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Els for Autism Golf Challenge

Jupiter, FL 33458 US

Terms & Conditions

For purposes of these Terms & Conditions, the Els for Autism 2024 Golf Challenge Series (herein known as “Golf Challenge”) includes all regional events, Affiliate Events, and the Grand Finale, and the term “Participants” includes players, golfers, professionals, teams, team members, registrants, sponsors, donors, low-net winners, spectators, volunteers and any other persons involved in the Golf Challenge.

The Golf Challenge is managed by and benefits the U.S.-based Els for Autism Foundation (“The Foundation”) and the Els for Autism Foundation Canada. Both organizations are recognized as being created for charitable purposes and have been classified as nonprofit organizations by their country's federal government. Els for Autism Foundation is a U.S. public charity (EIN #26-3520396), recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as exempt from federal tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the tax code. Els for Autism-Canada has been recognized by the Canadian federal government as a nonprofit organization and has been assigned Charitable Business Number 832050447RR0001.  Donors should consult their tax advisor to determine whether they are eligible to claim a deduction associated with their donation to this event.  Regional event registration fees (which vary in cost) are not tax deductible as they cover goods and services received.  Funds raised and donated in excess of this amount (including sponsorships) may be eligible for a federal tax deduction.

The purpose of the Golf Challenge is to: (a) provide participants with an opportunity to raise funds for the Foundation(s), personally and through family and friends, (b) meet informally with other people interested in positively affecting the lives of people diagnosed on the autism spectrum, and (c) disseminate autism programming or educational information in the communities in which Golf Challenges are held.

The Golf Challenge is a two-stage competition. In the first stage, golfers will compete in two-person teams in one or more events across the U.S. and Canada. Each event will have a maximum of 72 teams competing for regional event prizes and an opportunity to attend the Els for Autism Golf Challenge Grand Finale. Teams that raise $15,000 (18,000 CAD) or more including two-player registration fees from a single event and team donations will be recognized for their fundraising efforts through an invitation to participate in the Grand Finale. The winning team of each U.S. regional event will receive a $7,500 fundraising credit and thus need only raise $7,500 to be eligible to be invited to participate in the Grand Finale.  All teams will have until the fundraising deadline, as noted on the Grand Finale details page, to qualify for the Grand Finale by raising $15,000 (18,000 CAD); U.S. regional low-net teams will have until the fundraising deadline to raise $7,500 to become eligible to attend the Grand Finale.



Eligibility and Rules of Golf:

The Els for Autism Golf Challenge is a series of amateur golf tournaments. Professionals are permitted to be members of teams but neither they nor their team is eligible to win prizes or be low-net winners in any Golf Challenge tournament. Employees of Els for Autism and any person officiating in any capacity at a regional event are ineligible to compete in the Golf Challenge. At least one team member must be 18 years of age or over. Male golfers take 90% of their course handicap, female golfers take 95% of their course handicap and senior golfers (70+) take 90% of their course handicap. If you do not submit a GHIN number at the time of registration and your handicap cannot be verified, you will play as a scratch golfer on event day. Play is governed by the current USGA Rules of Golf and local rules for each course. Local rules will be provided by each course and will be available on-site upon request on the day of the event. Questions with respect to the rules of golf and scoring will be settled by the on-site course golf professional presiding over the event, whose decision will be final. The golf professional will be designated on the day of the event.


Participants will register by logging on to, completing the registration form, and paying the entry fee. Registration fees are non-refundable unless Els for Autism cancels the event in advance of event day (See Cancellation & Inclement Weather Policy.) Donations are non-refundable under any circumstance. Golf Challenge organizers reserve the right to reject any application that, in its sole discretion, is incomplete, not compliant with the terms and conditions of the Golf Challenge, or is otherwise ineligible.

Openings for each Golf Challenge event are limited and will be assigned on a first-come, first-serve, basis at the time of reservation. Teams may participate in any number of regional events. However, participants may only use the registration fees from one team at one event to qualify for the Grand Finale.

The Organizer is not responsible for lost, late, misdirected, or otherwise undeliverable mail, or entries that cannot be processed due to phone, network, electronic or computer hardware or software failure, or any other technical failures.


Substitutes are permitted for registered team members at Golf Challenge events.  Event organizers must be advised of substitutions. If a registered participant must cancel and a substitute cannot be found, the registration fee for that participant will be forfeited and may not be substituted in another regional event.

Event Format:

The format for all regional events will be a two-person team best ball.

