Abuja: 500 Golf players to participate in Harmony Inaugural Cup –  Chairman

Agency report
No fewer than 500 golf players are expected to participate in the Harmony Inaugural Cup, a Captains Inaugural Tournament of the IBB International Golf and Country Club in Abuja.
Mr Andrew Yakubu, Chairman of the Captain’s Inaugural Tournament Committee said this at a news conference on Tuesday in Abuja.
He said the tournament would be held at the club’s standard golf course with 18 holes covering over 100 hectares.
Yakubu, a former Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (now Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited), noted that the club, which was started in 1991, had over 5,000 active members.
This, he said, made it one of the largest golf clubs in the country and places it at the premier status of golf courses in Nigeria.
“We have two major event coming up on Friday and Saturday,on Friday, we are going to have the higher handicap men and ladies; they will have their tournament.
“It will be followed immediately with a cocktail that will introduce the main tournament of the lower handicap people, who are the more experienced players on Saturday.
“Every activity will attract a range of prizes and trophies that will be presented to those who did well. It is going to be an exciting period.
“Golfers look forward to this tournament, especially the trophies and prizes that they will be presented on the last day when we will be having an end-of-tournament dinner,” Yakubu said.
He explained that the course was a standard course with 18 holes, adding that about 500 players were being expected during the tournament.
Yakubu, however, faulted the perception of golf as an elitist game, saying that was not necessarily an elitist game.
“That is why anytime we have a programme, we look for sponsors both within and outside the club, the whole idea is to remove this major perception.
“With the tournaments, we try to open up a level playing field for participants, we also encourage people, you don’t have to be the richest person to play this game.
“We promote amateurs and professionals. We have professionals that don’t have the means of sponsoring themselves.
“Once we identify a talent, we support them, we have quite a number we had supported either as a club or as individuals,” Yakubu said.
He added that a number of those identified and supported, were currently undergoing training in South Africa and Zimbabwe to become professional golfers.
This, according to him, is an opportunity they have to launch themselves into local and international scene, adding that once they are spotted, the sky will never limit their progress.
“For children, in fact, in a week’s time, we will kick start what we call the Children’s Clinic, it normally comes every summer and in a week.
“Children will assemble and nobody takes record of who their parents are, we will be sponsoring them here.
“A few weeks ago, we had one in Kaduna and other parts of the country to stimulate the interest of the younger ones in the game of golf and to remove that impression that it is an elitist game,” he said.
Yakubu recalled that the club held its Annual General Meeting(AGM) in April where it elected a new leadership led by the Captain 2022, Michael Onoja Ekoja, who is the club’s 25th captain.
“Traditionally, when the captain comes in, he has two major events in the middle of so many other activities that he drives during the year,” Yakubu said.
He added that this usually commenced with the Captains Inaugural Tournament as the club’s tradition.
He said this year’s edition had been captioned:”Harmony Tournament” adding that it was the ceremonial aspect of kick-starting his tenure.

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