The Enugu golf course has remained one of the star attractions in the Coal City since it was founded by the colonialists. Its uniqueness is underlined by its alluring scenery and outstanding outlay which often draw golfers and tourists to the expansive eighteen-hole course.
But few years back, the course was on a steady and painful descent, no thanks to the disunity among members and the lack of push by the leadership which watched helplessly as the once-vibrant Enugu Golf Section was on virtual life support. The outcome was infrastructure decay and disunity among key members of the club.
It was not in doubt that Enugu golf needed redemption, and quickly too. On April 25, 2017, the members got what they had prayed for when they overwhelmingly elected Hon. Chuks Ugwoke, a former Commissioner for Information in Enugu State and ex-Editor of Saturday Vanguard as the captain.
In his post-election speech, Ugwoke told the cheering audience that, “the elections are over now. So, let us all come together to do what we can to take Enugu golf to the stage we can all be proud of.”
In matters of weeks, the new team began the rebuilding. The captain and his team immediately reintroduced the weekly kitty. After over a decade of lull, the Monthly Mug began again in May 2017 and has been held consistently ever since. The section also held its end-of-year Champions Tournament which was sponsored by Champion Breweries Plc with Engr. Arinze Eche as the 2017 club champion.
The Heineken Open sponsored by Nigerian Breweries Plc and the Captain’s Inaugural tournament also brought golfers from all over the country to Enugu in 2017. And just few weeks back, the club hosted a match-play with the Python Golf Club of Port Harcourt which was preceded by the Aguwayo 2018 Golf Tour solely sponsored by Chief Cyril Udeh.
As Ugwoke told this paper, “I’m forever grateful to our members for their support and show of love since we came on board. I’ve also been blessed with a team that works like a family. That’s why we’ve been able to achieve the modest things that you’re referring to.”
With such overflow of support and goodwill, it is not surprising that in addition to other structural rehabilitations carried out, the current leadership says it now looks forward to turning the entire course to green as opposed to the present situation where golfers putt on brown in some of the holes.
“Yeah, our big dream is to turn Enugu to a standard green course,” notes the captain. “This is our ambition and we are determined to make it happen. It’s premature to disclose their identities but when the time comes, I’ll reveal to the world those who are behind this dream. All I can say for now is that we have the commitment of some philanthropists to support this project.”
Without doubt, things are truly looking up for Enugu golf course under Hon. Ugwoke. Indeed, golfers in the city are the beneficiaries today while the game itself will receive a major boost when players from other clubs begin to storm the Coal City to play on the dream green course in no distant time.