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Els gives up cash to make a point to the European Tour



There’s not much that upsets the “Big Easy,” but European Tour officials have done just that.

The four-time major champion has decided to skip next week’s DP World Tour Championship in Dubai in protest to of new European Tour rules requiring its members to play two out of the three of the events leading up the season finale in order to remain eligible for the first prize of $8 million. The three tournaments in question are the BMW Masters in Shanghai, the WGC-HSBC Champions tournament that ended in Shanghai on Sunday (Els finished T11) and this week’s Turkish Airlines Open.

“It’s farcical,” Els said. “In my view it’s an absolute joke I can see [the tour’s point of view] but it’s crazy. I’ve been playing both tours since 1994 and it’s been no problem but for some reason now the European Tour expect us to play a full schedule.

“We used to play seven events and you could keep your card in Europe. Now you have to play more than in America. [That is] the direction they’re going in. I just think it’s the wrong one.

“I’m going to have to look at my schedule. I was there for the growth of this tour, 22 years, and now they’re making it almost impossible for me… to remain playing the tour.”

The decision appears to be a tough one given the European Tour’s struggles in recent years to retain some of its top young European players. Most of these players have been heading off to the richer PGA Tour, where larger prize money is offered.World No. 2 and current Masters champion Adam Scott is one player that gave up his membership several years ago to play primarily on the PGA Tour and tournaments back home in Australia.

Though it’s doubtful the European Tour will alter its decision for any one player, the possible loss of a crowd favorite like Els would be a huge embarrassment.

When Els was asked how European Tour officials reacted to the news he would not be playing in Dubai, Els had this to say:

“I don’t think they really care.”

Harsh words, but perhaps Els’ no show will send a more powerful message.

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Troy Vayanos was born and still resides in Brisbane, Australia. He has been a passionate golfer for more than 25 years and loves learning and increasing his knowledge of the golf swing. He lives and breathes golf from his local golf course to the professional tours around the world. His website Hitting It Solid delivers the latest golf instruction that helps you break 100 and beyond. You’ll also learn the 7 critical steps you must know to play better golf today.



  1. Mark

    Nov 9, 2013 at 5:37 am

    You can bet your Bottom Dollar that if Els still resided in Wentworth, England. He would not be in this situation, Els moved to Florida to take up a Full time Playing position on the PGA tour, so did McCilroy, Westwood, Poulter and they still managed to play in enough events to Qualify for Dubai.
    The Pga Tour have a similar system to make sure that the top 30 going in to the last event of the Fed Ex Cup are the only one’s who have a chance of winning the big pot, The European Tour are just making sure that its the same over here, Judging by the Golf being played in Turkey this week, Els won’t be missed.

    • Neale

      Nov 9, 2013 at 11:45 pm

      Mark – the main reason for Ernie moving to live in Florida was to provide his son Ben with the treatment and facilities for his autism which Europe was not able to offer. Yes, there were also other considerations but Ernie, like other players has continued to support the European tour.

  2. GSark

    Nov 6, 2013 at 10:03 pm

    When the U.S tour was clearly No.1 this would have been no issue. Now that line has been blurred and the Europeans are clearly No.1 ( look at the Ryder cup)I totally understand the officials tightening up the qualifications. This is a competition after all and right now the best players in the world are from Europe and by default that makes their tour No.1. You can argue and talk about prize money, or you can look at the Ryder Cup and the decimation the Europeans rain down on the Americans year after year. They’ve earned the right to be picky. Tough noogies Ernie.

    • naflack

      Nov 8, 2013 at 3:24 pm

      But they don’t play that tour…
      The Ryder cup has zero implications on which tour is held in higher regard. I don’t have an issue with the euro tours demands even though I don’t think it will work but the Ryder cup had nothing to do with any of this.

  3. B

    Nov 6, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    Ernie is quickly becoming a farcical character in golf. The sooner he realized that the days of being spoiled in golf are over and that the world’s tours are becoming more competitive and therefore are wanting to set them up as true competitions whereby point must be attained in fair game situations, the better he will be.

    But then again, it might be OK for somebody like him to quit playing as well, so that youngsters who want to compete and gain status fair and square can do so in properly-sanctioned competitions by getting points from them.

    Buh-bye Ernie.

  4. Andreas

    Nov 6, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    What people don’t realise is that the UK taxman wants to tax the winnings (fair enough I suppose) but he also wants a share of endorsements. So if Tiger Woods is getting $10M from Nike per year the UK wants a portion of that for the 4 days he spends playing the British Open. They are effectively getting taxed twice at their home country and by the UK.

