Kenya Golf Guide

Kenya’s Greg Snow after winning a local tournament.


Excitement is building in Nairobi with the creme de la creme of the continent’s best ready to tee it up for Sunshine Tour’s KCB Karen Masters from Thursday through to Sunday.

With the par 72 Karen Country Club course back to it’s lush-green condition, the country is already witnessing tourism boom what with extensive media coverage and enticing new visitors to the country.

KCB Group Marketing and Communications Director Angela Mwirigi said: “KCB’s investment in the Karen Masters is informed by the need to continually support the expansion of sport tourism in East Africa, one of the fastest growing sectors in the regional tourism industry. The tournament has grown in its stature, and we are delighted to welcome top class golfers in our country as we continue to redefine the golfing experience in the region” said Angela..”

Away from course action,  visiting foreigners have had an opportunity to savor Kenyan wildlife at Nairobi National Park and all that the county has to offer in terms of hospitality. 

Kenya has seen a spike in international and domestic golf tourism with the Kenya Open upgrading from Europe Challenge Tour to the main Tour, the introduction of Inter County Challenge at Thika Greens and now Karen Masters’ Sunshine Tour status.

This has contributed to guests flying in to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport from across the globe to play one of the  courses the capital has to offer including host venue Karen Country Club and Muthaiga Golf Club which has for donkey’s years played host to the Kenya Open. 

We see golf and tourism together as a viable platform to promote our country to the world with the country now hosting more international events. After hosting top European Tour ladies for a Pro-Am in Vipingo last year,  we hope to bring ladies’ global status proper to Kenya.  This year we had a  European Tour event at Karen Country Club for the first time, thanks to unswerving government support and widespread media coverage. Through extensive TV coverage we were able to reach millions of home across the globe with an array of visitors to coming Kenya for the first time. What’s more, hosting some of the world’s best golfers including ex- Europe Ryder Cup captain in this year’s Kenya Open , we are overly excited,” said Tourism CS Major Balls said at the close of this year’s Kenya Open. 

For the umpteenth time , Karen Masters will be further promoted throughout the event with tee boxes around the golf course featuring giant backdrops showcasing its strong  presence in Africa’s biggest golfing Tour, the Sunshine Tour. 

This week,  Nairobi hotels have been hosting Sunshine Tour officials, stars and their colleagues who took advantage of the tournament invitation to travel to Kenya a week earlier to savor stunning sights Nairobi has to offer, as well as preparing for the second staging of the regional status.

Sunshine Tour Tournament Director Garry Todd is delighted with the overall plans for this year’s tournament. “We are excited that preparations are in high gear ahead of this year’s KCB Karen Masters. We were here to finalize on the logistics for June and  confirmed the course as superbly maintained to host a world class tournament, we have changed hole 18 to be at hole no 12 to allow the spectators have a better experience” said Todd.

Todd and his operations team which  included Dornay Lombard inspected the 18 hole Karen Country Club golf course and facilities.

They focused on operational details ranging from the working plans and technical specifications.

KCB Karen Masters Tournament Director Andy Watt says he is working closely with the golf superintendent to present a prodigious golf course ahead of the event.

We are working very hard to give golfers a great experience of playing at our event, during this year’s KCB Karen Masters Tournament, the last three holes are all drivable par 4’s, birdies and eagles are possible and there will be neck and  neck competition towards the end”, said Andy.

One of the players making a comeback  to Kenya is defending champion Michael Palmer and last year’s runner up Merrick Bremner who is being sponsored by Betway. 

A total of 156 golfers will be  fighting to make the cut on Friday’s round 2 for the total prize purse of KSh15m at stake.

Being the third edition, it will be the second time it will be featuring in the prestigious Sunshine Tour.

KCB Bank Kenya, the title sponsor of Karen Masters, has put aside a total of KShs.70 million with KShs. 15 million set aside as prize money and other amounts going towards organization and promotion of the event. The Bank has also invited other partners like Safaricom, Coca-Cola, Toyota Kenya and Standard Group to enhance the Karen masters experience on and off thew course. 

Organised by the Karen Country Club, the economic impact of the tournament is estimated to be over Ksh. 150 million. Through a television reach of million over and above local and international print and online coverage, the third edition of the event is set to generate a public relations value (PRV)  of she 5 billion as golf fans from around the continent prepare for scintillating golfing action as well as entertainment at the village where foreign and local musicians will be performing this week. 

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