Event Overview

The Els for Autism 2017 Golf Challenge (Golf Challenge) is a series of golf tournaments open to amateur golfers of either gender.  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.  The Golf Challenge is managed by and benefits the US-based Els for Autism Foundation (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.  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 will be played at courses throughout the US and Canada during the 5-month period from May through September, 2017. 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 60 teams competing for regional event prizes and an opportunity to attend the Grand Finale & Seminar. Teams that raise $13,000 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 & Seminar, to be held in Palm Beach, Florida on October 27th & 28th, 2017. The winning team of each regional event will receive a $6,500 fundraising credit and thus need only raise $6,500 to be eligible to be invited to participate in the Grand Finale & Seminar.  All teams will have until Noon EST on October 2nd to qualify for the Grand Finale & Seminar by raising $13,000.  Low net teams will have until this date and time to raise $6,500 to become eligible to attend the Grand Finale & Seminar.

The Golf Challenge also includes an option called the Els for Autism Affiliate Events Program. This allows those who cannot attend a regional golf event, or are non-golfers, to fundraise towards attending the Grand Finale and Seminar. Affiliate Event teams of one or two people must register online.  All rules and inclusions apply both to golfers and Affiliate Event registrants.

Els for Autism Foundation is a US 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.

1) Regional Golf Challenge Events

Eligibility and Rules of Golf:

The Golf Challenge is open to all amateur golfers. At least one team member must be 18 years of age or over. An official USGA handicap is required to participate. Employees of Els for Autism and any person officiating in any capacity at a regional event are ineligible to compete in the Golf Challenge.

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.

Entries:

Participants will enter by logging-on to www.e4agolf.com, completing the registration form, and paying the entry fee OR by completing an off-line registration form and sending the form and payment to: Golf Challenge Development Manager, Els for Autism Golf Challenge, 18370 Limestone Creek Road, Jupiter, FL 33458. Entry/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 served, 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 technical failures of any kind.

Substitutions:

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, that team forfeits its entry fee and may not substitute participation in another regional event for the one for which the team has registered.

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 tees 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, 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 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 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 www.e4agolf.com, will be confirmed with participants by email at least 48 hours in advance of the event.  Tee times will be assigned upon arrival but all players must arrive 60 minutes prior to the event start time of the first tee time on event day.  All players must personally register on-site at least 60 minutes 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 of the US-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 of the US 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 that donate to Golf Challenge events in Canada are not eligible to receive a tax receipt to support a deduction on their US federal income tax return.  Canadian citizens that 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.

Regional Awards:

Best Ball Team Awards: The team deemed as first place finishers at each regional event will receive $6,500 in fundraising credit towards their team fundraising amount.

Hole Contest Awards: Hole contest prizes may be awarded at some regional events and will vary.

Winners of regional awards are personally responsible for all taxes, fees and additional expenses that may be associated with 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 may apply. Prizes are subject to change. Dates of travel must be coordinated with the prize donor.

Cancellation & Inclement Weather Policy:

Regional events will be rescheduled at the discretion of Els for Autism. If a regional event is cancelled for any reason prior to 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 cancelled regional events will continue to qualify to participate in the Grand Finale & Seminar by raising $13,000 or more by Noon EST October 2nd, 2017.

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 cancelled on event day or (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 $13,000 or more are unaffected.  No team will be deemed to be the low-net winner.

Publicity and Promotion:

The Organizer, sponsors, agents, successors, licensees, nominees and assigns may arrange for (a) promotion of the event, for radio and television broadcasting, print, online and other exhibition and publication of the event or excerpts thereof in various media, including so-called "new media" and (b) the design and manufacture of advertising and packaging which commemorates, promotes or memorializes the event throughout the universe in perpetuity. By registering to participate, team members consent to the use by the Organizer, Partners and Sponsors 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 appearance in the Golf Challenge, or any portion(s) thereof, in connection with such media promotion, broadcasting and other exhibition and publication of the Els for Autism Golf Challenge events. The Organizer, Partners and Sponsors may utilize the rights granted it hereunder in connection with the promotion and/or commemoration of the Golf Challenge, and other Els for Autism events.

