This Day (Lagos)

7 October 2012

Nigeria: Achimota Upgrades Course for Nigeria Rematch

Ghana's best course, the Achimota Golf Club will close its fairways later this month to allow for a major upgrading that will improve the golf course.

Captain of Achimota, Rene Gameli-Kwame conveyed the decision to the Nigerian community during the independence matchplay tournament in Abuja between Achimota and IBB International Golf and Country Club.

The 62nd Accra Open which plays from October 18-21 will be the last event to be staged in Achimota this year before its closure.

The course which plays to par 72 and is about 6445 metres long is located in the centre of Accra, the capital city. The fairways extend to either side of the road that leads to the University of Ghana, Legon.

Its redesign is to be supervised by Paul McGinley.

The Irishman, a four-time winner on the European Tour, was the vice captain Europe Ryder Cup team which defeated the United States at Medinah, Chicago last week.

The reconstruction of Achimota will now force the Independence matches between Ghana and Nigeria to be moved from the traditional first week of March next year, to July 1 which is the Republic Day of Ghana.

Achimota exchanges international matchplay visits with Abuja and Ikoyi Club 1938 as part of activities to improve strong social and business ties with the Nigerian community.

"We will see a new course and new fairways when the Nigerian delegation visits Ghana next year. The course is to be redesigned by Paul McGinley, who is an acclaimed international professional golfer," Gameli-Kwame said.

The 20-man contingent of Achimota that included former Energy Minister, Owusu Achempong and erstwhile Ghana international player, Tony Yeboah, lost in Abuja by 42-24 to IBB Club after a contest that last two days to mark Nigeria's 52nd anniversary.

The victorious Nigerian team was captained by Abel Abia-Bassey.

Meanwhile, some golfers have expressed excitement with the Independence Cup by noting that the occasion allowed for the celebration of Nigeria's statehood and determination to face the challenges that lie in the years ahead.

Ade Young said he was particularly excited with the large turn out of golfers who devoted the time to be on the course for Nigeria's 52nd anniversary.

The occasion was also described by Chris Shaiyen as a milestone for Nigeria. Shaiyen said golf should be brought to the less privilege through the provision of facilities so to popularize the game.

Over 200 golfers took part in the Independence Cup tournament.

Moses Anabui was among those who excelled during the weeklong event.

Anabui who plays off 5- handicap, posted a 76 to win the category I nett prize. He defeated MS Kangiwa by two-shot.

Sam Galadima also saw his handicap cut from 7 to 6.4, after he signed for a 68 nett in category 2 to cool off the interest of J.Sebhatu by two-shot. T. Atoyebi stayed in third position with a nett score of 74.

M. Tarfa shot 73 to secure a narrow victory over E. Ujege in the men's veteran category. General Victor Lot stayed in touch on the leaderboard after losing on countback (74) to Ujege.

S. Suwa held her nerves to win the ladies division 1 best nett prize at the expense of Police woman, Amina Wilfred. Suwa claimed honour with a 73, while Racheal Danjuma shot 79 to settle for third position.

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