Over 500 golfers, including professionals, drawn from several clubs across the country and four other African countries – Ghana, Cameroon, Uganda and Rwanda will swing for various prizes up for grab at the 2023 IBB Golf Club Independence Golf tournament.
The winner of this year’s edition of the annual event, aimed to commemorate Nigeria’s 63rd Independence Day anniversary, will drive home with a brand-new car from Peugeot Automobile Nigeria (PAN) for the first time.
The highly anticipated biggest golf tournament in Nigeria’s golfing calendar which runs from September 25 to October 1st will be exposed to a national and global audience expected to surpass over 100 million people.
Speaking at the press conference heralding the event on Tuesday at the board room of the IBB Golf Club, the club captain, Mr Banjo Obaleye, said this year’s Independence Golf Tournament, be the first under current administration of President Ahmed Bola Tinubu, promises to create an unforgettable memory for the players and unprecedented experience for sponsors.
“The tournament will offer opportunities for networking, socialising, and enjoying the camaraderie of fellow golf enthusiasts.
This event is a celebration of Nigeria’s independence and a testament to the passion and dedication golfers bring to the sport.
“We are also using the platform and wonderful game of golf to highlight the business opportunities in Nigeria and promote vibrant trade between African countries. There will be a business dinner with delegates from the other African countries on Saturday,” Obaleye said.
The chairman of the tournament organising committee and vice captain of the club, Ibrahim Babayo, said the club will continue to carefully forge strategic partnerships with overseas golf clubs and work to propel the Independence Golf Tourney into the ranking event.
Aside from a brand-new car from PAN up for grabs by amateur golfers from handicap 0-18, the professionals are slugging it out for a total five thousand US dollar ($5000) prize.
The professionals are competing in two categories – men and women. While the winner of the men pro category will smile to the bank with $4000, the women pro champion will go home with $1000 as winning prize.
Pro Danjuma Rachael, who is competing in her first competitive game as a professional golfer at the tournament, described the condition of the golf course as very challenging and tough for participants.
“The condition of the golf course is very okay because they have worked very hard on the golf course. I believe those that are coming from outside will appreciate the course more. The vice captain has really done well for organising the professionals to play this time around and he is supporting both female and male pros.
“I didn’t play well today, though my target is to play well and beat the golf course. They made the course a little bit difficult for us because of the way they do it, though we appreciate it. Before, the course was a little easier but now it is very hard.
“We tried our best and I believe it will be better tomorrow. We are playing stroke play and it is very competitive because everyone wants to win because of the money involved,” Danjuma said.