Els for Autism has two primary marks, the Els for Autism logo with the Ernie Els flag and an autism ribbon in blue and white with the Els logo within the ribbon.  Use of either mark by teams must be approved by the Golf Challenge Development Manager.

Terms for Submission of Entry:

Teams registering to enter these events agree to the Terms & Conditions. All registrants agree that Els for Autism may use their name, picture, likeness, voice and responses to the questions contained in this registration for advertising and promotion purposes, without compensation. Any and 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 Els for Autism regarding the event.  Els for Autism does not sell, lend or otherwise make available copies of its donor/registrant lists.

2) The Grand Finale & Seminar

Eligibility and Rules of Golf:

Same as for the regional golf events.

Entries:

All teams that raise $13,000 or more and all low net winning teams of Golf Challenge events that raise $6,500 or more will be eligible to be invited to participate in the Grand Finale & Seminar in Palm Beach, Florida on October 27th & 28th, 2017.

The teams will compete against each other in Palm Beach, FL on October 28th, 2017.

Golf Challenge participants who are invited to the Grand Finale & Seminar will receive:

  • A complimentary 2-night stay for the nights of October 27th & 28th, 2017 at The Breakers in Palm Beach, Florida for each team member and their guest.
  • Accommodation provided is for the team member and his/her guest sharing one room with a maximum two-person occupancy.
  • Private bus transportation from Palm Beach International Airport to The Breakers on October 27th, 2017 (shuttle service only available during select time period).
  • One round of tournament golf (for two team members only) on October 28th, 2017
  • Transportation to/from the golf course on October 28th, 2017 for the player only.
  • Invitations for each team member and one guest to a welcome reception on the evening of October 27th, 2017.
  • Invitations for each team member and one guest to a gala reception on the evening of October 28th, 2017.

Teams invited to the Grand Finale & Seminar must be able to be in Palm Beach, FL on October 27th & 28th, 2017 to participate. Team members qualifying for the Grand Finale & Seminar are responsible for making travel arrangements and paying for their own transportation from their homes to Palm Beach, FL to attend this 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 & Seminar, other than those detailed above. These may include additional nights at a Palm Beach hotel, meals, transfers, gratuities, taxes, entertainment or other expenses.

Substitutions:

Substitutions are permitted at the Grand Finale, although event organizers must be advised of substitutions no less than two weeks in advance of 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 Golf Challenge Development Manager.  Eligibility for prizes for teams with substitutes will be determined by the Golf Challenge Development Manager and will be based upon 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. The competition is deemed closed when the Grand Finale awards and trophies have been presented.

Grand Finale Awards:

Grand Finale Awards will be awarded to the winning teams playing in the Grand Finale golf tournament on October 28th, 2017 at each course. Els for Autism staff will assign participating teams to each course prior to the Finale tournament. Details of prizes are available on the website, www.e4agolf.com.

The top fundraising team 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 of October 2nd, 2017 at Noon EST.   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 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.

Cancellation & Inclement Weather Policy:

The Grand Finale & Seminar will not be rescheduled. In the event the Grand Finale must be cancelled in its entirety for any reason, prize winners will be chosen by a random drawing at the Els for Autism Foundation headquarters in Jupiter, Florida. Winners will then be notified by email. If the golf portion of the Grand Finale is cancelled 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 on October 28th, 2017.

Publicity and Promotion:

Same as for the regional Golf Challenge Events.

The Terms and Conditions governing participation in regional Golf Challenge Events and the Grand Finale & Seminar are subject to change.  Please check information posted on our websites – www.e4agolf.com and www.elsforautism.com - periodically.

The Els for Autism 2017 Golf Challenge is sponsored by the Els for Autism Foundation, Inc., located at 18370 Limestone Creek Road, Jupiter, Florida 33458.