Two and a half months in, the Safaricom Golf Tour has covered ground in Nanyuki, Limuru, Muthaiga, Kisumu and Machakos. The Machakos tournaments which were held this past weekend saw over 200 golfers take part, 75 being in the junior contest and 160 in the corporate tournament which takes place on Saturdays. As with all regions, there was a junior golf clinic on Sunday. The golf clinics are part of the whole tour and are meant to introduce young people to the game, and to scout for fresh talent who will then be nurtured from a young age.
As the tour progresses and gets to more region, it is chipping away at the perception that golf is a game for a select few, and this is the thinking behind the whole tour. To demystify the game and give it a future by involving young players. As they learn the game and get better at it, they will also inspire kids younger than them, and this will ensure continuity.
From Machakos, Simon Kimatu joined the growing list of regional winners who will square it out for the top prize at the tour’s grand finale in Vipingo on August 6 this year. The winners headed to Vipingo are Nicholas Bundi, Leo Gitonga, Zain Manji and Lydia Jebichii. They represent Nanyuki, Limuru, Muthaiga and Nyanza Golf Tours, respectively.
Regional junior winners will also be there and will get a chance to attend a one-week bootcamp where they will learn how to make their game even better.
Simon Kimatu who was playing off a handicap of 52 scored 18 points in the first nine and 26 stableford points in the second nine. This was courtesy of a single par, two bogeys and fourteen double bogeys to produce a total score of 44 points to enable him to claim the overall winner title in the fifth leg. He described the game as fantastic and the greens perfect and this made him play well. He is excited about the win, and says that it challenges him to train thoroughly and make Machakos shine in tour’s finale.
In the junior category, 12 year old Kanana Muthomi and 15 year old Mukundi Muthusi took the day at Machakos. Kanana carded a total of 38 points, and Muthusi who was participating in the tour for the second time carded 84 points. As for the over 15, Kiunjuri Mathu won in the boys category with 86 points while Kelsie Mbugua won girls.
As the game grows among the juniors, it is great to see that players can register with the Junior Golf Foundation for just Ksh.1,000/-, and they are then able to access any golf club across the country for the whole year.
After Machakos, the tournament heads to Eldoret Golf Club on April 23rd -24th, 2022, before proceeding to the Karen Country Club, May 13th – 14th, 2022.