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Gardening

If you fancy the Nyali Golf Club fairways

It has Bermuda grass which is watered every night. Photo | Kevin Odit | NMG
It has Bermuda grass which is watered every night. Photo | Kevin Odit | NMG 

Eunice Masila, the manager at Nyali Golf and Country Club, says if you visit in May you will ‘‘think you are at the St Andrews Golf Club in Scotland.’’

An exaggeration perhaps, but many homeowners would want to achieve the golf course look on their lawns and attract woolly-necked storks, Egyptian geese, herons, weaver birds and Vervet monkeys that have found a home at Nyali.

“It is possible to see duikers [small antelopes] on the course early in morning and evening,’’ says Ms Masila.

At the impeccably maintained fairways, they have planted the durable Bermuda grass from South Africa and mixed it with indigenous varieties.

Other golf clubs and bowling greens in Kenya such as Muthaiga, which was ranked as Kenya’s top club, have bentgrass that is smooth with fine leaves.

At Nyali, the picturesque golf course is lined with flowering trees, desert roses, oleander flowers, towering flame trees which house the monkeys.

Set on the shores of the ocean, the 18-hole course’s men’s tee yardage is 6,510 and the ladies is 5,431 yards.

Gulam Khaku, the honorary green keeper, says the club has hired 25 employees to maintain the golf course.

He says the secret to the lush fairway all year round is adequate watering. There is a well at the lowest point of the golf course, which supplies fresh water.

“The secret is to use fresh water. We have four workers who water the greens every night,’’ he says, adding that a good drainage system keeps it from getting soggy.

Caddies carry a bag of sand to repair any damage made to the greens during a game of golf.

“If you dig up, you fill it up with sand,” he says.

Flowers and trees at the Nyali Golf Course in Mombasa. Photo | Kevin Odit | NMG

Flowers and trees at the Nyali Golf Course in Mombasa. Photo | Kevin Odit | NMG

Daniel Kuria, the green superintendent, says pumps laid to all holes on the course allow all the course to maintain the greenery.

Potted plants

The course operates on a ring system so that water is circulated more efficiently even in dry months.

Cycads, allamanda flower, horse palms, reeds next to the Tilapia fish pond add to the ambience.

Nilla Rohit, the golf club’s florist, says hardy flowers were planted as they cope well with the hot coastal climate.

“Desert roses are suitable for the coast climate. We have included a lot of royal palms all grow to the same height. We have a nursery and all potted plants are changed every Monday,” said Ms Rohit.

The club never cuts down trees and a special meeting has to be called if one tree to be cut, added Ms Masila.

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