50 years after, time to build real Nigeria Pro golf Tour

Nigerian Pro golfer, Sunday Olapade

Once upon a time, Nigeria, as a nation, was the arrow-head of the ever popular Safari Tour which was the alpha in the African Continent. In those good years, about everyone who has made name in world golf, save for Tiger Woods and Rory Mcllroy, and indeed those youngsters in their stead, had tasted the sweet juice of the Safari Tour. The Safari Tour did not come like a piece of cake. It was quite difficult to arrange.

The guys who designed that Tour knew it would be a long climb to the top but then, they were already seeing the mountain top. They succeeded because they believed.

But where is that hard-earned success? Well, there is really nothing in sight. Those other guys who want disorders to continue have ruined the work of yester-years. The new guys are no longer dedicated.

Pro golf, after 50 years, is dying in Nigeria and these guys are indeed hanging around like a religious talisman, hell bent on digging the grave of the pro game.

The good thing is here. After the Pro body celebrated 50 years in existence with so much pomp at the Ibom Golf Club in Uyo, it became glaring that this body could hold its own mud when the road is completely bleak.

For one, the Uyo fiesta put on field a stunning pack of 150 pro players. Not just that, but a total N20 million was staked as prize monies with the winner of that event, Ochei Odoh, smiling home with N2 million. Even most tourneys on the famed Sunshine Tour in South Africa don’t weigh that much.

With this eye opener at Uyo where N20 million was splashed on just one tourney, the question is rife indeed… So why can’t we rebuild our own Tour and allow those from around the world to come and get a taste of it?

And interestingly, it is easy to build a Tour only if people with horrid and bestial ideas would allow genuine reform to take place and immediately throw into the waste bin those pervasive ideas that lead to emptiness. But will they?

Truth is building a virile Tour for Nigeria is not a case that could be labelled a head scratcher. The password here is simple enough. Honesty. The truth is nobody regrets honesty even if it hurts some people. Then corruption must be totally shunned. That is the key.

Multinationals like MTN, DHL, Stanbic and KIA which consistently sponsor golf around the world must be wooed. Our own regular golf sponsors like First Bank, NNPC, Shell, Pinnacle, ULO, CMCL Glo and individuals like Rt. Hon Simon Lalong, Otunba Olusola Adekanola and Senator David Mark must, as a matter of urgency be lured back into the system. And what is more… with a packed field of 150 pro players like we witnessed in Uyo last month, no corporate sponsor which desperately craves mileage will not key into a refurbished Tour in Nigeria.

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