The par-73 Nakuru Golf Club roared back to life with the opening leg of the 2022 Standard County Golf Classic Series yesterday.
Over 100 players from Nairobi, Nyahururu, Njoro, Naivasha, Nyeri and Kericho descended to the lakeside city to look for glory in the pristine course.
Nakuru businessman, Phillip Gai Gai, was among the batch who teed-off with the morning ‘flight’ that opened the grand old course at 6.45am.
He fired 16 points in the first nine and 18 in the second to rake in a total of 34 stableford points.
“The course was short because the fairways were dry. The pin positions were very tricky, especially in holes 1 and 10,” the handicap 18 player told Standard Sports.
Handicap 8 Sammy Mose from Nyeri town also reiterated Gai Gai’s sentiments saying players needed incredible skills to overcome the pin at the 10th hole.
Area caddies capitalised on the high profile event to earn revenues after being in the cold for a while.
“We have been out of work for a while and businesses have been down. There has been no major golf tournament in Nakuru since the year started,” Robert Otieno, a caddie, said.
Meanwhile, businesses in the town boomed at the weekend as hotels made a kill from the large number of visitors who thronged Nakuru County to try their hands in the event.
Some revelers came to the golf course to have a great time with their families, sampling the readily available nyama choma, wet fry, soft drinks and a variety of alcoholic brands that were on sale.
Cool breeze from the adjacent Menengai Crater made hanging out at the golf club worthwhile.
High end corporates such as the Mediheal Group of Hospitals, Panafrican Equipment Group/ FMD East Africa and Space & Style Ltd used the occasion to display their wares.
While they capitalised on the event to increase their brand visibility they sensitised the public on the kind of services they offer.
“We are pleased with the turn-out, the event has been well attended, we haven’t experienced such high number of participants for a while,” club captain Luther Kamau said.
Ahead of his tee-off on the rather dry fairways, Standard Group PLC Chief Executive Officer Orlando Lyomu wished all the contestants all the best.
“May the best player carry the day. I hope to play well. I had little time to practice in the course of the week though I feel I’m up to the task,” said Lyomu.
Nathan Brown, one of the pioneer broadcasters at KTN (then known as Channel 62) in the 1990s, travelled all the way from Nairobi to try his luck in the championships.
“I’m happy that the Standard Group is rising to the occasion to occupy it’s rightful place in the society in the promotion of sustainable action against climate change,” said Brown.
“This initiative will help in the adaptation of strategies toward attainment of Sustainable Development Goals in relation to the environment.”
James Kimotho, the Head of Commercial at Space & Style said they are so passionate about their relationship with the Standard Media Group.
Santosh Devaraj, the Vice President Operations, Mediheal Hospital Nakuru noted that they are happy to come on board to support the year-long golf series.
“We do support actions on sustainable climate change in Nakuru,” said Devaraj.
“The increased water levels in Lake Nakuru has caused reduction of acidity levels in the water body leading to the reduction of population of flamingos.”