Organizers of 2018 Kenya Open Golf championships have increased the sponsorship with over 127%, making the event one of the richest golf events across the world.
With over 150 professional golfers across the world meeting on par 71 Muthaiga Golf club, the prize fund used to be 220,000 Euros but they have increased to 500,000 Euros (about 62.5 million shillings) on Kenyan soil.
In a press statement released today (Wednesday), Kenya Open Golf Limited (KOGL) chairman Peter Kanyago said this follows a directive by President Uhuru Kenyatta during the 2017 tournament, and is representative of the growth in stature of the event.
Kanyago revealed that the KOGL held a meeting with Sports Principal Secretary Kirimi Kaberia and that of Tourism Fatuma Hirsi on Monday.
“At the conclusion of the 2017 Barclays Kenya Open, President Uhuru Kenyatta announced that the government would work together with the Kenya Open Golf Ltd, partners and sponsors to raise the standard of the Championship and by extension the standard of golf talent development in Kenya,” said Kanyago.
The KOGL boss said the President’s directive was aimed at two focus areas: The first was to raise the bar of the Championship, increase participation of local players and attract a higher calibre players from across the globe.
The second focus area is golf development from the junior ranks to the elite amateurs across the country.
“Following this directive, KOGL has reached out to, and held consultations with, the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Arts, the Ministry of Tourism, Nairobi City County, Kenya Tourism Board, Brand Kenya Board and Sports Kenya,” he added.
Kanyago further added KOGL was in consultations with other sponsors that include Barclays Bank of Kenya, Kenya Breweries Ltd, Safaricom, Nation Media Group and Coca-Cola among others.
“As a board we have worked very hard to maintain the standards of this event for 50 years now, and I must thank the Kenya Golf Union (KGU), our sponsors, our hosting clubs, the volunteers and the golf fraternity for supporting this event tirelessly.”
Kaberia said that the Government was committed to supporting the growth of golf in Kenya.
“As the Ministry of Sports, we remain committed to support the Kenya Open Golf Championship and the various development programs of the Kenya Golf Union,” he said.
“We also commend the KGU and KOGL for hosting the Kenya Open for 50 years now. This is a great milestone that is built on the back of good governance and accountability,” he added.
Tourism Principal Secretary, Fatuma Hirsi, said that the Kenya Open Golf Championship has contributed immensely to the promotion of Kenya as a golf tourism destination adding that it continues to play a critical role in positioning the country as the preferred golf destination in the region.
“Kenya offers a unique golf tourism product; we have international standard golf courses and resorts, magnificent weather throughout the year and affordable green fees at our golf courses,” she said
Additional information Daily Nation