For Els, golf now losing out to family
Ernie Els is considering cutting his golf schedule even more to
spend time with his family, saying life on the road after 25
seasons as a pro is getting ”tougher and tougher.”
The four-time major winner has already slowed down over the past
few years, playing 19 tournaments on the PGA Tour and only seven
European Tour events last season.
The 44-year-old Els expects to trim that again, he said at the
Nedbank Golf Challenge, his first tournament in a month.
The South African, who turned professional in 1989, said that
with his daughter Samantha now 14 and son Ben now 11 ”there are
other things that come into play.”
”It’s always been difficult leaving the house, but now you
really see your kids growing up and it gets more difficult,” Els
He almost skipped the Nedbank to stay on vacation with his
family, and had to send Samantha back home to Florida on her own
for school while he set off in search of a fourth title at Sun
”I feel a little bit guilty about that,” he said.
Els is recognizing the trend with a couple of other players on
”Family life is important and you don’t want to miss out on
their best years before they leave the house,” he said. ”A lot of
us are in that boat now. Phil (Mickelson) has kids the same age as
mine, so does (Steve) Stricker. Guys get to my age and your kids
get to teenage years and it becomes a bit of a difficult scenario.
It’s getting tougher and tougher. The younger guys don’t have too
many hassles travelling … but things change.
”I haven’t really got a game plan for next year yet, but I
definitely have to play a slightly different schedule. I’ve got to
look at my schedule and see where I’m going to.”
One thing that will remain is his commitment to trying to win
another major – maybe two. His British Open title in 2012, a decade
after his first Claret Jug, bolstered Els’ hopes of another big win
before he eases off completely.
”I’m 44 and with the equipment I can really stay with the
longer hitters,” Els said. ”I feel I have a chance. I just need
to sharpen up some things, get the right venue and get the right
mojo. Then I think we can pull something off again. It’s not going
to be easy, but I believe there are one or two left, so I’ll keep