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Society & Success

Spectators’ guide to the Kenya Open contest

This is weekend, drop your golf clubs and head to the Karen Country Club and watch golf “magicians” at work.

It is the Kenya Open weekend. To help you enjoy the game, here is a quick guide that will hopefully make your visit to Karen that much more enjoyable.

Access to the club will only be on production of a valid Kenya Open ticket. I strongly suggest that you buy a season ticket, it is great value for money. Tickets are available at the gate.

The Kenya Open Golf Ltd and their partners have set up public hospitality points across the vast Karen estate.

The main public hospitality area is between the 12th and 18th fairways from where fans can watch players take on two relatively easy holes — the Par-4 12th and the Par-5 18th. Incidentally, in case of a play-off on Sunday it will be held at the 12th hole.

The second public hospitality point is to the right of the 15th green, with views of the biggest dam in Karen.

This position will offer food provided by the club and refreshments from Tusker.

From this point, fans will be able to watch players on the 15th green; the 16th tee and the 7th green is close by. I reckon this will be a popular “watering-point” for fans.

At the Par-3 5th hole, another public hospitality area has been set up; again courtesy of Karen Country Club and Tusker.

The 5th hole has been slightly remodelled to include brand new tee boxes and bunkers.

Tough short hole

Excitement on this tough short hole will be enhanced by the fact that golfers will have the opportunity to win a Toyota Prado worth over Sh8m should they score a Hole-In-One.

By the way, the rules of golf now allow amateur golfers to win Hole-In-One prizes of any value, so any of the six amateurs in the field can claim the Prado. Good luck to them.

The design of Karen, around the club house area, allows for fans to watch action on the 10th tee, the 12th green, the 18th green, the 13th tee, the ninth green and the first tee.

While this area is popular with fans, there are space restrictions.

Fans will be able to walk along and between the 13th and ninth fairways and onwards towards the Par-3 14th, Karen’s signature hole — and around the dams to the 15th, 7th, 16th and 17th holes.

Incidentally, Karen’s “Amen Corner” includes the 15th, 16th and 17th holes — a tough loop where the Kenya Open may very well be won or lost.

Towards the front nine, fans can catch action at the first green, from where they can also watch action at the eighth green and second tee.

Further on, fans can watch tee shots on the third and sixth tee from one tee box while simultaneously watching the golfers attack the Par-5 second.

Access to the Karen Club House, the refurbished Main Bar, Snack Restaurant, and Garden Terrace is restricted to members, their guests, and KOGL guests. The extremely popular Sundowner Bar is restricted to members only due to space restrictions.

The swimming pool, gym, tennis, and bowl areas are restricted to members only.

The 5-star Karen restaurant, the Fairway Restaurant, and upstairs lounge are restricted for KOGL VVIP guests.

Enjoy the golf and best of luck to our Kenyan professionals. Remember, only fools believe in luck.

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