    Now, Tiger has more than enough but what this is doing for all sports is putting the UK at the bottom of the list when it coming to hosting ANY sporting events and that’s why there is no WGC in the UK. Guys just don’t want to play

  5. AJ

    Nov 6, 2013 at 7:40 am

    Most top European pros now base themselves in Florida because they can practice all year round. Before they did this, they were effectively competing on an un-even playing field because their USA competitors could practice more regularly.

    Els famously used to live on the Wentworth Estate – lovely place yes but poor weather for at least 3 and sometimes 6 months of the year. He has now moved to the US – why then is he so fussed about keeping ET membership?

    Then the European (or British) commentators and media criticise these players (inc top Euros such as McIlroy, Poulter, McDowell, Rose) for leaving their ‘home’ tour when all they are trying to do is compete with the other top players in the world. The plan is clearly working given recent Euro successes in the majors and of course the Ryder Cup dominance over the past decade.

    Personally, as an Englishman, I wish a World Tour or something would be instigated and more top events (with all the top Americans) would be played over here in our summer (around the Open) – call it a European swing or whatever. However, why would the PGA Tour ever agree to this – they have a huge home-grown fan base and multiple sponsors putting on fantastic events that over here we love watching in the evenings.

    The European Tour is destined to become an effective feeder tour (if it isn’t already) and should stop trying to compete on a level playing field. As others have pointed out, the move to Dubai/Asia-based events has led to somewhat of a farce anyway.

    • leftright

      Nov 7, 2013 at 8:41 am

      The “World” tour is coming and coming fast. That is what the top players will be doing in 10 years is jumping from country to country playing top level events for huge sums of money. There will be a PGA and European Tour but the tournaments for the most part will be like second level events e.g., those opposite the Master’s or British Open that draw lesser fields. Conceivably you could have someone like Tiger (it won’t be Tiger) playing 5 events on the PGA Tour, all majors and maybe the player’s.

  6. Troy Vayanos

    Nov 6, 2013 at 4:32 am

    I like Mat’s comments on having equal points across both tours. I think there is some merit in that.

    I agree with Kevin that a world tour would be the best way to go. Something similar to what is in place in professional tennis. However I cannot see anything like this happening for quite some time as the PGA Tour is very strong and has no reason to share or combine with the European Tour.

  7. naflack

    Nov 5, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    The European tour should just embrace number 2. Invite more of the American college players to come over and gain status professionally and use it as a reason to have smaller payouts.
    That’s my opinion anyway?

  8. Mat

    Nov 5, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    It would be wise for the tours to have “exchange” points… somehow get a system where you have a top 125, but that if the European tour offered a card for 50¢/$ US as credit towards a card, your good euro players can play any time. Those that are talented but not playing both tours would have incentive to stay, but would still allow the top stars from the USPGA to play in Europe on demand.

    OTOH, it may well be what preserves interest in the events leading to a big payoff — and if Els wanted to play for that money, he should have looked at it as a multi-event purse.

    You have to decide if you want the Top 10 to go poach a huge purse on a one-week shot, or do you want to have a separate-and-almost-equal tour not in USA.

  9. Kevin

    Nov 5, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    It’s time they just introduced a world tour , as one other has said the European Tour travels all over the world apart from the US and Austrailia

    • Derehk

      Nov 9, 2013 at 3:59 am

      European Tour makes six stops in US and one in Australia during 2013 season.

  10. Danny

    Nov 5, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    The European Tour is only useful for filling time on the golf channel if there are no PGA events that week.

    Also, why is it the European tour when most of their tournements are not in Europe. Last time I checked Dubai is in Asia.

    • Mikko U

      Nov 5, 2013 at 5:41 pm

      Really funny Danny.

      As for the comments Els made, I think it’s quite sad actually. You need to play in 12 ET tournaments, 4 majors and 4 WGC tournaments are on everyone’s calendar.

      That leaves 4 tournaments you need to play specially on ET. If you play only two of the pre-Dubai tournaments and another one of them is the WGC, it still adds up to two tournaments in the whole DP finals-series. So, finally you have 2 tournaments that are outside of the majors, WGC or Dubai-finals, which most top pros will play anyway.

      Two tournaments really isn’t that much, throw in the Scottish Open the week before the Open and you’re left with one, for Els that could be a tournament in his home land SA. Maybe that’s too much to ask for.

      The question is, why does Els want to have the ET card if playing a couple of tournaments on ET is too much?

      • Brian

        Nov 5, 2013 at 5:45 pm

        Softer competition and the chance to sneak in and pick up some potential extra cash with a win.

        • Mikko U

          Nov 5, 2013 at 6:41 pm

          Yes but clearly he doesn’t seem to have interest in sneaking in to play a tournament or two because he thinks it’s too much to ask to play those couple of extra tournaments. Thus that can’t be the answer.

    • neil

      Nov 6, 2013 at 6:15 am

      not sure it is Asia,more like Middle east?

