GOLFING

Golf is the new tourism escapade in Malindi as pandemic bites

Stakeholders are positioning the town as the ideal destination for Kenyans from all walks of life

In Summary
  • Golfers and their families who visit during the tournaments contribute a lot to the recovery process of the sector.
  • Most resorts are still closed and less than five are operating depending on local market dynamics.

For a very long time, the tourism sector at the coast has largely been depending on beaches and safaris. Tourism stakeholders in Malindi have now included golf tourism as part of the products in their marketing strategies.

A section of the Malindi Golf and Counry club which is begoming a major tourism attraction attracting golfers from all over the country
A section of the Malindi Golf and Counry club which is begoming a major tourism attraction attracting golfers from all over the country
Image: ALPHONCE GARI
A golfer begins playing in the tournament at Malindi Golf and country club
A golfer begins playing in the tournament at Malindi Golf and country club
Image: ALPHONCE GARI
Some of the golfers prepare to begin playing in the tournament at Malindi Golf and country club
Some of the golfers prepare to begin playing in the tournament at Malindi Golf and country club
Image: ALPHONCE GARI
Some of the golfers prepare to begin playing in the tournament at Malindi Golf and country club
Some of the golfers prepare to begin playing in the tournament at Malindi Golf and country club
Image: ALPHONCE GARI

For a very long time, the tourism sector at the coast has largely been dependent on beaches and safaris.

However, with the onset of Covid-19, things have drastically changed, with the sector now clutching at straws.

It is for this reason that tourism stakeholders in Malindi have now included golf tourism as part of the products in their marketing strategies.

Already the Malindi Golf and Country Club has hosted the Kenya Golf Society and Senior Golf Society as one of the country's big tournaments. The MGCC is also beginning to partner with resorts to organise competitions aimed at promoting tourism.

Golfers and their families who visit during the tournaments contribute a lot to the tourism recovery process.

Most tourism resorts are still closed and less than five resorts are operating depending on local market dynamics.

The MGCC chairman Tukero ole Kina said the tournament is one of the big annual fixtures for golf where there will be a match between the KGS  and SGS.

"This brings together golfers of these particular groups from all over the country to Malindi where we have a golf course that has been up and running from about 1962," he said.

Ole Kina, who is a senior lawyer, said MGCC is a nine-hole golf course with separate tees and greens which gives golfers an 18-hole golf experience.

He said they are very happy to host their visitors and feel proud to be part of golf tourism in Kenya.

"We are hoping that we are going to be able to improve our services and our facilities here in the club for the enjoyment of members and all visitors," he said.

The chairman encouraged people from all walks of life to come to Malindi and see their wonderful facilities which include the beaches and the Tsavo National Park.

Ole Kina said they have launched a membership drive with very reasonable prices for the social, country, and full membership.

He said the club has shelved the idea of an entrance fee and visitors will be provided with all information related to the membership drive.

"This, in my view, is one of the greatest events in the calendar of tourism for Malindi because it brings people who may or may not be involved in golf [but now] have an opportunity to come to Malindi," he said.

Ole Kina said the tourism sector is facing a hard time due to the pandemic but the event will give locals a chance to make money as it brings people from all over the country.

He encouraged the golfers to visit and sample the tourism products in the resort town.

This weekend there will also be another tournament organised by the MGCC in conjunction with the Diamonds Dream of Africa .

The golf competition and fun day are organised to support the Malindi rugby team.