Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja
A new page in the management of golf caddies in the country has been turned following the formation of the National Association of Caddies in Nigeria.
The association, with a new committee, was inspired on Monday night in Abuja by the Chairman of Golf Garden Waterfront, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, at the prize giving ceremony of Staff and Caddies Tournament held at IBB International Golf and Country Club.
The Chairman of IBB Club Board of Trustees, Gen. Ibrahim Haruna (Rtd), the club’s pioneer Lady Captain, Mrs Agatha Nnaji, former Vice President Nigeria Golf Federation (NGF), Chief Samuel Anyamele, and current Lady Captain, Mrs Lamin Ahmed, rallied in support of the caddies’ cause.
Runsewe, who supported the new caddy committee with N100,000 advised other clubs nationwide to take a cue from Abuja by supporting caddy associations.
He lamented the poor treatment of caddies in Nigeria and many parts of Africa, adding that Steve Williams, who once caddied for world’s greatest golfer, Tiger Woods, was the richest sportsman in New Zealand.
Runsewe promised to import one of the world’s biggest caddies in the world towards the training of Nigerian caddies.
Gen. Haruna said the formation of the caddies association is a journey that will go a long way and called on the bag carriers to be a part of the process of the entrenchment of civilisation.
Anyamele, who described caddies as golf administrators, donated N2m towards the 2017 IBB Club Caddies Tournament, while Mrs Nnaji donated an unspecified amount on behalf of her family. The Vice Captain, S.I. Ameh (SAN) also gave financial reward to go with prizes to the winners of the tournament.
Gabriel Adejumo overcame insomnia to churn out a personal best round of 77 on IBB course, beating the field led by Sunday Dere and Sunny Abba by six strokes.
Though his putter let him down, Adejumo, who majors in Urban and Regional Planning at Kogi State Polytechnic, Lokoja, birdied hole 4 and hit 14 out of 18 greens in regulation.
He lamented the lack of sponsorship for his inability to emerge from the last PGA Qualifying School in Kaduna in 2014, saying that he is capable of turning the tide if sponsored to the next Q-school that holds next year.
About 70 golfers, who advanced from the qualifiers held two weeks ago, competed on the rain softened course for some of the attractive prizes on offer by the planning committee.