The captain, IBB International Golf & Country Club, Dr Olabanjo Obaleye has said golf is a sport that can be used to build international diplomacy amongst countries.
He made this known on Tuesday during a press briefing as the 2023 Captain Inaugural tournament which started on Monday continues.
“This is one of the major tournaments and we strive to continue to lay a solid roadmap for the development of this club in such in a way that in years to come, people will be proud to be associated with the club in years to come. Golf is a sport in which prizes and awards are given in every category.
“The coverage of golf transcends the shores of this country. Golf is a veritable vehicle to build international diplomacy. In May this year, we were in Cameroon to celebrate their national day. Earlier in the year, we were in Ghana to celebrate their Independence as well. We are expecting nothing less than 5 countries to join us for our Independence Day. Golf is very crucial in national building,” he stated.
He further said the tournament will herald a new beginning for the club while reiterating his desire to see the club compete with the best clubs in the world.
This is the beginning of a new era that will bring in lots of innovations into this club. Abuja is the capital city of Nigeria, so this club should carry that image by being the best.
“This club should be able to compete with the best golf clubs anywhere in the world . We know we have a lot of challenges as regards capacity, it is a long haul as it is not something that can be done in a sweep. Many things are put in place now to ensure that young people break into PGA and other international golf championships.
“Golf is believed is a game for the elite but its not true as we have many caddies who are now pros and we have a program in place where we have some of the caddies, expose them to training,” he said.
According to the Chairman of the tournament committee, Maj Gen Chris Jemitola (Rtd) while reeling out the schedule said the professionals will start on Wednesday while the veterans both male and female in handicap 19-54 category will start on Thursday. On Friday, handicap 11-18 category will begin action while on Saturday, handicap 0-10 category will take to the course.
It will be noted that over 400 golfers from across the country will on Wednesday hit Abuja to participate in the tournament.
The tournament which kicked off on Monday at the famed IBB Golf and Country Golf Course, Abuja with over 100 tennis players in action will see the golfers begin hunt for glory on Wednesday.