Oct 17th, 2017
Ernie Els: My alter ego mischief maker...
Theodore comes to town...
Words: Tim Southwell Photography: James Lovett, Getty Images
A side of Ernie Els you thought you'd never see!!
Who would play you in a movie?
(Laughs) Well, with my good looks it’s got to be Brad Pitt!
What makes you cry?
Ahh, not many things… pain… actually, I mean I don’t want to take this thing down but… funerals…
Let’s bring it back up… what was your first car?
It was a Volkswagen Beetle, a light blue one probably a ’69, ’70 model. Just like Herbie,.. it broke down on me several times but it got the job done.
Interview video: This cracks us up!
Beatles or The Rolling Stones?
Punk or classical?
Neither…. My sister was more into punk rock.
Could you kill your own dinner?
Yes. I have. It was a springbok.
How did you kill it?
With a bullet! Then we put it on a buckie as we say in the Kalahari. And then the rest, head off, skin off, balls off and there you go.
Who’s the biggest gossiper on tour?
Charles Howell III. Quiet guy but he knows everything.
Who’s the funniest person you’ve ever met?
You are President of South Africa for a day. You can change one thing…
I would change the tax laws completely, then I would live back there for ever and ever.
What’s the worst job you ever had?
I guess it was when I worked for the state, I was a private in the Air Force. It was an office job. I didn’t go to the border or anything and they looked after me very well because I played golf half decent. I really wasted two years of my life but I improved my golf a lot. Second to that would be giving the generals golf lessons on Wednesday afternoons… they had a different mentality…
Did they really land on the moon?
Actually, I have questioned that. My mom, still to this day believes not, she believes they did that in some studio. There’s definitely a conspiracy theory there, I mean the guy was bouncing like he was… I don’t know. I’ll have to visit the moon to see if they were really there.
If you had a time machine, would you go back or forwards?
I would definitely go back. Obviously I never lived in the ‘50s. The ‘50s looked fun and the ‘60s especially. I would have loved to have been a teenager in the 50s and into my 20s and 30s in the ‘60s, that would have been spot on. The music was great and it seemed like it was a very free world (laughs). It looked like you could have fun and start something and make billions out of it.
What would you think if you met yourself at a party?
Woah, who’s this good looking guy?! Well, there are two of me. There is Ernie and Theodore. You meet Ernie and you probably think 'yeah he’s quite shy, intellectual guy'. And Theodore… I have to drink a lot to become Theodore, y'know, get on a table with my kit off. People would think 'I don’t know how many tequilas that guy has drunk but he looks like a lot of fun!'
When was the last time Theodore came out?
December last year. Theodore went for a swim in the ocean and took the South African cricket captain with him. When we came back to shore our wives didn’t think it was very funny!
Would you bungee jump?
No. I am deathly afraid of heights. My daughter, on the other hand, she’s done it a couple of times. My wife’s not scared of heights either. I went zip wiring in Titikana last December and that probably drove me to the drink! Theodore will bungee jump but Ernie won’t.
Where were you the first time you had a snog?
Errrm, 15 or 16, we used to have these Friday night school parties and I had to be home at 11, so one of those.
What’s the best chat up line you’ve heard?
(Laughs) I haven’t had to chat anybody up for 27 years!
What golf magazines do you read?
GolfPunk has really shaken things up. Look at Golf Digest and the others they are all trying it on now.