Irene Nakalembe

On March 7th 2020, Uganda women national team golf captain Irene Nakalembe swung to her 6th consecutive Entebbe Ladies Open title at the dog-legged lake side historic Entebbe course.

The feat further stamped the worthy tag-line of “Queen of Entebbe” when she played three-over-par 74 on day one and bettered her scores to two-over-par 73 on the closing round for a combine 147 gross score.

This performance sealed the sweet victory ahead of hard fighting Kenya’s Mercy Nyanchama (152 total gross over two days).

Months earlier, Nakalembe had claimed the 2019 Nigeria Ladies Golf Open at the momentous IBB International Golf and Country Club in Abuja.

Irene Nakalembe wins 2020 Castle Lite Ladies Open

The moment Irene Nakalembe won the Castle Lite Ladies Open for the sixth year in a row!

Posted by Kawowo Sports on Saturday, 7 March 2020
Irene Nakalembe putts to the 6th Entebbe Ladies Open in March 2020

A quick glimpse through her rich trophy cabinet make one really envious though one treasure still eludes her – the Uganda Ladies Golf Open.

Nakalembe, however, remains a focused and determined party to achieve the feat.

In an online interview with Urban Television, the handicap three long hitting golfer openly expressed concern to add to her endless worthy collections with the Uganda Open.

“Sure, I have to fight for it. I am bothered by missing the Uganda Open. I will work for it and my time will definitely come” the born and bred golfer from Entebbe noted.

Irene Nakalembe follows her shot off the tee-box on the par 5 hole one at Entebbe Golf Club course Credit: Entebbe Club

With a dark cloud engulfing the return of sports in Uganda since March 2020 because of the Coronavirus pandemic, Nakalembe’s dream may be delayed since the Uganda Open is most likely to happen in November according to impeccable sources within the Uganda Golf Union.

The dark patches of sport has witnessed Nakalembe keep home with the family for long spells and of late started to practice over the Entebbe course as golfers are steadily returning to business; albeit in a social distancing mood, in most cases without caddies.

She sings special praise of the caddies in any golf round.

“Caddies are special characters to the game of golf. They have use a great during play and their contribution can never be underestimated” he noted.

Nakalembe walks through the course with the caddie. She greatly values the role played by the caddies during any round of golf Credit: © Kawowo Sports | DAVID ISABIRYE

Golf combines the mental and physical element. To this, Nakalembe confesses the mental part is quite important.

“You need to have the right character mentally. When you leave home with the correct moods, the swing and everything will be perfect for you” Nakalembe discloses.

During the lockdown, she asserts that the swing was definitely affected because of less practice and no competitions at all.

“Definitely the swing has been affected. There have not been practice rounds and competitions for a lengthy time.  We ought to bounce back strongly when sports eventually returns” she adds.

Irene Nakalembe putts to the pin
Nakalembe has lifted the Entebbe Ladies Golf Open trophy an unprecedented six times Credit: © Kawowo Sports | DAVID ISABIRYE

Nakalembe confesses that driving off the tee-box remains her best shot during a round.

This eases the other shots she is to play for the approach and eventual putting.

The picturesque Baobab Vipingo Ridge championship golf course off the coastal line of Mombasa, Kenya is her best facility thus far in East Africa whilst a couple of South African courses remain outstanding on the continent.

The eye catching Vipingo Ridge Golf Resort

Will the Queen of Entebbe ever swing to the Uganda Ladies Open glory one day?

Your guess is definitely as good as mine.

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

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