Annual Kenya Open Golf Championships have acquired international status and will be part of the European Tour starting 2019.
This follows the announcement by The Kenya Open Golf Limited (KOGL) today that the Kenya Open has joined the prestigious global golf series that features international great golfers.
Next year, the championships will be staged at the Karen Country Club starting from 14th to 17th March, where top golfers across the world to boost the country’s golf status.
KOGL Chairman, Peter Kanyago, said that the attainment of the European Tour status grants the Kenya Open Golf Championship a larger profile which brings with it greater demands and rewards for all involved.
The chairman said the prize money has increased to Ksh126m which was a double prize from this year’s 50th anniversary.
“Today, I am pleased to announce that the Kenya Open Golf Championship, having been ascertained to attain the requirements to join the European Tour, has officially received the European Tour status and will be part the worldwide golf circuit starting next year. We are delighted to have achieved this milestone as we believe it will propel the Kenya Open Golf Championship to the next level as we embark on this new phase of the tournament,” he said.
At the same time, Kanyago announced that the KOGL, in a bid to prepare local professionals for next year’s tournament, will be hosting a nationwide golf series that will also be used to enhance the growth and development of golf across the country.
“To prepare our local players to cope with the demands of the European Tour, and in line with our strategic objectives, I am delighted to announce that the Kenya Open Golf Limited is launching the Safari Tour – a national wide golf series featuring four-rounds of golf over a period of four days with a prize kitty of Sh1mn per event,” he said.
Each Safari Tour occasion will feature a PRO-AM event which will feature host club members, invited elite amateurs and elite juniors. The Tour will also include community outreach programs (including tree planting) and golf development engagements that include golf clinics for school children and juniors in the neighborhood and club members.
The first Safari Tour event takes place this weekend at the Nyali Golf and Country Club from the 18th to the 22nd of August featuring golf professionals, elite amateurs and elite juniors drawn from across the country.
The series will then move to Vet Lab Sports Club from the 1st to the 5th of September then to the Limuru Country Club from the 27th to the 31st of October. Action will resume at the Thika Greens Golf Club from the 10th to the 14th of November.
The series will then break for a month and before resuming at the Karen Country Club from the 15th to the 19th of December ahead of the Christmas break.
The series will resume from the 12th to the 16th of January at the Muthaiga Golf Club before a grand finale in February ahead of the Kenya Open in March.
Kenya Open Golf Championship 2019
Date (Main event): 14th to 17th of March 2019
Date (PRO-AM) Tue 12th March and Wed 13th March
Venue: Karen Country Club
Safari Tour Calendar 2018/19
Event 1 – Nyali Golf & CC – 18 – 22 August
Event 2 – Vet Lab SC – 1 – 5 Sept
Event 3 – Limuru Country Club – 27 – 31 October
Event 4 – Thika Greens- 10 – 14 November
Event 5 – Karen Country Club – 15 – 19 December
Event 6 – Muthaiga Golf Club – 12 – 16 Jan
Event 7 – SAFARI TOUR CLASSIC – FEBRUARY – Venue TBC