      • cce

        Nov 6, 2013 at 6:56 am

        Please check a map. Middle East Asia is where Dubai is. Still Asia.

    • Whatsthepoint

      Nov 6, 2013 at 10:46 am

      Danny, that is one of the dumbest comments I’ve ever read. Why do you post here? You know nothing about golf

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Club Junkie

Ampcaddy golf speaker V3 Pro review



Music on the golf course is becoming more and more common, especially with bluetooth speakers designed for the purpose. Ampcaddy has been around for a few years and is famous for its adjustable clamp that mounts easily to the roof support on a golf cart. That clamp can also be used to attach the V3 Pro to just about any pole that you have at home, at the beach, or on the golf course. The clamp also lets you attach the speaker to aluminum or plastic securely, something the magnet options in this space don’t allow. The Ampcaddy V3 Pro clamp and arm are adjustable, so you can direct the sound in any direction that you desire. I like to keep my music focused more on the cart and aim the speaker at myself so I minimize the distraction on the green or tee box.

The sound quality of the Ampcaddy Golf Speaker V3 Pro is very good. There looks to be a small subwoofer on the back for great bass and the small front speaker does a good job with any genre of music. I am no audiophile, but my course playlist of everything from country, to hip hop, to rock sounded clear and full. The volume control could be a little more sensitive as I found that increasing or decreasing the volume could change the decibel level more than I wanted.

Sometimes, early in the morning, I felt the music was either a little too loud for my playing partners or a little too soft for me to hear comfortably. The battery life is listed as 20 hours, and while I didn’t go that far, it worked fine for two 18 holes rounds. The Ampcaddy Golf Speaker V3 Pro is wireless, using a Bluetooth connection from your phone, but also has a Micro SD slot and an Aux port for connecting if Bluetooth isn’t available. Ampcaddy lists the Golf Speaker V3 Pro as IPX7 water resistant for rain or splashing, so you should have no issues if you get caught in a downpour away from the clubhouse.

Overall, the Ampcaddy Golf Speaker V3 Pro seems to be a well built speaker with a ton of flexibility for mounting it on the golf course. With good sound and long battery life, the Golf Speaker V3 Pro can add some further enjoyment while on the golf course.

Take a listen to the Club Junkie Podcast for even more on the Ampcaddy Golf Speaker V3 Pro.


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Golf's Perfect Imperfections

Golf’s Perfect Imperfections: How to use your backyard haven to train your golf game



This will help improve your skills — without upsetting your better half.


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Club Junkie

Review of the new Fujikura Ventus TR Red and Black shafts!



Fujikura’s Ventus shafts have been one of the hottest shaft lineups in years. You can see them all over the professional tours and in tons of amatuer bags every weekend. The new line of TR models does not replace the original Ventus Red, Blue, and Black as those are still available and won’t be leaving anytime soon. These new TR models are meant to be an addition to the line and filling a few gaps that players have asked for.

The Ventus Red was a shaft that I played in drivers and fairway woods over the years and I really loved it. I hit a pretty low, flat ball so the added launch of the Ventus Red was needed and it offered accuracy that I hadn’t been able to find in many higher launching shafts. The new TR Red takes a lot of that DNA and turns it up a notch. TR Red has a smooth, yet little more stout feel through the swing. It takes just a little more effort to load it and the kick at impact is great, just maybe not as aggressive as the Ventus Red is. The TR Red launch is a little bit lower and overall apex seems to be just a bit flatter as well. For players with more aggressive tempos the TR Red might offer a tad less draw compared to its sibling. I took the TR Red out in my Stealth+ head to a course I had played frequently and never had yardages into holes that I had that day. On at least 3-4 holes I told my playing partner that I had never been that close. The TR Red is currently in the bag!

TR Black looks amazing with the Spread Tow fabric showing in the sunlight. When you set the club down and waggle it, like all of us do with a new stick, there is almost no waggle to the shaft! The Ventus TR Black is very stout, noticeably more stout than the original Ventus Black. As stiff as the shaft is, Fujikura has built in a ton of smoothness to it. It takes a lot of power to load so be ready to try the softer flex or lighter weight. The launch is very low, one of the lowest I have hit, and the ballflight very flat. I could see that the TR Black launched significantly lower than TR Red when hitting it in the same head on the course. TR Black is hard to turn over and players who fear the draw should like the stout feel as you bring the shaft to impact. For my 105 mph club head speed I think stepping down to the 6-S would give me more playable results compared to the extra stiff.

Overall the new TR Red and TR Black are great shafts that Fujikura has engineered. Even if you are currently playing a Ventus, I think it is worth your while to check out the new shafts and see how they compare to your gamer. For more on each shaft check out my Club Junkie podcast.


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