Uganda Golf Union president Innocent Kihika swings in a ceremonial tee-off after sealing the partnership with Uganda Tourism Board at Uganda Gofl Club in Kampala. (Photo: David Isabirye)
Uganda Golf Union president Innocent Kihika swings in a ceremonial tee-off after sealing the partnership with Uganda Tourism Board at Uganda Gofl Club in Kampala. (Photo: David Isabirye)

Uganda Golf Union (UGU) and Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) signed a three year partnership to promote golf tourism in Uganda.

This partnership will held promote the Uganda Golf Open across the different corners of the country with a planned tour before the main open.

UTB will provide the logistics to UGU to help boost the Uganda Golf Tour with Shs 50M ear marked for the first year.

L-R: Paul Baite, Innocent Kihika, Stephan Assimwe and Sandra Natukunda during the press conference at Uganda Golf Club in Kampala. (Photo: David Isabirye)

Win-win situations are joint ventures that many parties would love to exploit to the brim.

Upon the same wave-length, the Uganda Golf Union (UGU) and Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) have joined hands for a joint partnership.

The partnership will last three years, for a start, meant to promote golf tourism in Uganda.

Whereas the union envisages this partnership as part of the preliminary initiatives to promote golf across the country with a domestic golf tour, Uganda tourism board would wish the lavish community of golfers fully exploit the rich tourism potential that Uganda as a country has.

UTB therefore will provide logistics at a tune of Shs 50M, for the first year as the Uganda Golf Open tour is taken around Mbale, Mbarara, Jinja, Fort Portal, Lugazi, Kampala and Entebbe.

This joint partnership was officially made public on Monday, 18th February 2019 with the signing of Memorandum of Understanding during a historic media briefing held at the Uganda Golf Club in Kampala.

UGU President Kihika (second left) and Assimwe (second right) show off the binding documents. (Photo: David Isabirye)

Uganda Golf Union president Innocent Kihika flanked by the secretary Paul Baite represented the golfing union as the out-going UTB Chief Executive Officer Stephen Assimwe and Sandra Natukunda (senior public relations officer) represented the tourism board.

Domestically, there is a planned joint promotion of the Uganda Golf Open tour – traversing the whole country, starting March 2019 before the real open later in September at the tranquil Lake Victoria Serena Golf course.

The 2019 Uganda Golf Open comes early this year round with a mega launch planned on 30th March at Lake Victoria Serena.

There will be mini tours within the country at Mbale Sports Club (6th April), Tooro (27th April), Namulonge (4th May), Mehta (18th May), Jinja (15th June), Mbarara (20th July), Entebbe (10th August) and Uganda Golf Club, Kampala (17th August).

The main championship series will swing off on 27th August with the Junior open, Ladies open (29th August), amateur open (4th September), Pro Am (10th September) and Professionals teeing off on 11th September.

This partnership is a unique opportunity for the Uganda Golf Union to partner the Uganda Tourism Board to promote tourism. Uganda  currently has 18 golf  clubs in the county. We have the Lake Victoria Serena Golf club that has the state of art facilities and is the best golf course in the country. This makes Uganda a suitable destination to play golf. We are rated among the best destinations in Africa to play golf because of several elements like the average rating of golf clubs within this destination and the density of the above golf clubs.

Innocent Kihika, Uganda Golf Union President
Uganda Golf Union President Innocent Kihika addresses the media in Kampala. (Photo: David Isabirye)

Uganda is uniquely placed in such a way that every golf course is near a tourist attraction, for example the Jinja course is near the source of the Nile, Mbale Golf course is adjacent to Mount Elgon and the Sipi falls, Entebbe Golf course is near Lake Victoria and the Uganda Wildlife Education Center, to mention but a few. This means that every golfer in Uganda or golfers coming to Uganda stands a prospect to experience the surrounding tourist attractions. We want to tap into this opportunity.

Stephan Assimwe, CEO Uganda Tourism Board
Stephan Assimwe, CEO of the Uganda Tourism Board. (Photo: David Isabirye)

After the domestic tour, the attention will definitely turn to the prestigious open where foreign golfers are part and parcel.

For starters, the Uganda Ladies Open reigning champion is Tanzanian Neema Olomi.

Ronald Otile is the current champion of the Uganda Amateur Open event whilst long hitting Kenyan, Dismas Indiza is the reigning victor under the professionals.

Tanzanian lady golfer Neema Olomi is the reigning Uganda Ladies Golf Open champion. Such foreign golfers boost the tourism industry in the country. (Photo: David Isabirye)

Castle Lite brand manager Julian Ssentamu (left) hands over the main prize to overall winner Ronald Otile during the 2018 Uganda Amateur Golf Open championship. (Photo: David Isabirye)
Long hitting Kenya Pro Dismas Indiza will eye a successful defence of his title Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE

Reports indicate that 5 to 10 percent of the world travelers are interested in playing golf.

Uganda, like the rest of the world is focusing on golf tourism as a key source of foreign exchange.

David Isabirye is a senior staff writer for Kawowo Sports where he covers most of the major events.

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