The Professional Golfers of Kenya (PGK) chairman Charan Thethy said that the standard of Kenya’s professional golf has improved tremendously over the past four years largely because of the Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) East Africa Golf Tour series.
KCB announced a sponsorship deal of Sh8.7m at the launch of the 2011 edition at the KCB headquarters. This year’s series gets under way at Thika Sports Club next week. Thethy said the series has not only helped improve the skills of the local pros, but even some club members as well as the caddies some of who have gone to become professionals.
Thethy said, “Local professionals have shown tremendous improvement due to these series and we are most grateful to KCB for its continued support. I would like however to appeal for other companies to support professional golf just as much as they do support the amateur events. Every weekend there are many amateur tournaments in various clubs in the country which are fully sponsored, and it is our wish that this is also extended to the local professionals.”
Speaking on behalf of KCB’s chief executive officer Martin Oduor-Otieno, the KCB divisional director of technology, Tony Githuku, said the bank’s objective was to continue to grow the series to a level where it will attract top regional and continental professional golfers to Kenya, hence promote KCB Group as a continental brand and Kenya as an African destination for golf safaris.
This year’s series comprises eight events – Thika, Muthaiga, Nyanza and Nakuru in Kenya.
The others will be at Arusha Gymkhana in Arusha Tanzania, Kigali Golf Club in Rwanda and Uganda Golf Club in Kampala Uganda with the grand finale to take place at Nyali Golf and Country Club Mombasa in August.
The Muthaiga event as well as those in Arusha, Kigali and Kampala will have a prize fund of one million shillings each and those in Thika, Nyanza, and Nakuru will be worth 500,000 shillings. The grand finale will have a prize fund of Sh3m with the winner of the series getting an extra 200,000 shillings.