Hemstock at work in Uganda


Sean Dudley

British architect David Hemstock has completed a reconstruction project at the privately owned Mehta Golf Course in Lugazi, an hour east of the Ugandan capital, Kampala.

The course is located on a sugar cane plantation owned by the Mehta group, one of Uganda’s largest employers. Group founder Nanjibhai Kalidas Mehta came to Uganda from his native India in 1900, aged 13, and left behind him a substantial business empire and a reputation for philanthropy. The company is now a global conglomerate with interests in many industries, including owning the Kolkata Knight Riders cricket team that plays in the Indian Premier League.

Current family head Jay Mehta’s parents built a golf course on the hillside overlooking the plantation, the clubhouse of which featured in the film ‘The Last King of Scotland’. Hemstock has consolidated the course, which had a number of shared fairways to make eighteen holes, into a more normal nine hole layout.

“There were some great holes on the original course, but they needed a trimming and adjustment exercise,” said Hemstock. “There are a dozen disused courses in old colonial areas around Uganda that could be upgraded.”