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Society & Success

Golfers have a say on their top Dream-18-Holes

For all those who have sent me their responses on their “Dream-18-Holes”, thank you very much. The feedback was diverse and interesting — some obvious answers and surprises.

I was certain some golf holes would feature prominently, but they didn’t, and I was sure some golf holes were too boring in design and challenge to feature, but they did.

The ninth and 18th holes at Vipingo’s Baobab Course featured prominently as one of the most challenging and well-designed golf holes. The two holes, both par-4s, measuring 384m from the back tees, play uphill towards the clubhouse and a natural conservation area (also known as deep rough).

The ninth is a slight dogleg with water to the left from the fairway to the green. The 18th, mirrors this and has water to the right from the fairway to the green. Par at either hole is a bonus.

The ninth and 18th holes at the Windsor Golf Hotel and Country Club have also featured prominently. I guess the trick is to have water features around golf holes to make them popular. In my opinion, the 18th at Windsor is one of the most beautiful closing holes in Kenya.

So far, the most popular opening hole is the first at Muthaiga Golf Club, as tough as nails par-four that plays downhill towards the dam.

The tee shot must be placed towards the left portion of the fairway, far enough to allow a mid-iron to the green and short enough to avoid running into the thick Kikuyu grass on the downslope beyond the fairway.

The first at Windsor is also a favourite of many, again the tee shot should be sufficiently long yet short to avoid the dam at the bottom of the fairway.

The first green at Windsor is well guarded by a bunker right, clumps of trees and the water hazard in front of the green.

I expected Muthaiga’s second hole, the nasty par-3 to feature, but it did not, not yet anyway. Sigona’s par-4 second leads the votes currently.

With a tee box perched well above the fairway, this reachable par-4 is a well-designed hole, offering golfers plenty of risk-reward opportunities on their tee shots and approach shots.

The green is huge and has several undulations, making the putting surface treacherous. The second at Windsor also received a lot of mention, the tee shot requires a 5-wood for us ordinary mortals or 5-iron for better players.

The second shot to the green is from way above to a well-guarded green. The second hole at the Thika Sports Club, a reachable par-4, has been widely cited by several golfers.

The third hole at Nyanza Club elicits as much love as it does hate. At 470-yards, this seemingly straight and easy par-4 is the hardest hole at the club. Although the hole as no bunkers, the OB to the right, off the tee is unnerving.

The dogleg left par-4 at the Nyali Golf and Country Club is a favourite for many Coast based golfers and it is a tough cookie, especially when the winds blow against! The fifth at Eldoret Club has received mention.

This par-3 plays more than 200-yards over River Sosian to small green that is tough to find off the tee.

The sixth holes at Muthaiga and the Karen Country Club have been cited for their challenging natures.

On my part, I once more call attention to the sixth at Nyeri Club – aptly nicknamed “Kerio-Valley”. If you have never played at Nyeri, you should go, just to experience this one hole!

It is a breath-taking hole, the fairway resembles a funnel from a tee way up above and for a back-drop, you have Mt Kenya in all its glory. A more beautiful hole has not been designed.

The par-3 sixth at Njoro Club is another cute little hole that will test your nerves and demand a crisp mid-iron through what looks like a tropical forest.

Again, this hole, is worth the trip to Njoro. The seventh, a par-5 at Muthaiga is mentioned often, obviously many golfers have played at club.

If none of these holes above feature in your “Dream-18-Holes”, well, contribute and have your voice heard. Next week we look at the top dream holes on the second nine.

Send in your Dream-18-Holes to [email protected]

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