IT was a big relief when the government announced to fully support golf due to its immense contribution to the development of Tanzanians’ health, sportsmanship and tourism.
Tanzanian golf is far superior to many popular sports such as football, athletics or basketball at both regional and continental levels; hence the government’s involvement aims to take the sport to the higher levels.
That was revealed by the Deputy Minister for Information, Culture, Artist and Sports Juliana Shonza during a ceremony to award golfers who excelled at TANAPA Lugalo Open Golf Championship held over the weekend at Tanzania People’s Defence Forces (TPDF) Lugalo club in Dar es Salaam.
Shonza said that government has noticed big efforts being made by Lugalo club and other bodies such as Tanzania Golf Union (TGU ) and Tanzania Ladies Golf Union (TLGU)in pushing the development of the game, making Tanzania one of the golf powerhouses in Africa.
“I want to assure that we value your efforts, you’re doing very well though in a difficult situation. The government is aware of that and ready to work with you like any other sports disciplines.
“We have been trying hard in football, now we want to turn our focus and invest in other sports as we do not know where Tanzania future is laid, we might succeed there too,” she said.
The Deputy Minister called for more participation from investors to support the government and the game by constructing good infrastructure.
“It is time for investors to join this game; TANAPA has been doing very well not only in golf, but in other sports too, it is the time for others to come too, I can see a bright future in this sport.
“It is a game that can also help sensitise other sectors like tourism and help create jobs to Tanzanians, we need more golf courses that will open doors for more Tanzanians to play the game,” she noted.
Shonza, who said will start playing golf soon, added that golf is a growing up sport that needs support.” It is a unique game that brings people together regardless their gender, age or wealth,” she added.
She said she was impressed with the progress of ladies golfers, who Lugalo Club Chairman Michael Luwongo said he was proud of when it comes to international assignments.
The Deputy Minister promised to fully support the ladies to ensure they continue winning even in future. She mentioned Lugalo Juniors Foundation Development Programme as among the best things she saw there.
There are over 60 young golfers aged between 3 and 17 undergoing a free training at the club, something Shonza believes in 10 years to come, golf will make a skyhigh leap if the programme is sustained.
The annual tournament that was for the second year bankrolled by Tanzania National Parks Authority (TANAPA), saw the 17- year Isihaka Daudi beating over 150 golfers to emerge the event’s overall winner.
It was his first national level title; He also won the longest drive award. Isihaka grossed 152 total strokes (72,80) to win the coveted trophy after a three- hole sudden death playoff against Henrick Nyenza who also returned the same score.
Nyenza finished overall second ahead of 3 handicapper Seif Mcharo who emerged the Division A runners up with 146 nett.
Division A winner was Samweli Baraka who carded 145 (67,78) nett, Jung Kyunwa who posting 149 (73,76) won the Division B title as Tiger Lee who reaped 150 (76,74) nett was the B Division runner up.
Mufindi Golf Club Vice Captain Doto Kitinusa who carded 152 strokes won the Division C title, as the second place title went to Valentino Matonya.
Senior Golfer’s title holder was Jin Soo Yang and Salvatory Lwabizi came second while Geoffrey Kilenga claimed the nearest to pin award. The ladies title went to Zuhura Khamis and Amanda Mlula while Angel Eaton won the longest drive title for ladies.
Professional golfers’ top prize went to Frank Mwinuka, Abdallah Yusufu was second ahead of Isaac Wanyeche and Bryceson Nyenza who finished third and fourth respectively.