The Largest Golf Dinner in America


America’s largest golf dinner is back! The Ouimet Fund is excited to announce that Hall of Famer Ernie Els will receive the 2023 Francis Ouimet Award on Monday, April 3, 2023 at the Encore Boston Harbor.

We are excited to welcome Mr. Els as our next honoree, recognizing his immense contributions to golf and the community throughout his impressive career. We look forward to returning to the Encore Boston Harbor where we honored Jim Nantz in October of 2021.

Read Ernie’s quote on receiving our Award to kick off Masters week next year by clicking here.


Ernie Els has 72 professional career victories to his name, including four Major Championships, two World Golf Championships and a record seven World Matchplay titles.  As a former World No.1 Ernie is one of the most prolific winners of his generation and the global reach of his victories is almost without parallel. Ernie was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011 and the South African Golf Hall of Fame in 2009.

Ernie has uniquely transcended his sport by virtue of his groundbreaking charitable endeavors and fundraising. Ernie and his wife Liezl founded The Els for Autism Foundation in 2009, spearheading a campaign that led to the opening in 2015 of The Els Center of Excellence in Florida, a world-class site hosting leading-edge programs and services for individuals with autism. Ernie’s other great philanthropic passion is The Ernie Els & Fancourt Foundation in South Africa, established in 1999 with the purpose of identifying and assisting young individuals predominantly from families of limited resources and to deliver to them educational assistance and golfing opportunities.

Read the list of Ernie's charitable awards

Off the Golf Course
For his charitable endeavors Ernie has received many awards:

  • Charlie Bartlett Award by the Golf Writers Association of America.
  • Jefferson Award, essentially a Nobel Prize for Public Service, for outstanding athlete in service.
  • Named one of the ‘Top Five Most Positive Athletes in the World’ by the United Nations NGO Voting Academy.
  • Golf Foundation Spirit of Golf Award for his achievements as a player, for his contribution to golf and commitment to young people in golf and education.
  • Metropolitan Golf Writers Association (MGWA) Winnie Palmer Award for his foundation work on behalf of autism. The MGWA had previously conferred on Ernie its prestigious Gold Tee Award.
  • Eighth recipient of the Denver-based Nicholson Award for ‘a lifetime commitment and dedication to the game of golf’.
  • Ernie was also voted the ‘Golf Course Designer of the Year’ at the 2015 World Golf Awards.
  • Payne Stewart Award in 2015.
  • Heisman Humanitarian Award 2017 in recognition of work for autism.
  • Old Tom Morris Award 2018 from the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America.
  • Jim Murray Award 2018 from the Golf Writers Association of America.
  • Receives the Arnold Palmer Open Award presented by the Association of Golf Writers at the 2018 Open Championship.



The Ouimet Banquet is the largest golf dinner in the United States and has become a fixture in the golf community, attracting upwards of 1,500 guests each year! The Banquet is always a special evening and a fantastic opportunity to hear directly from our Banquet Honorees, who represent so much of the history of the game of golf. Guests also hear from the Student Speaker, whose personal story embodies that of so many Ouimet Scholars. This annual fundraising event is a critical factor in our ability to award need-based Ouimet Scholarships, which for the 2022-23 school year will be $3 Million.

The 2023 Ouimet Annual Banquet will be held for the second time at the Encore Boston Harbor, where we honored Jim Nantz in October of 2021.


The annual Richard F. Connolly, Jr. Distinguished Service Award was established in 2000 in honor of Mr. Connolly, a Ouimet Scholarship Alumnus and former President who has proudly served the Ouimet Fund for over 40 years as Chairman of the Francis Ouimet Memorial Tournament. Mr. Connolly has been the driving force in starting the Francis Ouimet Award for Lifelong Contributions to Golf Annual Banquets, and has personally been their principal sponsor every year. He has also established an endowed Ouimet Scholarship in his family’s name and was honored with the Ouimet Fund’s Spirit of Golf Award in 2008. Dick Connolly is the embodiment of everything a Ouimet volunteer can be.

Susan Curtin has been a dedicated Ouimet Fund supporter for nearly 20 years. She is a Lifetime Member, passionate about caddie programs, and, as a former board member, led an impactful new effort in 2022. The Fund is thrilled to recognize Sue at the Annual Banquet on April 3 with this distinguished service award. 


2000 Charles J. Fox, Dennett W. Goodrich, Mark Robinson
2001 Andrew Curcio, Wendell Fitch, Richard R. Stimets
2002 Raymond Faxon
2003 William C. Foley, Sr.
2004 Walter E. Lankau, Jr.
2005 Peter Maich
2006 Mark Frost
2007 Tom Martin
2008 Anne Marie Tobin
2009 Ted Hansberry
2010 Peter S. Lynch
2012 Ted Highberger
2013 Arnold Palmer
2015 Richard J. Barrett
2016 Terry Kennedy & Dick Reilly
2018 Denny Kelly
2019 Tom Riordan
2020 Mac Brawn
2021 Michael Douvadjian
2023 Susan J. Curtin