Vipingo Ridge’s Baobab Golf Course

Vipingo Ridge’s Baobab Golf Course in Kilifi County was branded a PGA level facility in 2016

Vipingo Ridge ended 2016 in a positive note when its Golf course was branded a Professional Golfers Association (PGA) level facility.

The 18-hole Baobab Golf Course in Kilifi County, in October last year became the first golf course on the African continent to attain the prestigious PGA accreditation.

Following the branding, Vipingo golf course is set to receive PGA golfers from around the world giving a boost to the country’s tourism.

PGA head of property and development, Guy Moran, said the branding would uplift Kenya’s golf tourism.

Mr Moran pointed out that his association was satisfied that the facility was of world-class.

He said the Group, which was started in Great Britain and Ireland in 1901, would encourage its members and golfers to visit Kenya to play golf at Vipingo Ridge.

The association, he added, has almost 8,000 members mainly from the two nations as well as from Russia, China, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Turkey, Scotland and Kenya.

In Kenya, he said, PGA has three members, but was working to accredit more.

Mr Moran said Kenya had great potential of attracting top golf players due to having world-class golf course at Vipingo Ridge, air connectivity, beautiful beaches and abundant wildlife.

“Kenya should take advantage of the world class golf course to attract golf tourists, who are big spenders to generate more revenue and economic growth,” he added.

To woo more golfers from across the globe, the PGA official said there was a need for Kenya to come up with packages which combine both golf and the wildlife.

This, he noted, would make golfers, who come for tournaments to go on safari after playing.

“Kenya has got a lot to offer compared to other golf tourism destinations since it has warm weather,  beautiful beaches at the Coast and wildlife in popular parks such as Maasai Mara National Reserve,” he said.

He pointed out that the PGA accreditation would enable Vipingo Ridge attract high-end golfers and boost tourism in Kilifi County.

For a golf course to attain PGA accreditation it must have world class standards and that the owners must adhere to certain qualities such as promoting the development of the sport.

 Vipingo Ridge chairman Alastair Cavenagh, said for the last seven years, they had been developing the golf facilities to meet international requirements.

He added that Vipingo Ridge invested heavily into developing the Baobab Golf Course so that it could reach the PGA standards.

“I am happy that after seven years of investment, at long last we have attained the PGA accreditation which will give us the opportunity to attract PGA members from around the world,” he said.

Mr Cavenagh said Vipingo Ridge would maintain high standards for both local and international golfers to get value for their money.

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