By Michael Nsubuga
Mehta Golf Club’s Joan Nampewo and Tooro Golf Club’s Abdu Kakeeto are the inaugural winners of the Uganda Junior Golf Open played at Entebbe Club on Tuesday.
Nampewo and Kakeeto carded 89 and 73 gross respectively to emerge champions of the one-day event that attracted 96 juniors from six clubs that are affiliated to the Uganda Golf Union.
Kakeeto, 15, who plays off handicap 6, narrowly missed qualifying for the national team early this year, while Nampewo, 18, who play off handicap 16 have been a regular contestant in the juniors tournaments.
She attributed her win to regular training and called on other girls to join the sport.
“I had practiced a lot on the range and I just put in practice what I have been practicing. S.6 vacatist sit from Mehta SS. I love the sport and I want to be successful as the other ladies such as Flavia Namakula, Eva Magala and Irene Nakalembe; I want to emulate them,”
“It is not an easy sport but when you concentrate you can play well. I advise other girls to take up the sport because it offers you an opportunity to meet many people, make friends and enjoy,” Nampewo stated.
UGU officials and coaches from the different clubs pose with the junior golfers
A Uganda Junior Golf Academy program was launched thereafter with all participating clubs sharing out golf equipment that included standard golf bag sets and balls to use in their respective junior training programs at the different clubs.
The tournament attracted golfers from Entebbe, Kilembe, Tooro, Mehta, Jinja and Namulonge golf clubs.
UGU president Innocent Kihika said the program had been started to make the sport easier and fun for the youngsters and to ensure they can even golf play golf off the course (for those below 6 years).
“Our target is to have over 100 juniors playing the game by end of next year. We want them to start early and continue growing with the sport,” Kihika said.
The main seat of the golf academy will be in Lugazi but the other clubs will also have affiliate programs for the junior academy program.
Oscar Semawere the tournament director gave each of the participating clubs a training and playing manual each that they will use for instruction and the youngsters’ understanding of the game.
Boys: Abdu Kakeeto (Tooro) 73
Girls: Joan Nampewo (Mehta) 89
Net winners –Boys
Elton Muhembo (Entebbe Club) 63net
Collins Matovu (Namulonge) 65
Robert Kansiime (Entebbe) 65
Frista Birehwa (Entebbe) 68net
Phoebe Chandiru (Mehta-Lugazi) 76