A new golf series aimed at preparing local professionals for international events was launched at Royal Nairobi Golf Club on Wednesday.
The Emrok Tea/PGK golf series, to be sponsored by Nandi based Emrok Tea Factory courtesy of former athlete Robert Keter, will feature local pros as well as the top senior and junior amateurs.
Keter said just like in athletics, there is need for Kenyan golfers particularly the pros to test their skills by featuring in build-up events.
“Since golf is now an Olympic sport, Kenya as a country must now take the sport seriously and find a way of how to sharpen up the skills of these golfers in order for them to match the rest from elsewhere in the world,” said Keter, who featured in 400m and 800m in a number of Grand Prix meetings in Europe before retiring in 1987.
Now the CEO of Emrok Tea Factory based in Nandi Country, Keter said he will ensure the series grows to the level of a Sunshine Tour in Kenya.
“Our aim of starting the series is to help our players and give them a chance to advance as we promote our products worldwide.”
Keter, a handicap five golfer, is a member of Royal Nairobi and Karen Country Club. He said such an event will give the local pros exposure and a chance to feature in international events.
The series starts with a 36-hole tournament at Vet Lab Sports Club on March 6, where a purse of Sh200,000 will be at stake. But there is a catch in the series. For players to win money, they must play two over par or better in 36 holes. If no player manages such a score, the money will be carried forward to the next event.
If the money is not won in any of the events, the accumulated amount will be shared equally by the pros who will have made the cut in the 2017 Barclays Kenya Open.
Senior professional Elisha Kasuku through the Rae Sports Management will be running the series in conjunction with the Professional Golfers of Kenya (PGK).
He said Kenya’s top amateurs who will join the pros in the series must also make the cut to their specific prizes. There will be three prizes for them at Vet Lab.