West Africa Golf Tour will stage the third edition of the Port Harcourt golf tournament tagged “Port Harcourt Classic” this weekend from April 27-29.
The three-day tournament will welcome leading professionals from 8 African countries; Cameroon, Gabon, Germany, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday in Port Harcourt, a member of the West Africa golf tour, Emeka Okata explained the objectives of the tournament.
“West Africa Golf Tour is a non-profitable organisation established in 2016 to develop golf in West, East and Central Africa. The aim and objective is to create awareness and we want golf to be like football in years to come. There is a wrong perception before now that golf is an elite game, it’s not. Golf can be played from the age of 3 till you are no more.”
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“Golf is tougher to get through unlike football you know someone, and then it’s possible to get into a team. But for golf, you need your score card which is your right to play. Your score card determines if you are qualified or not,” Okata said
Okata also pointed out some challenges facing golf in Africa.
“It’s very difficult to find public golf courses in Africa what you find is private golf courses which just allow members alone. When you want to join, the membership fee is very expensive. But we are trying to create a programme called “public driving range” were a person big or small with a maximum of N500 you can go to a golf course to practice successfully.”
The defending champion, Nigerian Kingsley Oparaku will be among the players competing for the trophy and $4000 allocated to the winner out of the $25000 prize money of the tournament. There will also be $1000 hole-in-one prize for professionals. While there will be cadet category to give opportunity to young ones to showcase their talent, the amateur tournament will also feature a hole-in-one prize of West Africa Golf Tour merchandise with a value of $500.