Golf long drive championship event set for Nairobi #KenyaIn5words

Posted: March 2, 2015 in Celeb Life, Lifestyle, SPORTS
Tags: , , , ,

Golf has always been viewed as an elitist sport worldwide, as well as locally. However, opportunities for its growth have taken an interesting dimension in an alternative way that does not require the means to own a full set of golf clubs, or spend several hours on a golf course as opposed to earning an income. Aspiring golfers of today, who may not be in the league of Rory or Tiger, are increasingly demonstrating their talent based around a power game and are finding their calling in golf’s big cousin, the sport of Long Drive.Displaying DTB Long drive.jpg

On Saturday 7th March 2015, long drivers will compete in the DTB Drive For Show Long Drive competition to be held at the Railways Club in Nairobi that will determine the longest hitters in Kenya. Each hitter hits a “set” of 6 balls with the longest ball coming to rest inside the fairway counting as their score.  The hitting “grid” will be the 13th hole, a relatively flat 500 plus yard hole by 40 yard wide fairway that will be marked every 20 yards from 240 yards out.

The event is brought to Kenya by the Board of United International Long Drivers (BUILD) and sponsored by DTB. BUILD is a not for profit organization whose mandate is to promote the sport of long drive. One of the founding directors of BUILD is Mombasa born Fareen Samji who grew up playing golf in Kenya and played on the pro circuit for 4 years. She now competes in Long Drive events and is the three time ILDC Canadians women’s long drive champion.

Ms Fareen Samji BUILD director says; “Bringing long drive to Kenya is so exciting for me, seeing as this is where my golfing career started. Kenya has so much talent and it would be amazing if Kenya was to produce the next international Long Drive champion. We hope that many hitters will register for this event and learn about long drive and come and try this fun sport.”

Kenya Golf Union (KGU) will continue with its commitment to support the growth of Long Drive as alternative competition within the Golfing fraternity. KGU Chairman Mr Peter Warui believes that having a Long Drive championship will grow its popularity and encourage more golfers to take the Long Drive challenge and produce a Kenyan team for international events.

Peter Warui KGU Chairman says, “There are several international long drive events in Europe and the Americas and Kenya could become a tour stop for an international event and field a team of hitters at long drive events worldwide, with the right training, equipment adjustment and swing calibration techniques specific to Long Drive we can produce a world Long Drive Champion.”

Hitters will compete in several divisions including Men, Women, Junior (boys and girls) and Pros. At the qualifiers, hitters in each division will get 6 balls each and the longest ball inside the grid counts as their score. Unlike the game of golf, the highest number wins and there is no 2 stroke penalty for hitting it out of bounds! Hitting all 6 balls out of the grid results in a score of zero. The Top 8 will qualify for championship finals which will be held in the afternoon of Saturday March 7th at Railways Club.

Diamond Trust Bank Group CEO and Managing Director Nasim Devji, who are sponsoring  the Drive For Show event, says, “Our support for this event is within our strategy, to empower communities that we interact with and we are honoured to be given this opportunity to be pioneers in Kenya and introduce a new sport to the country. We firmly believe that Kenya will become a leader in long drive across Africa and we are pleased to be partners in the development of this program.”

Also present at the event will be left handed hitter Ryan Hawkins(Pictured), the 2013 ILDC Canadian Mens champion and Team Canada Long Drive Captain. Hawkins is a seasoned tournament host and has run several world long drive championship qualifiers and will run the Drive For Show event in collaboration with representatives from the Kenya Golf Union and the Professional Golfers of Kenya.

Displaying DTB long drive2.jpg

(Left to right)-  Gituku Kirika,Diamond Trust Bank, Head of Products& Marketing address the media at the Kenya Railways Golf Club in Nairobi. Looking on is  Fareen Samji,  Director, Board of United International Long Drivers (BUILD) and Ryan Hawkins, 2013 Canadian Mens champion and Team Canada Long Drive captain

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