No fewer than five countries within the African country are now gathered in Obinze, near Owerri, for South-East Shootout Golf championship which tees off today (Wednesday) June 12, 2019 at the Arsenal Golf and Country Club, Obinze, Completesports.com reports.
The countries include hosts, Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, Zimbabwe, Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.
The three-day championship is expected to come to a fitting end on Saturday, 15th June, officials said.
Tagged South-East Shootout Golf Championship, the event is part of efforts by African Tour Golf Club to raise awareness, acceptance and participation in the game of golf.
Unveiling the South-East Shootout Golf Championship Tuesday in a press conference at the Arsenal Golf and Country Club near the 32 Field Artilary Brigade, Nigeria Army, Obinze, near Owerri, Chairman of the club, Mazi Emeka Okatta who is a member of the Nigeria Golf Federation, lamented that much media attention is being paid to football at the detriment of other sports like golf.
According to Okatta, golf is not an elitist sport as people erroneously tag it, stressing that there is even more money to be won in golf.
“Over $1.5m is won in prize money every Thursday/Friday in golf tournaments in Europe,” Mazi Okatta said.
“There are even golf tournaments that carry over $8m in prize in Europe,” he added.
“Golf is a game of honour, it shows your character within 30 minutes and above all, golf is not an elitist sport.”
Lamenting non availability of public golf courses as reason for low interest in golf, Okatta blamed government at all levels for not considering the need to provide such public golf courses.
To arose interest and participation in golf and in a bid to catch them young, Okatta disclosed he has concluded arrangements to float a golf academy starting from next week.
“We are going to run a golf academy so that we begin to catch them young,” he said.
“At the academy, the children will also be going to school. It will start next week and it will be absolutely free with free lunch,” he added.
Chief Edwin Osuhor is the chief rules officer/technical director of the South-East Shootout Golf Championship.
Vincent Torgah, a Ghanaian, who claimed his fourth consecutive African Tour title of the season at the concluded 4th Port Harcourt Classics after fighting off pressure from compatriot, Emos Korlah with a round of one under par 69 on the final day at Port Harcourt Club, said growing up near a golf course arose his interest in golf.
“Growing up, I lived near golf course. It gave me opportunity to interact with the golfers and that’s where the interest came from and I’ve had no regret so far taking to golf,” he said while lamenting that lack of sponsorship is the major problem of golfers.