Kenya has a long relationship with golf and Jazzy visits Muthaiga Golf Club, one of the top courses in the country. Bo Ciera, Men’s Captain at Muthaiga speaks about its past, “Over the years it used to be, I would say, a golf course that was for the white settlers, but has transitioned to just encompass everyone.
And today you have a mix of the Africans, Asians, Caucasians, and it’s just a melting pot of the different cultures and just creates a very vibrant club with an international background.”
Part of that new generation of players is Regina Gachora, President of the Junior Golf Foundation in Kenya. She explains how the sport is changing, “So, we are seeing golf moving from more male-dominated to a family sport where husband, wife, and children are now playing golf together. And we’re finding a lot of first-generation juniors. But the kids are now playing golf through our junior golf program, and that is going to be the future of golf in the country. And it’s what’s going to spur the evolution of golf in Kenya.” She continues, “I want it to be demystified as an elite sport. I want it to be a sport for all.”
Another course in Kenya that is embracing the new is the Karen Country Club which is actively seeking young members. Collins Were, the Men’s Golf Captain at the Karen Club, talks about introducing more children to the sport, “We are coming from a place whereby we did not have children playing much golf at the club, so we made a deliberate decision to change our bylaws a few years ago to allow children more access to the course.”
13-year-old junior Belinda Wanjiru tells Jazzy about why she likes to play golf, “What I like about golf is the unity it brings to our community and the new friendship. It brings also endless integrity. And it also brings a sense of faith in one another, trusting the other person to tell you the right goal or the right feeling instead of like cheating their way around the system.”
Wanjiru says her aim for the future is to play in the Ladies PGA Tour, “My long-term goal is to hopefully make it to the LPGA Tour and show that it doesn’t matter your background or where you’re from, you can still make it on tour because I feel like on tour there’s not much of like Kenyan or African players, especially the ladies in the ladies section.”
In this episode, Jazzy also visits Uganda to meet a golf influencer and coach and travels to Mauritius, which has long been one of the go-to destinations for discerning golfers. Now, with the opening of a new Championship standard course, there is a whole new reason for professionals and amateurs to visit.