Each competitor will play his or her own ball throughout the 18-hole round, and the lowest score for each hole between the two players will be counted in accordance with USGA competition rules. The course professional will provide yardage for one set of standard men's and women's tees for use in the tournament. Total yardage for each color tee will vary by course and will be determined by each course's golf professional. In the event of a tie, the golf professional will match the scores of the team’s best ball to determine the winner on the basis of the best score for the last nine holes. If the tying players have the same score for the last nine, the professional will determine the winner on the basis of the last six holes, the last three holes, and finally the 18th hole. If this method is used in a competition with a multiple tee start (1 & 10 or a shotgun), it is recommended that the “last nine holes, last six holes, etc.,” is considered to be holes 10-18, 13-18, etc. in accordance with the USGA back nine guidelines.

If no specific local rules are provided in writing for the pace of play at the event, the rules will default to the following guideline: The player must play without undue delay – leaving no more than 1 open hole in front of their group.  Penalties for breach of pace of play may be assessed by the professional and can include two strokes in stroke play; for any repeated offense, disqualification. Rules with respect to scoring and submission of scorecards, pace of play, use of distance measuring devices, dress code, and other course rules and practices will be issued by each course's golf professional, whose decision is final.

There will be a shotgun or assigned tee time start for each regional event. Each regional event's shotgun start time, published on, will be confirmed with participants by email at least 48 hours in advance of the event.  Tee times will be assigned at least 48 hours in advance of the event. All players must personally register on-site at least 24 hours prior to the start time and must be at the starting point at least five minutes prior to the start time. Failure to do so may result in a team forfeiting their opportunity to participate or being assessed a penalty. The result of each regional event is deemed to be officially announced when the result has been announced by the Els for Autism representative and approved by the course's golf professional.

Use of Funds Raised:

Funds raised through Golf Challenge events will be used to support the programs and services of the U.S.-based Els for Autism Foundation or Els for Autism-Canada.  Funds raised at Golf Challenge events in the United States will be used to support the programs and services of the U.S. Foundation and donors will receive a tax receipt that may be used to support a deduction on their federal income tax return.  Funds raised at Golf Challenge events in Canada will be used to support the programs of Els for Autism-Canada.  Donors in Canadian events will receive a tax receipt that may be used to support a deduction on their Canadian federal income tax return.  American citizens who donate to Golf Challenge events in Canada are not eligible to receive a tax receipt to support a deduction on their U.S. federal income tax return.  Canadian citizens who donate to Golf Challenge events in the United States are not eligible to receive a tax receipt to support a deduction on their Canadian federal income tax return.  Registration fees may not be used to support a charitable deduction in either the United States or Canada.

Cancellation & Inclement Weather Policy:

Regional events will be rescheduled at the discretion of Els for Autism. If a regional event is canceled for any reason prior to the event day, the company or individual who paid the registration fee will be offered an opportunity to play in a different regional event (subject to availability) or a refund of their registration fee. Depending on the new regional event chosen, an additional registration fee may be required. Donations will not be refunded under any circumstances. Registered participants in canceled regional events will continue to qualify to participate in the Grand Finale by raising $15,000 (18,000 CAD) or more by the fundraising deadline. People who register for a regional event and later find themselves unable to participate may not seek a refund of either registration fees or donations. They may, however, designate a substitute team member.  No refunds will be given if (a) the Golf Challenge is canceled on event day (b) if the event cannot be completed due to inclement weather or (c) if the course is deemed unplayable by the course's Golf Professional.

If play is terminated by the course's Golf Professional prior to nine holes of competition from all players, teams competing to go to the Grand Finale by raising $15,000 (18,000 CAD) or more are unaffected. No team will be deemed to be the low-net winner.

Indemnification and Limitation of Liability:

Participants agree to waive, release, absolve, indemnify, and agree to hold harmless The Foundation and all its agents from any loss, liability, damages, or costs, including, but not limited to, court costs and attorney’s fees, that may result from Participant, including, but not limited to, any damage caused to hosting facilities or the property of such facilities; and PARTICIPANT VOLUNTARILY ASSUMES ALL RISKS, HAZARDS AND DANGERS arising from or relating in any way to the Golf Challenge, whether occurring before, during, or after the event, including, without limitation, the risk of injury or contracting a communicable disease or illness. The Participant hereby waives all claims and potential claims relating to or arising from such risks, hazards, and dangers.

