It's all systems go for Kenya Open: Karen Country Club course layout will be re-arranged

By Mose Sammy: Wednesday, January 23rd 2019 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Golf
Kenya's Mohit Mediratta of Sigona Golf Club putt during Barclays Kenya Open on Saturday March 24, 2018. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

The tournament joins the prestigious European Tour and enhances Kenya’s golf tourism.

The Kenya Open Golf Limited (KOGL) are confident to host this year’s Kenya Open Golf Championship with final preparations in top gear in readiness for Eastern Africa’s biggest golf tournament.

The Kenya Open, which this year will be held at the Karen Country Club from the 14th to the 17th of March, will be joining the prestigious European Tour – in a move that will significantly raise the profile of the tournament while enhancing Kenya’s golf tourism proposition.

KOGL Chairman, Peter Kanyago, said the board is pleased with the progress it has made in preparing for this year’s tournament and they are looking forward to host East Africa’s biggest golf tournament.

“The course is in excellent condition, and from our assessment, it is actually ready for play as we speak. Together with the Karen Country Club, we continue to improve the it in readiness for the tournament,” he said.

He added that the Board are in final stages of finalizing sponsorship deals with partners with official communication on the same expected to be made next week.

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“We shall be announcing our sponsorship details next week but, largely, we have finalized on our sponsorship engagements,” he said.

Speaking about the changes to be expected at this year’s Kenya Open, Kenya Open Golf Championship Tournament Director, Patrick Obath, said the Karen Country Club course layout will be re-arranged to accommodate the demands of the tournament from both a players’ and spectators’ perspective.

“The key change that is going to be there at the Kenya Open is that the course at Karen is going to be played in a different way to allow more room for spectators movement as well as the sitting infrastructure that is going to be set up. This means that Karen Country Club’s current 13th hole will be the first tee. Players will then play the 14th through the 18th holes, then go back to the 10th, 11th and the 12th for the first nine. They will then cross over to the first tee and play it the normal way. This means that the first nine will effectively become the back nine and vice versa,” he said.

Other changes set to be made for this year’s tournament include human flow improvement, with players and spectators having to go through the village before accessing the rest of the club.

”We have done quite a lot of work to prepare for this year’s tournament including having the European Tour agronomist coming over to ensure that the course is at par with European Tour standards. We are therefore confident that we are ready to hold the tournament,” he added.

European Tour Tournament Director, Paul Carrigill, said he was satisfied with the preparations for Kenya Open Golf Limited has embarked on in preparation for this year’s tournament. “The Kenya Open Golf Limited has improved the tournament over the last five or six years.”

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