Gary Player Design completely revamps Kigali course to 18 holes

  • Kigali

    Gary Player Design has completely revamped the course at Kigali Golf Club in Rwanda

  • Kigali

    Gregori International oversaw construction and had a team of 150 workers on site

Richard Humphreys
By Richard Humphreys

Gary Player Design has redesigned the golf course at Kigali Golf Club in Rwanda to 18 holes.

The course, which is due to reopen in spring 2020, was previously nine holes played primarily by local golfers. French firm Gregori International began construction of the course in October 2019.

Speaking to Rwandan newspaper The New Times before construction began, Kigali Golf Club captain Davis Kashaka said: “The ultimate goal for redevelopment is to attract more golf tourists, but, most importantly, to be eligible to host big international competitions.”

“With nine holes, there is a certain number of golfers we can’t exceed in a single competition. Once extended to 18-hole course, that limitation will be no more. We will be able to bid for and host bigger competitions and star golfers from around the continent and beyond.”

Gregori International had a team of 150 workers on site for the project. The firm executed 380,000 cubic metres of earthworks in three months, built storm drainage canals, set up irrigation systems and oversaw the grow-in period.

“Fairways have been grassed with Kikuyu Zouina, with Agrostis Ignite for greens and should be playable by the end of this year,” said Phil Jacobs, senior designer at Gary Player Design, who was on site and responsible for the redesign and grow-in of the new 18 holes.

“It is worth noting that this is a fast track project, thus we are working within a very tight schedule,” said Xavier Gregori, CEO of Gregori International. “The technical challenges have been numerous, including extremely significant amounts of rain, which disrupted the progression of the construction works. We’ve also had to resolve difficulties regarding the logistics of reaching Kigali: our containers arrived to site via the ports in Tanzania.”

“Gary Player Design takes pride in its commitment to social and sustainable development within its international portfolio that includes more than 400 courses across the globe in over 38 counties,” said Marc Player, CEO of Black Knight International. “This city is vibrant, welcoming and holds a host of opportunities from the golf club to the environmental and wildlife conservation activities.”