With inactivity at Kigali Golf Club, the affinity grew intensely for Uganda to win another leg on the 2019-2020 Safari Tour Series.
When Rwanda bowed, the circuit for professional players in East Africa quickly replaced the Kigali trip with a leg at the Lake Victoria Serena Resort & Spa in Kigo.
Now after the Entebbe Open which is ongoing, Uganda will host the fifth leg of the Tour via the new Palm Holdings Safari Open at the par-72 water-filled course in Kigo next week. A field of 60 pros will compete from November 6-9. “It’s kind of creating a professional Tour in Uganda that we have been trying to do for five years,” stated Uganda Golf Union head Innocent Kihika.
“It looks more credible and appetizing for sponsors to come in as you are speaking to two countries hence a larger population reach,” he added. About 14 partners are on board with Mantrac offering a generator for a hole-in-one prize on par-3 Hole No.15.
Almost five years ago, former UGU president Kiryowa ‘K.K’ Kiwanuka had desired a similar platform for Ugandan pros but many did not appreciate his foresight.
Palm Holdings, part of the Resort, are the prime sponsors for the event where the players in the paid ranks will battle for $10000 purse as they seek points in the road to the Magical Kenya Open, a PGA European Tour event. “Palm Goldings believes in community, and sports have always promoted unity,” stated Farai Bandali, the company’s Property Manager in Uganda at the tournament launch in Kigo yesterday.
“Through this event, this represents what we do; showing East Africa as a community as players from the region come together. We hope that such there will be similar events that we can be part of in the future,” added Bandali.
Real estate marketing company Palm Goldings started in 1976 and has been part of golf events majorly on the Sunshine Tour in South Africa.
CBA Bank announced a Shs15m contribution for logistical operations. Kigo is now set to host their second event on the Safari Tour after the Uganda Open won by Zambian Muthiya Madalisto back in September.
“We are really proud,” said Serena Kigo’s director of golf Theodor van Rooyen. “We saw the benefit that these tournaments have for the regional pros and worked hard to secure this in a very short time,” he added.
Uganda will have a total four legs on the Tour with the Kitante Open to come from February 12-15, 2020.
PALM HOLDINGS SAFARI TOUR LEG
TOURNAMENT NOTE BOOK
Series: Safari Tour
Dates: November 6-9
Pros’ kitty: $10000 (Shs37m)
Hosts: Lake Victoria Serena Resort, Kigo
Sponsors: Pam Goldings, Serena Hotels, Tororo
Cement, UBL, CBA Bank, Pepsi, Mantrac, Regal
Paints, Jubilee Insurance, Alled Plumbers, Master
Power, Vivo Energy, Roofings, Davis & Shirtliff