Ernie Els recently played golf with President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Mar-A-Lago Club. The four-time major champion told Brian Costa of The Wall Street Journal that he took some ribbing from his buddies who don’t like Trump.
Els’ response for them is perfect.
“A lot of my own friends were not for him,” Els said. “They kind of needled me a little bit, saying I was a suck-up. I just said, ‘Go eff yourself. I played with the president and you haven’t.’ You can’t please everybody.”
Els, who told Golf Channel he was asked to play with the President and Prime Minister by David Trout, the director of golf at Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Florida and said, “Of course.”
“Bang, there goes my hair again,” Els smiles as he glances down at his arm and the byproduct of lingering chills. “Of course I would [play], what kind of question is that? I would play with him even if I was half dead.”
“It was one of the most special groups of people I’ve been around. I played with the queen of Malaysia, I’ve played with other presidents, but this is the most powerful guy in the whole world and to see him in his full security detail, it’s impressive,” said Els on Tuesday ahead of the Genesis Open. “But to play with him as president puts him in another atmosphere.”
Els also called Trump a “proper golfer” and said that the discussions never got political and he accepted the invite out of respect.