The 2019 golfing season at the Coast kicks off this weekend with the Lady Captain's prize at the par 71 Nyali Golf and Country Club in the mainland North of Mombasa.
The tournament is sponsored by Nyali Golf lady captain Pauline Gachihi, marking the end of her tenure at the club. Under her leadership ladies participated fully in the monthly medals and Match Play competitions. This year's Lady Captain's competition has attracted a huge field of 170 players that include 12 visiting ladies from as far away as Nairobi's Golf Park, Karen Country.
Some of the lady golfers travelling from Nairobi include Aisha Duba, Margaret Thande, Mercy Wambugu, Tina Kerubo, Valentine Schoener, Bees Jones, Susan Ndolo among others. They will vie for special prizes reserved for the guests.
Going for the main title among the locals will be the 12 year old junior golfer Alysia Jamal who has been playing well lately in both junior as well as senior events. She will be taking on some of Nyali's leading lady golfers who include past lady captain Joyce Masai, vice lady captain Susan Stokes, Terry Odoo, Mary Kandu. Alice Wahome, Mombasa Golf Club lady chairman Jane Githere and former Nyali chairman Christine Ockotch.
The event is sponsored by Unilever's popular Omo brand, FCM Travel Solutions and friends of the lady captain. The tournament, open to both ladies and men, will see some of club's top amateurs battle it out for the top prizes.
Those will include George Munyao, Jimmy Kingori, William Kaguta, South Africa based Mathew Wahome, and Kenya Amateur Match Play champion Daniel Nduva. Youngster Andrew Wahome who joined the single figure handicap golfers recently, and who has been in great form over the past two months, will also be among those players to watch.
Also drawn is a strong team of golfers from Machakos Golf Club led by former Machakos Golf Club captain Leonard Munyao Kamba
Back in Nairobi, Ruiru Sports Club will host the ICEA Lion Group sponsored tournament which has attracted a field of 250 being the first major event of the season at the club. This tournament is sponsored by ICEA Lion Group for the second year running after a three year hiatus.
Ruiru captain Peter Mwaura thanked ICEA Lion for agreeing to sponsor the event, coming hot on the heels of Machakos' King of The Course Year Opener he;d on Saturday. "It's a great way to start the year and we have made good arrangements to allow an easy flow of the game with the big numbers," said Mwaura who said the event was the first of a series of big corporate sponsorships lined up at the club this year.
Ruiru's top amateur trio of Ben Omondi, Frank Munyua and Chris Andrea, fresh from a number of recent wins, are expected to lead the charge for the top prizes.
At Muthaiga Golf Club on Saturday, the Safari Tour Pro-Am, a curtain-raiser of the fifth leg of the Safari Tour series, has attracted a huge field with some of the pros playing along with the amateurs, drawn from as far as Uganda and Tanzania.
It will be the final tune up for the pros before they embark on Sunday's opening round of the 72 hole event where at stake for the pros who will have made the cut, will be Sh3 million. The event is sponsored by Barclays Bank and Kenya Breweries who this week topped up a million shillings each in addition to the usual one million shillings prize fund.
Because of the big field, teeing off at Muthaiga will start at 7am for those drawn in the morning and 11.32am for the afternoon draw.