What golfers should do this festive season

Vipingo Ridge golf course. Christmas is an excellent opportunity to play on a new course. PHOTO | COURTESY
Vipingo Ridge golf course. Christmas is an excellent opportunity to play on a new course. PHOTO | COURTESY 

Dear golfers, the long Christmas to New Year period presents you an opportunity to catch up with matters golf.

And as I have often written around this time of year, the following are my recommendations for this period.

Number one on my list is payment to caddies. Christmas comes once a year, pay your caddy well, tip him or her well and wish them a Merry Christmas. Our caddies make golf bearable and extra special.

Golfers who have played golf in Europe or the US, riding a golf cart around an unfamiliar course will agree with me that without caddies the game is simply not the same.

Take time to appreciate this cadre of staff who make our golf rounds special. If you will not be playing golf through the Christmas season, send your caddy mobile money, put a smile on their face. Come on, do it.

Playing a new golf course is second on my list. A lot of golfers travel upcountry and to the Coast during the festive season.

This is an excellent opportunity to play a new golf course. For those holidaying at the Kenyan coast, let me give you my playing tips.

First, I only play nine holes from about 4pm, this ensures I play into the dying sun and I neither need the time or energy to complete 18-holes in one go.

The Coast is home to some of Kenya’s best golf courses, from Leisure Lodge in Ukunda to Vipingo in Kilifi, Nyali, Mombasa Front Course and the Malindi course.

For those travelling to the Rift Valley and Western Kenya, you are spoilt for choice. The long 18-hole course in Kitale is magnificent and a joy to play.

Again, if you are in the area for a few days, play 9-holes at a time, you will enjoy it more and you will be away from your family less. The 9-hole course in Eldoret is a good test of golf as is the Nandi Bears and Kericho Club courses.

In Kisumu, visit the Nyanza Club’s 9-hole course, and if you are in Kakamega play at either the Mumias or Kakamega courses.

If you are in Nakuru or Naivasha, you have the choice of the Nakuru Golf Club and the Great Rift Golf Resort.

And although I haven’t been to Njoro Golf Club for some time, I highly recommend that you play there. Njoro has some brilliant par-3s, worth the trip and the green fees.

For those travelling to the Mt Kenya region, the Nyeri and Nanyuki clubs are great to play on. If you play at Nyeri, play early, carry your camera and capture the beauty of Mt Kenya from the 6th tee box— it is a sight to behold.

If you will not be playing golf this holidays, it is a good time to change your golf grips — leave your clubs at the pro shop and allow them to “service” them.

Good pro shops, and unfortunately there aren’t many in Kenya, will clean or replace your grips and check the loft angles of your irons.

Many golfers don’t realise that over time, golf irons lose their original lofts and angles through natural wear and tear. So give your golf clubs a Christmas treat!

Enjoy your holidays and happy golfing.