Golf Challenge Publicity and Promotion:

Participants consent to the use, by The Foundation,  of his/her name, likeness, voice, and references to him/her and photographs and other images or video of him/her and his/her play connected with his/her appearance in the Golf Challenge, or any portion(s) thereof, in connection with such media promotion, broadcasting and other exhibition and publication of the Golf Challenge. The Foundation may utilize the rights granted hereunder in connection with the promotion and/or commemoration of the Golf Challenge, and other Els for Autism events. 

Els for Autism has one primary mark, the Els for Autism logo with the Ernie Els flag and the words “Els for Autism” below the flag. Use of this mark by Participants must be approved by the Els for Autism Marketing Team.

Terms for Submission of Entry:

Teams registering to enter these events agree to these Terms & Conditions. All registrants agree The Foundation may use their name, picture, likeness, voice, and responses to the questions contained in this registration for advertising and promotion purposes, without compensation. All claims, judgments, and awards from actions arising from this event shall be limited to actual out-of-pocket costs incurred, including costs associated with entering the Golf Challenge. Attorney's fees will not be awarded or reimbursed. Players are responsible for all costs associated with playing in the events unless stipulated.

By registering for a regional event, registrants agree to receive emails from The Foundation regarding the event.  The Foundation does not sell, lend, or otherwise make available copies of its donor/registrant lists without permission of the Participant.




If your team raises $15,000 (18,000 CAD) during the event season prior to the fundraising deadline, your team will be invited to the Golf Challenge Grand Finale.

The Golf Challenge also includes an option called the Els for Autism Affiliate Events. This program allows those who cannot attend a regional golf event or are non-golfers, to fundraise towards attending the Grand Finale. All rules and inclusions apply both to golfers and Affiliate Event Participants.

Rules of Golf:

Same as for the regional golf events.


All teams that raise $15,000 (18,000 CAD) or more and all U.S. regional low-net winning teams that raise $7,500 or more prior to the fundraising deadline, will be eligible to be invited to participate in the Grand Finale.

Teams invited to the Grand Finale must be able to travel to the designated event location. Team members qualifying for the Grand Finale are responsible for making travel arrangements and paying for their own transportation from their homes to the event. Team members are expected to provide tournament organizers with the details of their travel arrangements at least 14 days prior to the event.

Grand Finale participants are responsible for all costs associated with their participation in the Grand Finale, other than those detailed above. These may include additional nights at a hotel, meals, transfers, gratuities, taxes, entertainment, or other expenses.


Substitutions are permitted at the Grand Finale, although event organizers must be advised of substitutions no less than three weeks before the Grand Finale. Note that any substitution in the playing golf team who qualified for the finale via the Low Net category renders that team unable to compete for scoring prizes at the Grand Finale unless approved by the Events Manager. The Events Manager will determine eligibility for prizes for teams with substitutes and will be based upon the comparison of original and replacement player handicaps.

Event Format:

Same as for the regional Golf Challenge Events.

Affiliate Event Program registrants have the option to compete in the Grand Finale golf tournament should they wish.

Grand Finale Awards:

Grand Finale Awards will be awarded to the winning teams playing in the Grand Finale golf tournament at the Grand Finale awards ceremony.

The top fundraising team of the year will be awarded The Els Cup. The winning team is determined by all funds received in the Els for Autism office or website by the fundraising deadline. Teams who qualify for The Finale via a Silver, Gold, or Platinum corporate sponsorship at a regional event are not eligible to use funds allocated to sponsoring any regional event or finale component towards The Els Cup fundraising competition.

Winners of the Grand Finale Awards are personally responsible for all taxes, fees, and additional expenses that may be associated with the acceptance of their prizes. For details on expenses included in prizes, participants should contact prize donors.  All prizes are non-transferable and may not be exchanged for cash or anything else of value. Exclusions and restrictions will apply.

Prizes are subject to change. The competition is deemed closed when the Grand Finale awards and trophies have been presented.

Cancellation & Inclement Weather Policy:

If the golf portion of the Grand Finale is canceled before the completion of nine holes by all participating players due to inclement weather or any other reason, prize winners will be chosen by random drawing and announced at the awards ceremony.



The performance of this Agreement by The Foundation is subject to acts of God, war, government regulations, orders and laws, pandemics or diseases, disaster, strikes, civil disorder, terrorism, complete curtailment of transportation, or other emergencies making it illegal or impossible to substantially perform this Agreement.  In such an event, prompt notice shall be given by The Foundation.  The Foundation in cancellation of performance under this provision will exercise due diligence and take all reasonable steps to avoid, remove, and overcome the effects of the force majeure event and will not incur liquidated damages or other costs associated with event cancelation.

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