Without any doubt, the brand new Sports Minister, Sunday Dare, is eagerly working on fresh ideas to change the sports narratives of the country.
Consequently, the Emir of Dutse and Chairman of the Golf Course Owners [GCON] in Nigeria, Alhaji [Dr] Muhammed Nuhu Sanusi, has beckoned on the Minister not to look too far ahead for solutions on how to place the nation’s golf on solid foundation.
He wants him to simply create avenues where all youths, irrespective of the background, could have unhindered access to play the game.
“We don’t have to deceive ourselves any longer as golf development in this country solely rests on the youths. Unfortunately these same youths, especially the poor ones among them who are in the majority can’t have access to golf venues which are mainly membership clubs. Reasons for this is clear enough… their parents are just too poor to make them members of those clubs.
“Sometime last year, I personally pleaded with members of the GCON of which I am the Chairman, to allow kids to have free access to their private clubs. But this cannot be enough- The reason for this is that there are so many locations in Nigeria without a single private golf course,
“This is where the Minister must pick up the challenge. Like they have public courses everywhere abroad, the Minister must make it a priority that at least one public course is developed in each of the geo-political regions of the country. The course may not necessarily be a full blown 18 holes. In some areas, a nine-hole course could do. And such courses could be manned by at least two teaching professionals who can be drafted from the senior category of the Professional Golfers Association of Nigeria [PGAN].
“If this can be done, you can only watch the influx of kids in those public courses. The fact that 99% of our professionals were once Caddies who had access to free games in membership courses is a good testimony to this,” he stated.