Golfing fraternity in Kenya says the European Tour (ET) has firmly positioned Kenya as a global golfing destination with global recognition.
This is after two ET events, The Magical Kenya Open and the Kenya Savannah Classic were successfully held in the destination keeping the world glued on Kenya for two weeks.
This was said during a game drive at the Nairobi National Park organised by the Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) for the ET players who participated in the just concluded Magical Kenya Open and Kenya Savanna Classic. The game drive was organised to help the players unwind as well as being part of the continued efforts to leverage on golf to showcase the country’s tourism offerings.
KTB CEO, Dr Betty Radier said that the Magical Kenya Open has over time been a catalyst to the growth of golf in Kenya giving local players an opportunity to play against some of the best players in the world. She also noted that hosting such events had helped to elevate Kenya as a giant in golf as well as other sports.
“Golf is one of the key sports that continues to play a major role in showcasing Kenya to the world. This year, we have had the privilege of hosting two major golf tournaments which are part of the European Tour. These events attracted a lot of global attention and also presented an opportunity to showcase to the world that we are safe for travel and ready for business” she spoke.
“These players have for two weeks provided Kenyans and the world at large a chance to enjoy world-class golfing experience and therefore we thought of appreciating their efforts with this much-deserved break. We also want to send the message that there is much more to Kenya. When one comes for instance to play a round of golf here, they can also take some time out to visit some attractions like the game parks we have in the country,” added Dr Radier.
The Magical Kenya Open and the Kenya Savannah Classic which were held on the 18th – 21st March 2021 and 23rd – 26th March 2021 respectively attracted 156 players from 30 countries. KTB’s sponsorship of the two tournaments was an extension of the agency’s sponsorship of the Safari Tour Golf Series which was a preparation for the Magical Kenya Open.
Dr Radier also noted that the two events also provided an opportunity for the destination to showcase the country’s COVID-19 preparedness and the ability to host events of international status.
“The addition of the Kenya Savannah Classic to the list of European Tour events for this year is testament to the trust the outside world has in the destination. It is also a testament to the growing stature of the sport of golf in the country” she commented.
Kenya Open Golf Limited (KOGL) chairman Peter Kanyago thanked ET for having organised the two events which had brought a focus on Kenya for two weeks “I thank ET for having brought us two events back-to-back which went very well. The game drive organised by KTB is important because it gives the players an opportunity to experience Kenya and unwind as they plan to go back to their countries “He said.
Kenya has made great strides in the awareness of the quality golfing experiences available in the destination. Last year, the World Golf Awards named Kenya as Africa’s leading Golf destination, beating countries like Morocco, Egypt, and South Africa which are considered as the cream of Africa in golf.