The Ugandan golfing fraternity will live to forget the year 2015 on two fronts – the success of sensational golfer Ronald Otile and the awesome performance of the Uganda national golf team.
Otile, 20 defied the odds by winning the 73rd edition of the Uganda Amateur Golf open championship, arguably the biggest tournament on the calendar.
Like a possessed true champion, Otile, a member of Toro golf club also won the highly competitive professional event of the open.
Otile was part of the Ugandan team that performed wonders at the Africa Zone VI tournament hosted in Kampala.
He was part of the Uganda Golf national team that successfully defended the East African Golf Challenge title at the par 72 Nyarutarama Golf course in Kigali, Rwanda.
National team player and former captain, Adolf Muhumuza scored two under par 68 gross to win the 41st edition of the Mukwano open at the 9 hole golf course in Fort Portal.
Muhumuza had earlier in the year edged teenager, Herman Deco Mutebi to the 2015 Mbarara open that returned on the menu after a 9 year lull.
Uganda Golf Club member, Ibra Bagalana announced his arrival to the scene as he easily won the 18th JBG open in Entebbe.
Ronald Bukenya will also live to praise the year 2015 as he guided team Uganda to the successful defense of the East African Golf challenge.
He also personally won tournaments as an individual taking the top honors at the Kinyara and Entebbe opens.
Barclays Bank worker, Joseph Bagabo scored 68 nett to win the 2015 Corporate Day golf tournament at Uganda Golf club in September.
The Uganda Golf Professional Association (UGPA) has like over the years continued to lobby sponsorships from corporates as a way of making the professional players as actively involved as the amateurs.
The body’s chairman, Deo Akope believes the interest from sponsors towards including the professionals on most of the amateur events will act to help stream line the sport itself further.
We shall continue to welcome on board more and more sponsors on board.
Brian Mwesigwa discovered his winning touch of old with the 2015 Kinyara open (pros catergory) capture.
Debutant professionals Peter Sendaula and Phillip Kasozi also had podium finishes in the Entebbe and Mukwano Opens respectively.
Entebbe Club’s Brian Omirembe was one of the revelations of 2015
In a bid to ensure continuity of the game, the Uganda Golf Union encouraged the respective clubs to engage in Junior and caddy competitions.
The Union organized the first ever national juniors included on the menu of the Uganda open.
Joel Basalaine, handicap 4, had an impressive score of 78 gross to take the 2015 junior title.
Other promising youngsters were; Dennis Asaba, handicap 6 with a gross score 79.
Handicap 5 Edrine Okong, who also had 79 gross, Handicap 8 David Kamulindwa, 80 gross. Aaron Mugume, handicap 10, 81 gross, Karanja Junior handicap 10, 81 and Matthew Busingye, handicap 10, 82 gross.
Others were Handicap 12 Ivan Bringmyr, gross 82 while Brian Omirambe, handicap 12, 83 gross and the Mehta Golf Club promising duo of Godfrey Nsubuga and Rogers Eyoyo.
With such an assured array of youngsters, the Union has a starting point in planning for the 2016 Africa Junior Golf Championships to be held in Tunis, Tunisia.
The feminine gender too was never under looked in the golf circles of 2015. On menu at the various tournaments were several ladies’ events.
Flavia Namakula remained the lady to beat on the course as she easily out smarted the rest to win the Uganda Ladies open for the second successive year.
Namakula scooped bronze at the 2015 world military games that were held in Mungyeong, South Korea.
Sergeant Namakula, who was the only female golfer won a individual bronze medal with scores of 77, 74, 80 and 81, 312 gross over four days on the par 72 course in South Korea.
Dorren Kirabo is also commended for winning the RwandaAir Tombstone golf open.
Uganda Golf Union New Executive:
The union ushered on board a new executive committee for the a year long tenure.
Uganda Golf Club member, Johnson Omollo was voted the new president, replacing Kiroywa Kiwanuka.
Omollo beat Entebbe Golf Club’s Innocent Kihiika by one vote during the elective Annual General Meeting at the Uganda Golf Club.
Others committee members:
Herbert Rwamibazi is the vice president, Bernard Mbayo (General Secretary), Paul Baite (treasurer) and the two committee members are; Oscar Semawere and John Bosco Tumusiime.
2016 looks promising as a lot of golf is on the table.
73rd Uganda Amateur Golf Open: Ronald Otile (Both amateurs and professionals)
41st Mukwano Open: Adolf Muhumuza (Amateurs) and Phillip Kasozi (Professionals)
Mbarara Open: Adolf Muhumuza
Kinyara Open: Ronald Bukenya (Amateurs) and Brian Mwesigwa (Professionals)
Entebbe Open: Ronald Bukenya (Amateurs) and Peter Semdaula (Professionals)
18th JBG Open: Ibra Bagalana (Amateurs) and Herman Mutawe (Professionals)
Corporate Day Golf: Joseph Bagabo
Junior Open Champion: Joel Basalaine
Kakira Open: Grace Kasango (Amateurs) and Silver Opio (Professionals)
Uganda Ladies Open: Flavia Namakula
World Military Games (Golf): Flavia Namakula (Bronze)
RwandAir Open (Ladies): Dorren Kirabo and Ji Song (Men)