Putting Igosun course in good use
There are truly three world class golf courses in Nigeria - the Smokin Hills at Ilara Mokin, near Akure, the IBB course in Abuja and the Ibom course in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. But still, Nigeria can now boast of another world class golf course, and interestingly, the course is coming from an unlikely environment you might even want to label a back-side of the Nigerian nation. Brace up yourself, we are talking about Igosun, somehow a village that is some 10 minutes drive from Offa in Kwara State.
Whoever thought of situating a golf village at Igosun must have had the Mission Holiday Inn at Florida and the Atlantic Beach course, Cape Town, South Africa in mind. And that thinking fellow is an accomplished course designer, Abu Odihili; and he is the spirit behind Abushie International, the outfit that constructed and built the Igosun course.
Without any doubt, the Igosun course, commissioned about a decade ago is a stunning 18-hole, all- green course nestled right in the middle of a virgin forest that still smells of raw soil. You can call the par-72 course a signature course since there is something spectacular in each of the 18 holes put in place here. But the real ‘signature hole’ here is the 1.8th Green that is banked with miniature waterfalls and natural ponds. Besides, the Green of the 18th is easily the largest Green putting surface in Nigeria.
The Igosun course features water holes with shots across hidden coves and hauntingly beautiful bayons. Odihili, the fellow who built the course is a true golfer and this might account for reasons every hole on this course is challenging. The course itself combines natural beauty of the Western forest and a climate that could see you hopping in joy whenever you are on its fairways.
Igosun moves beyond a mere golf course. The place is fitted with about everything you would see in a Golf Village in America.
For instance, there is on ground here a golfing academy and teaching centre, a 5-Star hotel Spa and Fitness Centre, Community Facility Developing Centre and a Range that could hold close to 100 golfers at a time.
The Clubhouse at Igosun is something to behold. The area surrounding here is truly a sportsman’s paradise. The place has got cute amenities with variety of luxurious options, all with full kitchen and pool access. Right inside this Clubhouse, there is a Proshop, Captain’s office, Pavilion, Conference room, changing rooms for men and women, a lavish Bar and Workshop.
To ensure the Greens and lush fairways here blossom forever, there is a water-irrigation cycle in place. All-year round water is ensured.
The course was opened amidst pomp with a quality two-day tourney that included invited professionals in the country. During this tourney, the foundation members of the course were unveiled. Thereafter modalities that would ensure Corporate Membership of this course was spelled out. The club’s owners never hid the fact that Corporate Membership shall be immensely encouraged since the Resort was largely planned to be a Retreat centre.
But this is about all about Igosun. Since this lovely course came into existence, it is yet to attract a real championship tourney that could open the course to golfers across the nation. So, what could be the cause of such delay? It will certainly not be funding. The founder of the Resort is the former Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Ganiyu Adeyeke. Without any doubt, this name speaks volume.
Beyond all this, it is indeed time for the course to be put in use. Rather than allow this pretty course to continue to rot away, the Nigeria Golf Federation under the leadership of Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola should move swiftly into a working arrangement with Admiral Adekeye so this course could be utilized as Nigeria’s first public course.
Young golfers pose with their awards during presentation of prizes at the Parkland Golf Club Abuja's 2017 Junior Golfers Kitty