the Claret Jug trophy for the first time. This win silenced doubts about his mental strength.

Furthermore, Els clinched his fourth World Match Play title that year. He also dominated at the Nedbank Challenge, winning it for the third time in four years. Displaying exceptional skill, he led the tournament with an impressive 8-shot margin against top-tier competitors.

On 2 March 2008, Ernie Els celebrated a victory at the Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. The competition took place at PGA National’s Championship Course. Facing windy conditions, Els recorded a final round score of 67. This score put him one stroke ahead of Luke Donald. This win was significant for Els. It ended a 3.5-year period without a PGA Tour win for him. This victory also scored his 16th win on the PGA Tour.

In 2010, Ernie Els ended his winless period with a triumph at the WGC-CA Championship at Doral. He secured a four-stroke lead over Charl Schwartzel, another South African player. This victory was Els’s second WGC tournament title. With this win, he surpassed Colin Montgomerie to become the top career earner on the European Tour.

Two weeks later, Els nailed another title at the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill. This win marked his 18th on the PGA Tour and was his second consecutive victory. Following his success at Bay Hill, Els rose to the top of the FedEx Cup standings. He maintained this leading position for 22 weeks in a row.

In July 2012, Ernie Els won unexpectedly at the Open Championship. He birdied the final hole, while Adam Scott, leading by four shots after the 14th hole, faced four consecutive bogeys. This sequence allowed Els to win, avoiding a playoff with Scott by just one stroke. This victory gave a fresh boost to Els’s career and provided him with 5-year exemptions for the other three major tournaments.

With this win, Els joined an elite group of golfers. He became the eighth player to secure major titles in three different decades. Other members of this group include Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, Lee Trevino, Billy Casper, Raymond Floyd, John Henry Taylor, and Harry Vardon. Later, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson also joined this list.

An exciting aspect of Els’s win was his use of a long putter. It was the third time in four major championships that a winner used such a putter. This reignited discussions about the use and legality of long or anchored putters in the sport.

In October 2020, Ernie Els celebrated a victory at the SAS Championship in Cary, North Carolina. He delivered a star performance, shooting a 6-under-par 66 in the final round. This score allowed him to clinch the title, finishing one stroke ahead of Colin Montgomerie.

In March 2023, Ernie Els achieved another win. At the Hoag Classic in Newport Beach, California, he recorded a final-round score 65. This impressive performance secured his victory, edging the competition by just one stroke.

Ernie Els Tours

PGA Tour19
European Tour28
Japan Golf Tour1
Asian Tour3
Sunshine Tour15
PGA Tour of Australasia5
PGA Tour Champions3

Ernie Els Awards, Records, and Honors

World Golf Hall of Fame2011
Southern Africa TourOrder of Merit winner1991–92, 1994–95
European TourGolfer of the Year1994, 2002, 2003
PGA TourRookie of the Year1994
European TourOrder of Merit winner2003, 2004
Payne Stewart Award2015
Old Tom Morris Award2018

Ernie Els Golf Course

Ernie Els currently competes mainly on the PGA Tour Champions. Outside of playing, he is engaged in a golf course design business.

Golf CourseLocation
Anahita Golf CourseBeau Champ, Mauritius
Mission Hills Golf Club (The Savannah Course)Shenzhen, China
Whiskey CreekIjamsville, Maryland, USA
OubaaiGarden Route, South Africa
The Els ClubDubai, UAE
The Els Club Teluk DataiLangkawi, Malaysia
The Els Club Desaru CoastDesaru, Malaysia
The Els Club Copperleaf Golf and Country EstateGauteng, South Africa
Hoakalei Country Club at Hoakalei ResortEwa Beach, Hawaii
AlbanyNew Providence, The Bahamas
EcoparkHanoi, Vietnam
Durrat Al Bahrain Golf CourseDurrat Al Bahrain, Bahrain

Ernie Els Endorsements

Ernie Els has several endorsement deals. He is associated with Boeing, a major aerospace company. He also partners with Callaway Golf, a leading golf equipment brand. In addition, RBC, a prominent bank, sponsors him. Another major brand backing him is SAP, a global software company. These endorsements play a special role in his career.

Ernie Els Family And Personal Life

Ernie Els was born to his father, Neels, and mother, Hettie. His father, Neels, worked as a trucking executive at the Germiston Golf course. Ernie married Liezl in 1998 in Cape Town. They have two children, Samantha and Ben.

In 2008, the family shared that Ben, their son, is autistic. This was after Ernie showed an “Autism Speaks” logo on his golf bag. The family lives near Wentworth Golf Club in England. They also spend time in South Africa and Jupiter, Florida. They seek better treatment for Ben’s autism in the United States.

Samantha, their daughter, is also an athlete. She is set to play her first game for the Springbok Women. Her debut is on 19 September 2023 against the San Clemente Rhinos.

Ernie Els Philanthropy

Ernie Els and his wife became involved in autism-related charities after their son’s diagnosis. As Ben grew older, their charity work increased. In 2009, Els started the Els for Autism Pro-Am. This annual charity golf event happens at the PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens. The first event had many PGA Tour and Champions Tour players. It raised $725,000 for The Renaissance Learning Center. This center is a school for autistic children.

The couple also set up the Els Center of Excellence. It started as a plan to build a new school campus in Jupiter, Florida. But now, it’s a $30 million project. The aim is to merge the school with a research facility.

Ernie Els Foundation

In 1999, the Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation was founded. Its goal is to find talented young golfers from underprivileged backgrounds. The foundation offers them educational support and other help. This ensures they can achieve their full potential in golf.

The Friendship Cup started in 2006. It’s a match-play competition, similar to the Ryder Cup. In this event, Ernie Els’s foundation competes against Tiger Woods’s foundation. In one of the matches, Els’s team won with a score of 12.5 to 3.5 points.

Els also supports the Gary Player Invitational. This charity golf event raises funds for needy children globally. Els has joined Player multiple times to help raise money for this cause.


Ernie Els, known as “The Big Easy,” is a renowned South African golfer. Born in Johannesburg in 1969, he turned professional in 1989. Over the years, he has achieved significant success, reaching the 1st rank in the Official World Golf Ranking in 1997.

Throughout his career, Ernie has won 75 professional tournaments and earned more than $53 million. His talent on the golf course and endorsements from major brands have boosted his net worth to $85 million. Brands like Boeing, Callaway Golf, RBC, and SAP have partnered with him.

Outside of golf, Ernie is a dedicated family man. He is married to Liezl, and together they have two children. He also invests in charity work, especially related to autism, inspired by his son’s diagnosis.


Did Ernie Els ever win the Masters?

No, Ernie Els has never won the Masters Tournament. Although he has come close on several occasions and has had multiple top-10 finishes at Augusta National, the Masters title has eluded him throughout his illustrious career.

Was Ernie Els world Number 1?

Ernie Els was ranked World Number 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking. He first achieved the top spot on 22 June 1997. Throughout his career, he has spent nine weeks as the World Number 1 golfer.

Alice Moreno
About the author

Hi, I'm Alice Moreno. I've been writing about celebrities since 2005. I love sharing stories about famous people and finding out how much they're worth. I studied Journalism and enjoy digging for facts to make sure everything I write is true.

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