Welcome to a Golfer’s Paradise… Once you’ve experienced golf Kenya style, you’ll never want to play anywhere else.
When you think of the typical golfing experience, it’s hard not to imagine a blustery day at St Andrews where resilient players battle with the wind and rain. But why put up with this when you can play in the wild? I’m talking about golf in Kenya, one of the best kept secrets in the golfing world. With numerous golf courses across the country, Kenya also offers glorious white sandy beaches and perhaps the best safaris in the world – in fact when golfing here, don’t be surprised if you see a lost monkey wandering across the course. Once you’ve experienced golf Kenya style, you’ll never want to play anywhere else.
Things you might like to know…
Although golf buggies are not commonly found, here in Kenya you can enjoy the luxury of always having an excellent caddy at hand. You’ll find that caddies are usually excellent players themselves and will be happy to carry your bag, look for your ball if you hit it into the rough and, if required, be an excellent companion and mentor.
Being on the equator, Kenya offers beautiful weather with conditions for golf which are favourable all year round.
Many courses are at an altitude of more than 5000 ft, meaning you can expect warm sunny conditions without having to overheat as you enjoy the fresh air and beautiful views. The higher the altitude the cooler it is, so Nairobi for example has an average temperature of 23 degrees which is the same or slightly warmer than a British summer (but hopefully without the rain!) High altitudes will also add an additional 10% yardage to your stroke.
Despite what you may think, golf isn’t a recent development in Kenya. From as early as 1900 the British colonialists discovered that Kenya had the perfect settings and climate for golf. The oldest 18-hole golf club is the Royal Nairobi Golf Club which was founded in 1906.
Kenya has forty golf courses in total- ten of which are used for first class championship events. There is plenty of choice and stunning variety; some courses are set on the shores of the Indian Ocean whilst others sit in the shadow of Mount Kenya.
The Windsor Golf and Country club, Nairobi:
Where better to start your Kenya golfing tour than at the beautiful Windsor Golf and Country club in Nairobi? The Country Club is stunning and the golf is second to none. The eighteen hole course winds its way through forests and coffee farms, making it one of the most picturesque courses in the country. But it isn’t all just plain sailing; the 73 sand bunkers make for a challenging putt.
Great Rift Valley Golf Resort, Naivasha:
If you feel like a little luxury, we suggest that a 90 minute drive to the Great Rift Valley Golf Resort in Naivasha can be an interesting route with panoramic views over the Rift Valley en-route. Better still, take a flight to the lodge’s very own airstrip and enjoy playing on Kenya’s newest championship course. This stunning course has some of the best greens in Kenya, springy fairways and views to die for! Practice greens and a pro shop are also at your disposal, and the lodge itself is just amazing. If you need a well deserved break, have lunch on the panoramic terrace or a bird walk in this lovely area.
Muthaiga Golf Club , Nairobi:
Ask any keen Kenyan golfer and they will tell you that the Muthaiga Golf Club is the place to play. Adjacent to the tropical Karura Forest, the Muthaiga Golf Club is the home course to the Kenya Open Golf Championship. Rumour has it that it that they have the fastest green in East Africa. The course is found at the Muthaiga Country Club which dates back to 1913 and offers a real insight into Kenya’s colonial past.
The Karen Golf Club :
Another stop on your golf crawl should be the Karen Golf and Country Club, former home of the Kenya Open. Many argue that this is the prettiest course in the country because of its abundance of flowering trees.
Leisure Golf Club , Diani:
There is surely no better way to play golf than with a stunning view of the ocean as your backdrop? The Leisure Lodge Golf and Beach Resort in Diani Beach offers a championship, 18-hole golf course as well as a casino and water sports. You cannot possibly get bored here.
Nyali Golf and Country Club , Nyali:
Only 8kms from Mombasa and a few minutes from the beach lies the Nyali Golf and Country Club. With a first class 18-hole championship course and beautiful greens. Vervet monkeys and bik bik (small antelope) are regularly seen on the course; a fresh reminder that you are playing in Africa!
Limuru Country Club , Limuru:
Just a short distance from Nairobi, the Limuru Country Club provides yet another first class golfing experience. The 18-hole course is set amongst picturesque farmlands and local tea plantations. The club house veranda views are also widely regarded as some of the most beautiful in Kenya. If you need a break from the golf you can try your hand at cricket, tennis, squash, horse riding and swimming.
Vipingo Golf Ridge Resort , Mombasa’s North Coast:
Consider playing at Baobab Golf course, Kenya’s newest golf course at Vipingo Ridge. With wonderful views of the Indian Ocean and a system of streams, waterfalls and lakes, it is hard to find a more luxurious course. If you strive for perfection there is a 300 metre driving range available with short-game greens and targets so you can practice all your shots until your heart’s content.
Mount Kenya Safari Club
This sophisticated club lies in the shadow of Mount Kenya. Mount Kenya Safari Club has beautiful surroundings and a top-notch golf course it is no wonder that famous faces such as Winston Churchill have played here.
So there you have it, Kenya is the ultimate golfer’s paradise with courses to suit every style of play. But how do you organise the best golf experience for you? There are some fantastic, organised golf safari packages out there and we recommend taking a look at Tob’s Kenya Golf safaris. Tob Cohen is an experienced golfer who knows Kenyan golf better than anyone. He’d love to tailor a golf holiday that is just perfect for you. Now into the wild you go…