Runsewe’s NGF Planning Big for Nigeria’s Oldest Golf Clubs

Five of the oldest golf clubs in the country, namely; Sapele, Jos, Kano, Kaduna and Ikoyi have been promised major facelifts going by the arrangements the Nigeria Golf Federation(NGF) has undertaken to further boost the growth of the game in the country.

President of the NGF, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, disclosed this midweek in Abuja. 

The NGF chieftain who is also the Director General  of the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC) stressed that as custodian of golf in the country, this move is an addition to the World Handicap System (WHS) his federation introduced late last year. The WHS will enable Nigerian golfers to transport their handicap index globally and compete or play  casual rounds with players from other regions and clubs on a fair basis.

Otunba Runsewe however insisted that because negotiations were still ongoing, it would not be fair to disclose the foreign firms willing to help develop these Nigerian golf clubs to world standards.

“As you are aware, these five clubs are amongst some of the oldest courses in the country. They include; Kano, Sapele, Jos, Kaduna and Ikoyi. By the time we finish all the paper works and the consortium of firms arrive the country, the game of golf will take a new dimension with quality world-class courses in these oldest clubs,” enthused Otunba Runsewe with so much passion.

The Kano Golf Club was established in 1908. This course whose ground also was the venue the first aircraft landed in Kano is unfortunately stuck on three holes instead of the international standard 18 holes. 

Although sports historians have not been able to ascertain if truly Sapele is the oldest course in Nigeria as some of the club’s documents show that it was formed in 1898  by a coterie of European sailors and captains of ships who were said to have traversed the Atlantic Ocean from the United Kingdom down to River Ethiope. Other historians however insist that the club was founded in 1908 with the first official tournament holding there in 1914.

Also in the list of some of the oldest golf clubs in the country is the Rayfield Golf Course in Jos. It  was established in 1913. 

Similarly, the Kaduna Golf Club was established in 1921.

Members of the club believe that it is the first golf club in the Northern Nigeria with a number of more than 750 members. With a single golf course with a distance of 0.9km and the potting surface of 18 green holes, makes it one of the largest golf courses  in Nigeria.

Established in 1938 after the merger of the European Club and Lagos Golf Club,Ikoyi Golf Club is also one of the oldest sport clubs in Nigeria.

The Ikoyi Club 1938 has metamorphosed from its European only membership into one of the best examples of multiracial clubs in the world with membership drawn worldwide

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