Els for Autism Golf Challenge coming to Philadelphia region

Left: Ernie Els' son, Ben, tees up a ball for his dad. (Dave Cannon/Getty Image)

The U.S. Open may be over, but golf season is just getting underway in Philadelphia. And now, you can help others as you hack your way around the course.

Ernie Els, who played in the Open at Merion Golf Club, will be returning to the area next month as the "Els for Autism Golf Challenge," the largest charity-driven, national golf series in the country, hosts one of its 20+ events on Monday July 8 at Trump National Golf Club.

This is more than your standard charity golf outing, however, as players will not only look to succeed on the course, but in fundraising efforts as well. On the course, two-player teams will compete in a combined low-net event for prizes, however the big winners will be those that raise over $13,000.

Players from those teams will join Els and other PGA TOUR players in Las Vegas, the final stop in the series, where even better prizes will be offered, including trips to Africa, South America and England.

... As if supporting a great cause isn't incentive enough.

Here's more from the Els for Autism Foundation:

Funds raised from the event series will go towards the creation of the Els Center of Excellence. The Center will not only be a school for children on the autism spectrum ages 3-21, but it will also be a hub for Els for Autism’s worldwide operations; enabling the Foundation to reach out and make a difference to thousands of families with children on the spectrum across the U.S and beyond. ...

Ernie Els, whose 10-year old son Ben is severely touched by autism, and who set up the Els for Autism Foundation in 2009 with his wife Liezl, is appealing to golfers to get involved: “ We are delighted to welcome on-board Ernst & Young as the Presenting Sponsor for our Golf Challenge event in Philadelphia being hosted at Trump National. Please tee it up at a phenomenal venue for an important cause and help Liezl and I make a difference to the lives of thousands of families affected by autism. Teams that get involved in the fundraising competition and qualify for the Finale are in for a real treat in Las Vegas – we really do have a great time there; it’s a couple of days that shouldn’t be missed!”

“We are pleased to support Els for Autism by hosting one of their Golf Challenge Regional events at Trump National Golf Club in Philadelphia,” said Geoff Vickrey, a principal and leader of the Enabling Technology practice, Ernst & Young LLP. “We have long admired the way in which Ernie and his wife Liezl have used their position to help shine a light on autism and are delighted to have the opportunity to join them on their journey to create a better future for children on the autism spectrum through the creation of the Els Center for Excellence. “

Since its inaugural 2011 series, the Els for Autism Golf Challenge has raised over $4 million for autism thanks to 3,300 rounds of golf and over 13,000 donors pledging funds. The series has also helped raise awareness of a disorder that that now affects a staggering, 1 in 88 children and 1 in 54 boys.

Registration is $600 per player and includes golf, breakfast, lunch, an exclusive Els for Autism Gift Bag and the chance to win great prizes. Teams can register online at: www.elsforautism.com/philadelphia