SPORT. West Nile Club, commonly known by many as West Nile Golf Club is set to host the fourth edition of Uganda golf open tour slated for Saturday 18th May 2019.
This is a rotational tournament organized by Uganda golf union in conjunction with Uganda tourism board (UTB) and Nile Breweries Limited (NBL) under their castle Lite beer brand as the official sponsor of the event.
The first three host clubs included Mbale, Fortportal and Namulonge with Arua next to host the tournament this Saturday.
Under the arrangement, visiting dignitaries are taken to various tourist sites in the respective host region in a bid to promote local tourism within the country.
The West Nile club is hosting its first national tournament since 2009 when it held one sponsored by MTN Uganda.
However, a decade long problems of leadership, lack of funds and a shaky partnership with national social security fund (NSSF) made the course unplayable giving rise to criminal activity. Some opted to use the vast lands for grazing animals with unregulated short-cut paths all across the course being the order of the day.
In 2018, a radical change and mobilization ensured the decade long absence of the sport was ended, such has been closely followed by members winning national accolades in different categories especially in the year 2019.
“As golfers, we thought wise to revive the club by last year and the team is doing good in the national games that the club has participated in” Chairman of West Nile Golf, Mr Jimmy Matata said.
He said, the club’s membership has rapidly increased to over 50. Currently Arua is the only district with an active golf course in the greater North of Uganda. Lira is hatching plans to revive theirs while a host of others have been lost to investors and land grabbers.
Matata encouraged many people from West Nile region to join the club to facilitate growth.
“The sport of golf is not for the rich as people used to perceive. It’s now for everybody and I encourage everyone to join”, he said.
Mr Emmy Arima, the Captain of West Nile Club said playing golf is not about fun making alone, but also helps in boosting the health of the player through physical exercise.
“When you move around while hitting straight balls, you walk 8.6 kilometres in one round but there are two rounds one is supposed to cover in a complete cycle”, he said.
After this event, the West Nile club also prepares to host a senior’s golf tournament in memory of deceased comrades like the former speaker and attorney general of Uganda, the late Francis Ayume and many others who have died while playing golf in Uganda.