Naivasha-based Aberdare Hills Golf Resort has been named the Best Golf Development in Africa at the 2015 International Property Awards in London.
This came even as it unveiled the upgrading of its course after appointing international consultants, European Golf Design, to design its 18-hole golf course to international standards as part of the project’s international golf branding efforts.
The course is now being constructed to a 72-par-championship layout of just over 6,400 metres, to full international and USGA championship specifications.
With a large driving range, as well as practice and tuition facilities, the course has been planned to take advantage of the natural gorges that shape the 1,600 acres of land on which it sits, positioning it as one of the most-fascinating and challenging courses in the world.
“Last night’s (Monday night) award as the best golf development in Africa affirms the quality of our master planning and strategy in creating Aberdare Hills as a national Kenyan course that will also enter the top tier of international courses as a golfing destination,” said Dr Pritam Panesar, MD of Panda Development Company.
The course is being built at a cost of $25 million (Sh2.5 billion), anchoring the $250m (Sh25 billion) Aberdare Hills Golf Resort, one of Kenya’s largest developments.
The course will be overlooked by a five-star hotel with 120 rooms, conference facilities, a ball room, and spa. The resort will also host a clubhouse and multiple recreation facilities.
Dr Panesar said he envisages the golf-course bringing in as many as 5,000 high-profile guests to Naivasha in about five years.
“Top level international golf tours attract guests from all around the world, and with proper investment, the country will benefit a great deal from this kind of sport tourism,” he said. According to the International Golf Tour Operators Association (IAGTO), the daily spend of golf tourists while on holiday is more than twice as high as that of general leisure tourists.
The report says golfers spend an average of Sh270,000 each on the ground — three times the average of other tourists. Panda Development Company Limited is a member of IAGTO and KGMA.