The chairman of the Kenya Golf Union has stated that developing new golf courses is the only way to help the game grow in the country.
According to a report from Standard Media, Richard Wanjala highlighted the need for Kenya to create its own golfing infrastructure and that as many as 47 new golf courses – one in each of the Kenyan counties – could be developed.
“We can only develop the game if we make efforts to create our own courses,” Wanjala said at the launch of the 2018 Barclays Kenya Open.
The Kenya Open has received significant backing from the country’s government, which has committed to giving the event US$978,000 moving forward.
Standard Media reports Najib Balala, the country’s Cabinet secretary for Tourism, as saying: “Kenya Open Golf continues to put the country on the international map alongside other sporting disciplines such as athletics and rugby. The Ministry of Tourism will consolidate the gains made over the years and make Kenya a must-see destination for international golfers.”
Many of Kenya’s existing courses are located close to the towns of Nairobi and Mombassa. Its oldest course is The Royal Nairobi Club, which was founded in 1906, and the origins of Muthaiga Golf Club in Nairobi also stretch back over 100 years. Muthaiga, whose course was renovated by Peter Matkovich in the mid-2000s, is the current host of the Barclays Kenya Open on the European Tour’s Challenge Tour. Another of the country’s best-known courses, at Sigona Golf Club in Kikuya, was designed by Tom Simpson in the 1930s.