Over 200 golfers will be parading at the par 72 Royal Nairobi Golf Club course on Friday in support of the Junior Golf Foundation (JGF)’s campaign to develop the game of golf through the junior ranks in the country.
Since the foundation was set up by the Kenya Golf Union (KGU) and the Kenya Ladies Golf Union (KLGU) in 1995, it has largely been depending on donations and support from well-wishers such as the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews (R&A) in Scotland, local corporate organisations, the KGU, in addition to the little revenue generated through the JGF members.
Over the past few years, the number of junior golfers mostly from none golf playing families has increased, hence the need for equipment such as clubs, and golf balls, funds to pay the trainers of the juniors as well as participation for Kenyan juniors in international events. It is as a result that the JGF board of Trustees decided to organise the fund raising tournament in order to support its activities.
JGF acting chairman, Betty Mutua, a former chairman of Thika Sports Club, appealed to individual golfers, as well as some of the corporate that have been supporting the game of golf in the country, to come out and support the event at Royal Nairobi Golf Club.
“We are excited that many people who have already committed to play. We want to thank the sponsors who have partnered with us to make this happen,” said Mutua.
The sponsors supporting the event are Nation Media Group, Jamhuri Classic Golf Club of Atlanta, Georgia USA, Shem Golf Academy, KGU, KCB, ICEA LION, Carole Kinoti, Toro Limited among others.
“The funds from this tournament will go to support JGF programs across the country. My appeal though, is for more corporates and golfers to come out and support this worthy cause,” added Mutua.
Entry fee per player will be Sh2500, which can be paid at the reporting desk. The event is open to both men and women, as well as juniors.
Meanwhile, Ruiru Sports Club is where the action will be during the weekend as the par 72 course the Captain’s Prize, which has attracted a huge field of 300 players, including some of the local professionals led by Thika Sports Club based Simon Ngige.
The event coming after the official launch of the course irrigation last weekend, will be the second Captain’s Prize event for outgoing captain Peter Mwaura, who has served the club since 2017, first as Vice-Captain and finally full captain in 2018 and 2019.
During the last two years, Mwaura was able to host a big number of corporate events in addition to the usually monthly mugs.
Those corporates include KCB Bank Kenya, which leads other corporates sponsors such as Tek Productions, Isuzu East Africa, Oxygene, Extra Dimensions, Balarini Events, Tropikal Brands, Chema Steel Hardware and Occidental Insurance, for this weekend’s tournament.
“We believe sports sponsorships is a key avenue towards reaching out to our stakeholders and giving back to the communities where we operate,” KCB Marketing and Communications Director, Angela Mwirigi said in a statement, while announcing the sponsorship.
The event will be a befitting send off for Mwaura, who be will handing over the captaincy at the end of March after a successful two years, which saw the club invest heavily on the 18-hole course irrigation system and a practicing range among other projects.
Additionally, the club has been one of the most active in terms of attracting big sponsorships, which has seen dozens of blue chips pumps millions of shillings in supporting tournaments among them CIC, Britam, Safaricom, Isuzu, KCB, AAR Healthcare, Crown Paints, Vivo, Multichoice Kenya and many others.
“It’s exciting time to exit the scene at a moment when the club is on a high and it’s making great strides towards becoming a top golf destination in the country,” said Mwaura, a handicap 13 communications professional.
And as Mwaura goes, in comes Thomas Mwaura, who has been the Vice Captain, and who will be deputized by the long-hitting Jessy Ndegwa.
A number of prizes will be at stake during the event, where of the players vying for the overall title, will include the likes Tabitha Kiragu, Margaret Mureu in the ladies section, while leading the challenge in the men’s section will be the club’s low handicap golfers Ben Omondi, Chris Andrea and Frank Munyuah, with other golfers of the likes of Anthony Kamau, who seems to have eventually found his winning form, also expected to have a go for the main title.
Main sponsors KCB is fielding a strong team for the staff prize, a team that includes Muthoni Njuguna, David Kitheka, Josephat Iseme, Millicent Mello, Agnes Nyambura, Ibrahim Lande and James Kinga.
Away at Kiambu Golf Club, it will be a big day for club members as the nine-hole course hosts the Inooro Radio and TV golf tournament being sponsored by Royal Media Services courtesy of club member S.K. Macharia.
A field of 150 players were drawn for the event where over a dozen prizes will be at stake.