Putting Igo­sun course in good use

Daily Trust - - DIGEST - By Tony Akhigbe [08056180071]

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

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