After the successful completion of the recently held Julius Berger invitational tournament in Abuja, fifty members of the IBB Golf and Country Club have arrived Accra, Ghana, for the Annual Achimota Match Play Tournament.
The tournament which tees off today will have the Nigerians play against their Ghanaian counterparts at the prestigious Achimota golf club as part of the Independence Day celebrations of Ghana.
The last time the Ghanaians captained by Rene Gameli Kwame, teed off against their Nigerian opponents, they came out tops. Reacting to last year’s result, the Director of Socials of the IBB Golf Club, Akabom Enebong, told LEADERSHIP SPORTS exclusively that they are battle ready and intend to win the tourney so as to redeem their image and forget last year’s loss.
The Nigerians have a secret weapon in Emeka Okatta, two time winner of the Julius Berger invitational. In him they have someone they believe can lead the line and make them come out victorious. Okatta who played a course par 76 in the Julius Berger Invitational is in good form and has been singled out as the possible winner.
The friendly Match Play amateur tourney, which does not attract monetary rewards, will end tomorrow, Sunday 11 March 2012, after which the dinner and prize giving ceremony will commence.
Brief History Of Achimota Golf Club
The Achimota Golf Club is situated in a pleasant wooded country, some ten kilometres north of Accra in the grounds of Achimota School.
Golf was played in Accra on not less than five nine hole courses from the early part of the century. While the Achimota course was relatively a late comer, it is the only one which has survived the building development which has changed Accra over some decades, from a sleepy centre of colonial administration to the present bustling commercial metropolis.
The Gold Coast established Achimota School in 1927 as the Prince of Wales College and it happened that several of the early teaching staff of the school including the Principal had Scottish origins.
They immediately lent strength to the Accra golfing community. However, the journey to the Accra courses took up valuable travelling time, which could otherwise have been devoted to the Royal Ancient Game of Golf.
The spacious grounds of the Achimota School were ideally suited for the layout of a golf course; and it is a well-known fact that wherever three or more British are gathered together outside their native land the first thing they do is to found a club.
“Staff Club” was therefore incorporated into the school amenities. It was pointed out to the anti-malarial authorities at the time that the long grass and shrub surrounding the school constituted dangerous breeding grounds for mosquitoes and these should therefore be cleared and levelled.
Consequently, the anti-malarial authorities agreed. A seven hole course was laid out and in 1934 the Achimota Staff golf section was formed.
The first tee was across the road from the club house (situated near the School’s present Tennis court). North of Achimota School Hospital. The course ran down to Guggisberg Park (along the present 4th fairway) and finally finished around the present 3rd brown.
A few years later, the course was extended to 9 holes. Only guests of the school staff were invited to play at Achimota Golf Course, but a few distinguished members of the community were made honorary members.
The Ghana Open Championship was first held at Achimota Golf Course in 1940. In 1955, the present Club House was made available by the school and due to the closure of other golf courses in Accra, application for membership at Achimota increased greatly.
By the end of 1959, the course apparently was being played to capacity. In order to avoid overcrowding and to maintain the conditions of the fairways, the membership was limited to 350 and the waiting time for new applicants was more than a year.
As a result of this, thoughts towards an extension by another nine holes were considered and the school generously placed further land at the disposal of the club. Work on the new nine holes started in 1967.
The full 18 hole course was used for the first time in 1970 during the Benson & Hedges Trophy Competition. The Achimota Golf Club, founded in 1934 has approximately 500 single/double membership. The course now has a 6,511 metres with a par of 72 and standard scratch of 71.
The Achimota Golf Club has a pro-shop, which stocks everything a golfer needs to be golf ready with - just name it. There is a kitchen to give you something to bite, a bar to help quench your thirst and you will definitely have a nice time any day playing at the ACHIMOTA GOLF CLUB!