One of Kenya’s best kept secrets is its numerous golf courses. Few places in the world offer such perfect ingredients for a fantastic golf holiday, as Kenya does. The opportunity to play your favourite game, to see wildlife (sometimes on the course!) and to relax on the beautiful white sandy beaches all during the same holiday is unique.
Soon after their arrival in the 1900’s British colonists began developing golf courses all over the country. They realized that Kenya had the year round climate and most beautiful settings to construct some of the world’s most desirable courses.
One-of-a-Kind Golf Scenery
One of the most appealing features of golfing in Kenya is the variety. From the beach clubs set among palms and casuarinas with stunning views of the sapphire Indian Ocean, to those dominated by the perennial snowcap of Mount Kenya, there is a medley of courses each vying for priority as the most attractive for location and interest. One is even built on the slopes of an extinct volcano!
Kenya has 40 golf courses of which 12 are 18-hole, 10 of which are used for championship events. 6 are within a 20 mile radius of Nairobi – Kenya’s bustling capital. The oldest 18 hole course is Royal Nairobi Golf Club founded in 1906, the latest is the David Jones design pay and play 9 holes golf course Golf Park within the Nairobi race course.
There are several new courses under construction and a number are being upgraded from 9 holes to 18 holes.
Perfect Climate and Conditions for Golf Year-Round
Weather in Kenya is ideal for golf all year round. On few occasions you mighty need a sweater or a jersey, but you can usually play in a polo shirt.
In the highland areas the temperatures are in the low 20’s and at the coast in the high 20’s or low 30’s. There are 12 hours of day light and, depending on the season, 4 to 9 hours of sunshine. During the two rainy seasons, (April and November) the rain usually falls before 10 am and after 5 PM and almost never when you are playing! More and more clubs have installed sophisticated fairway watering systems to keep the course green during the dry seasons.
Bonuses and Luxury of Golf in Kenya
Many courses are at an altitude of more than 1500 meters (5000 ft) truly giving you an additional 10% yardage to your stroke. Most clubs have a pro-shop where you can buy whatever you need. Though there are no golf carts available, Kenya has the luxury of caddies. Usually the caddies are very good players themselves and will not only carry your bag and look for your ball in the rough, but advice on local rules, assist with your swing and generally be your companion and mentor.
Golf Club Memberships and Tours
Most of Kenya’s golf clubs are private membership clubs and are generally very quiet and especially so during weekdays. However visitors to Kenya who want to play golf are best advised to use the services of a tour operator specialized in organizing golf holidays. Apart from giving you very personalized service they will book your hotel, transfer you to the golf courses, book tee-times and make sure your golf holiday is a success.
Kenya’s private membership golf clubs organize many competitions, but also at club nights and weekends most courses are closed for visitors, and it is advised to book your tee-times through a specialized golf tour operator, to avoid disappointment if the golf courses are closed.
For the visiting golfer, Kenya has a broad appeal. There is everything for the fanatic golfer, whilst the avid golfer can fashion his safari to include some wildlife viewing as well. A golfer who prefers to laze on the beach can still fit in a game or two and the business traveler, with an afternoon off, can easily play his favourite game right on his doorstep.
Kenya has it all and golf is no exception.
For more information, please visit: www.kenya-golf-safaris.com .
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