Ernie Els' Autism Fundraiser Set for May at TPC Scottsdale

The largest charity-driven, national golf series in the United States, "Els for Autism Golf Challenge" will stage one of its 30 Super Regional events May 2 at TPC Scottsdale (Ariz.). Amateur golfers in the area are invited to take up the 'Challenge' by registering two-person teams for the event and help raise funds for the Els for Autism Foundation.

Spearheaded by professional golfer and 2011 World of Golf Hall of Fame inductee Ernie Els, the Super Regional events will take place across the country from May-September at TPC and handpicked private and public golf courses. Teams will compete for the chance to qualify for the Grand Finale October 23-24 in Las Vegas and the opportunity to win major prizes.

In the competition, a team's fundraising skills will be valued as much as its performance on the course, and as such, both the low net winning team and the highest fundraising team from each Super Regional event will be invited to the Grand Finale. In addition, all teams that raise $10,000 or more also will earn a place at the Finale in October.

All proceeds from the golf series will go to the Els for Autism Foundation to fund an autism Center of Excellence. The $30 million project, the first of its kind in the world, will include a physical hub based in Palm Beach County, Fla., and a global digital learning platform that will reach out to the autism community across the U.S. and the world.

Each team will choose its own child on the spectrum that they play for; their "Honorary Captain." After registration, each team is allocated a dedicated team page to support their fundraising efforts and keep track of online donations from their friends, families and colleagues.

The recommended minimum fundraising target is $2,500 per team (including entry fee) and those who meet the target will qualify for entry into a Fundraisers' Prize Draw for the chance to win a luxury seven-day golf trip to Ireland, courtesy of IRISH LINKS.

Other prizes include luxury trips to South Africa, London and Patagonia, courtesy of Mantis, a world leader in sustainable tourism and hospitality, as well as Callaway golf clubs, complete with customized fitting.

Els, whose son Ben was diagnosed with autism five years ago at age three, is appealing to golfers across the country to get involved. "Every once in a while, a cause resonates so profoundly that we need to respond," said Els.

"Autism is such a cause for me because I know first-hand what families go through. That's why I've created the Els for Autism Golf Challenge to help raise funds for an autism Center of Excellence, the first of its kind in the world. Autism hits families hard and I'll be fighting for the rest of my life to try and help others in the same situation. I hope you'll share an interest and join me in this fight."

Organizing sponsors for the Els for Autism Golf Challenge include SAP, Callaway, RBC and Wine Spectator. These companies are critical in the delivery of this innovative series of fundraising events. To register a team, view a full list of events or to sponsor a team visit