Archive for the ‘Golf News’ Category

KENYA GOVERNMENT KEEN TO CONTINUE USING SPORTS TO MARKET COUNTRY

Posted on Tuesday, 10th December 2019 in Golf News
Kenya Golf Guide

CS Tourism Najib Balala (right) takes a selfie with US golfer Cheyenne Woods (right) during the Magical Kenya Ladies Open tournament at Vipingo Ridge.

By DANIELLA APIYO AND AMANDA DAMARIS

The Government, through the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Heritage, is intent on utilising sports to continue profiling Kenya as the preferred sports, tourism and investment destination in the region.

Speaking at the end of the third round of the 2019 Magical Kenya Ladies Open presented by M-Pesa, Sports Principal Secretary (PS), Amb. Kirimi Kaberia, said that sports is increasingly becoming a global marketing tool via television broadcasting, making it a ready avenue for Kenya to showcase its diverse landscape and offering the country great international exposure.

It is my belief that this kind of event, and other events like the Safari Rally, the World Under 20 Championships and many other activities that have taken place here will make a very big difference and as we go forward, more value is accrued to the country,” he said.

He added that there is a deliberate effort to build capacity among young, local broadcasters and content producers, to empower them with skills to produce content from global sporting events that are being held in Kenya for local and global consumption.

For us, this is a very important event. You can see sport is becoming more and more a production for television. So, we are trying to work with our young people to create a wider base of understanding and skills so that we are able to continue producing these kinds of events for both local and international consumption,” he said.

Commenting on his impression of the inaugural Magical Kenya Ladies Open tournament, the PS expressed delight with the level of organisation and response that the event have gotten, adding that the occasion has provided Kenya with great international exposure.

It is incredible. There is great response from the players that we have got here, there is also a great response from the local golfers. Looking at it from the outside, Kenya has had a wonderful exposure and it is great value,” he said.

He added that the tournament helped demystify the myth that professional golf in the country is a sport only for the few, saying that the participation of the local players was an inspiration to other lady golfers in the country.

Golf has been viewed as an exclusive event, something that happens only out there for a specific group of people. Now we are seeing more and more inclusivity coming in. It (the Magical Kenya Ladies Open) is a ladies’ event, we have not had another ladies’ event at this level in the region and it is a very good thing that we have one now,” he said.

He added: I think it is also a chance for our young, upcoming talent to grow and experience this. Seeing people like Wafula and others playing in the field was incredible. If you talk to those girls now, they are excited, they are ready and are raring to go and it gives us an even better chance to prepare them for more going forward.”

The Magical Kenya Ladies Open is sponsored by Magical Kenya, M-Pesa, Capital FM, KCB, Aquamist, East African Breweries, Turkish Airlines, Vipingo Development, KPA and Wilken.

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BHAVI SHAH MOTIVATED BY VIPINGO OUTING

Posted on Tuesday, 10th December 2019 in Golf News
Kenya Golf Guide

Nyali Golf and Country Club’s Bhavi Shah in action at the PGA Baobab Course on the first round of the 2019 Magical Kenya Ladies Open.

By DANIELLA APIYO AND AMANDA DAMARIS

Nyali Golf and Country Club’s lady professional golfer, Bhavi Shah -the only lady pro golfer from Kenya to feature at the Magical Kenya Ladies Open presented by M-Pesa- has said that her participation at the tournament has inspired her to improve on her game to enhance her competitive edge.

Bhavi, who finished her challenge at the tournament in 98th position with a score of 23-over par 167 after two rounds, said she relished the opportunity of having played a Ladies European Tour event, adding that it was a great experience to interact and learn from some of the top lady golfers from across the world.

I have learnt that I need to work on my competitive edge because it has been a few years since I competed. It has been two and a half years since I played on a proper event, (and even though) I have been playing at the men’s events, it is not the same thing playing against your own companions,” she said.

She added: “It is a really great opportunity especially because we have never had any lady professional events in the country, so I think this is really good. It feels great. The biggest take out for me is having had a chance to play on a Ladies European Tour event. Aside from the LPGA, this is the second biggest tour in the world for women. So, to have had a chance just to play on that with some of the girls who have been playing it for five to six years was really amazing.”

Speaking about her time on the course, she said the weather played a significant role in her performance, adding that the heat made it difficult for her to produce the perfect result.

It has been tough as it is very hot out here. I think I overdid it in my practice because I was so anxious since I wanted to play some good golf. So, after the first day, I felt like I had a bit of heat exhaustion. So, you have to stay hydrated out here and probably have a lot of electrolytes as well, which I didn’t do. Next time I will be better prepared for that,” she said.

Commenting on what needs to be done to ensure that more Kenyan lady golfers are playing more competitively in the future, she said there is definitely a need to nurture the young talent in the country.

There is a lot that we can do. We need to start from base level and get a lot more younger girls to play and get them involved in club events to start with. The Kenya Ladies Golf Union can also do a lot better in terms of, when they play their GOTY (Golfer of the Year) series, there should be a lot more younger players.”

Buttressing her point, she gave her own experience while playing in South Africa in 2010-2011 where there was a pool of 120 girls with average ages of between 24 and 25 years with single handicaps. “I think there is a lot more to do, but this is a great start,” she said.

She expressed her gratitude for putting together the tournament and gave a special mention to U.COM, the event promoters, for extending an invitation to take part in the tournament.

The sponsors have done a great job putting together the event. U.COM, the organisers, gave me the invite to play since I did not qualify through the European Tour. So, I am really grateful for that.”

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