South Africa’s top golf teacher, Mpoh Kelosiwaag, has lauded the commitment of the patron of Golf Garden Waterfront Golf Club (GGWF), Otumba Olusegun Runsewe, to the development golf in Nigeria, describing him as a blessing to the West African nation.
He gave the commendation during a weeklong digital golf training for selected Nigerian golf professionals that ended last Saturday at the GGWF in Wuse, Abuja, with lots of promises that Nigerian golf could hit the world stage in five-year time.
The event which was put together by the patron of the Golf Garden, Otumba Runsewe was the first golf training Nigerian golf professionals would be opened to since the late sage, Chief Anthony Enahoro, as an Information Minister in Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s Western region, sent Nigeria’s first five golf professionals for training in London.
Kelosiwaag, who is equally an eminent member of the Botswana Professional Golf Association and flown into the country from South Africa as an instructor for the digital training, said he was amazed at the hitech golf facilities he met on ground at the Golf Garden.
He disclosed that apart from South Africa, no African nation could boast of such facilities that are in tandem with modern day digital golfing.
“This is the reason I make bold to say this man, Otunba Runsewe, is a blessing to your country,” said Kelosiwaag. “Ötunba had a dream a year back and he is living it right now. I remember 10 years ago; he came to South Africa to search for a top golf teacher who could help impart modern golfing knowledge to Nigeria professionals. I had never met him before but I was recommended to him. He invited me to Nigeria to see what he had on ground and those directions of his dreams.
“When I came around I saw nothing but just this site of the Golf Garden. Then he told me about his dreams of bringing digital golfing facilities to Nigeria and then building a model golf facility that would be the envy of other African nations. I could imagine the type of resources and commitment that would be needed. I had my doubts. The project was tasking and I didn’t believe it could happen. And here I am now and I can see all he said he would do on the ground. This is simply awesome and unbelievable.
“With these facilities on ground, it is now clear Nigerian pros would be open to electronic golfing. If I add this to the golfing talents that abound in your country, I could see pros here moving towards golf world big stages in, say, another five-year time. Your country should de-emphasize taking all funds to football alone. Golf is the future and people are already seeing it. Even at the Olympics, the honour one man could bring you through golf would definitely surpass what a 26-man football team could get. Your country should start investing in golf since one man has blessed you with digital golfing facilities”.
After a fabulous ‘sent forth’ party for Mpoh which put a wrap on the week long Pro training, the Group Managing Director of the Golf Garden, Olori Adekunbi Runsewe, mentioned that with the founding of the digital golf facility by her husband, it was evident that Otumba Runsewe was totally committed to the development of the game of golf in Nigeria.
“Even though I am not playing the game yet, I am indeed delighted that my husband agreed that I studied Golf Management and Administration so I could bring the experience back to Golf Garden”, Olori Runsewe said.“I am happy that I am here running things at the Garden. But I must tell you what is here is quite vast and so I still have to run to my husband most times for advice so I can run this place as smoothly as I can”.
Otunba Runsewe who is equally the Director General of the National Council of Arts and Culture said he was never on a goose chase when he was developing Golf Garden for eight years now. He said he knew a long time ago that come 2023, a stunning four billion dollars would circulate around golf in Africa and that he wanted Nigeria to be in prime position to partake from this windfall.
“This largesse would only go to nations which are prepared”, Runsewe said. “By preparation, I mean what we are going to have on ground before that time. Since the fund would revolve essentially around golf equipment, hotels and logistics, this is the reason I am ensuring capacity building at the Golf Garden. I can tell you that before that time I must have created my own golf brand, the OSR brand, which will undertake manufacturing of golf equipment and golf apparels. I really want to create a healthy synergy, I mean digital golfing synergy, between our Pros and the ones in Europe and America. I have started with ten of our pros and I will take those ten to places across the world. I want us to really reap from the goodies world golf would bring to Africa”.
A former Nigeria’s No 1 golfer, Musa Ayuba, who was part of the training disclosed that in his two decades of professional golfing, last week was the first time he would be exposed to digital training.
Hear Musa: “I and other Pros who were fortunate to be part of this training are really grateful to OtunbaRunsewe for building such a digital golfing facility in Nigeria. This is what other African Pro golfers pay so much to be opened to such facilities in Europe and America. And we have it here. This is incredible. I only pray such facilities should be placed across Nigerian States. We have big and passionate golfers like Otunba in Nigeria. They should come and emulate Otunba and do the needful”.