•Nelson is currently the resident professional at Muthaiga Golf Club, a position he has held since 2016.
•“At the moment, I’m working towards being a full time Tour player, be it Safari Tour, Sunshine Tour, European Tour or even PGA Tour which is the highest point you could actually go a pro golfer,”—Edwin
Mudanyi golf siblings Edwin and Nelson share lots of similarities and differences on the greens and fairways.
For one, they are both very passionate about the game of golf. As leading pros in the country, they both savour great game management skills, which start from pre-round routine heading to game play before the post round discipline.
Their short game (approach, chipping, pitching and putting) is their strong point and this is one aspect of the game they are always keen on when planning for a round.
Both have featured prominently for the Kenya national amateur team and dominated the game in that respect. They are now playing professional golf at the highest level in the country, having already posted some impressive results.
They comprise a group of local enthusiastic pros who realised their golfing potential in Eldoret, a place better known for producing long and middle distance runners. Their love for wedges is unrivalled. However, their similarities end there.
While Nelson is a better ball striker than Edwin, the latter isn’t that bad on his tee shots. Edwin is more of a conservative player while Nelson is aggressive.
Nelson got the opportunity to join a golf academy which Edwin didn’t. Edwin is more consistent in his playing performance while Nelson gets erratic at times.
So how did Edwin realise his potential in play? “I started playing golf back in 2009 at Eldoret Club. I got my inspiration from my elder brother (Nelson), who has played golf since he was a junior,” says Edwin.
“Golf is life as par my experience. It’s a game that has enabled me to become not only a good golfer but also an individual who desires to always become a better person each new day. It has helped me in three major aspects.”
“First, to respect to myself and other people. Secondly, as a sports person, discipline is integral in my day-to-day life as I am working towards branding myself.”
“Thirdly, integrity; golf is a gentleman’s game thus it tends to nurture me to be true to myself and view life realistically and everything I put my focus into; I learnt the game through Nelson, hence we got more similarities.”
In terms of discipline, Edwin stands out as a role model to his peers. In as far as responsibility is concerned, he is in a class of his own.
Edwin has won multiple events in the Kenya Amateur Golf Championship (formerly Goty). This includes the Mount Kenya Championship, Manchester Salver twice, Kabete Open Championship, Nyali Open Championship and the Winston Churchill.
He was a member of Team Kenya between November 2015 and August 2018, and also managed to play in the KCB Karen Masters which is a Sunshine Tour-sanctioned event.
He has also had a successful run in his first appearance in the Safari Tour Road To Magical Kenya Open, where he finished among the top 15, narrowly missing out on a slot to the Open by marginal points.
Edwin qualified in his first attempt to represent Kenya in the East African Challenge that was held in Rwanda in 2015. Then in February 2016, he also qualified to represent the country in the All Africa Golf and Team Championship in South Africa at the Prestigious Leopard Creek which plays hosts to the Alfred Dunhill Championship ( European Tour event). Another vivid memory for Edwin was when he registered his first win in the Winston Churchill event at Thika Sports Club.
“Winning the Golfer of the Year award in 2017 in the Kenya Amateur Golf Championship was big. So was the year 2018, when I made my first appearance at the Barclays Kenya Open (then a European Challenge Tour) and in 2019 when I played in the Magical Kenya Open which was a European Tour,” narrated Edwin.
In his career, Edwin has done five holes-in-one which he, however, attributes to luck. His role model is his sibling Nelson while his favourite player in Kenya is Thika Sports Club pro Simon Ngige.
Edwin went on: “Overseas, Justin Rose is my man. At the moment, I’m working towards being a full time Tour player, be it Safari Tour, Sunshine Tour, European Tour or even PGA Tour which is the highest point you could actually go a pro golfer.
“It’s a long term plan that calls for sponsorship, working hard and showing exemplary performances in all events. Short term, I want to be a force to reckon with in our very own Safari Tour then have a breakthrough to Sunshine Tour events. Long term, I’m working towards playing in the top golf tours in the world.”
Nelson is currently the resident professional at Muthaiga Golf Club, a position he has held since 2016. He also goes the extra mile to impart free golf tips through his #BACK TO BASICS initiative.
Nelson: “I started playing golf at Eldoret Golf Club in 1994. My dad used to work at Eldoret Club as a Chef, so living in a golfing environment, we had the bug in our early days. Also watching others play gave us the requisite motivation to love the game more.”
Between 2011 and 2013, Nelson landed a scholarship to further his golfing potential as a manager and player. He joined the Golf Academy of America—Orlando Campus—where he got a Degree in Golf Complex Operations and Hotel Management.
Nelson said: “It was a turning point in my career because we learnt quite a lot. I got the scholarship through some local sponsors which was a really good opportunity to approach the game a lot more analytically.”
“We got valuable knowledge on golf course designs, events operations, teaching all levels of golfers, course management, custom club fitting /repair, playing, Rules of Golf, psychology, golf and hotel management and finance.”
Mudanyi has bagged the Tannahill Shield three time as team coach for Muthaiga Junior team and two times as an amateur golfer.
“Tannahill Championship has always been a great outing over Easter holidays. I won the Shield as a Team Manager for Muthaiga Golf Club”. Nelson won his maiden professional tournament at the 2013 Burundi Open in Bujumbura when he ended the fourth round with a score of two under 67 to finish the four-day tournament with a gross score of 282, which was two under, and a shot ahead of second-paced David Odhiambo.
“I went to Bujumbura with high hopes and I am glad I won my first professional title. It was such a great feeling. The tournament featured the best from Kenya and Rwanda’s Jean Baptiste Hakizimana who tied for fifth position with the third round overnight leader Richard Ainley.”
Nelson has placed the game far and wide. Some of the courses he played on inlude- TPC Sawgrass— Jacksonville, Bayhill Golf Club- Orlando, Cypress Golf Club - Orlando, Waldorf Astoria, Lake Nona Country Club, Windermere Country Club, Isleworth Country Club - (former Home Club to Tiger Woods).
Others are Champions Gate and the Serengeti Golf Club ( SA), Glendower Golf Club (SA), Leopard Creek Country CLUB ( SA). In Kenya, he has played at Muthaiga Golf Club—which has been home of Kenya Open Golf Championship for more than 45 years.
Home club - Vetlab Sports
Favourite club - Pitching wedge.
Best hole in Kenya- Nyeri’s hole 6 and par 5 Kerio Valley
Favourite par 3- Vetlab’s 16th hole.
Favourite Par 4- Karen country 12th hole
Favourite Par 5- Eldoret Club 9th hole
Hobbies: Road trips, watching movies, making new friends.
1. Kenya Amateur Golfer of the Year- 2017
2. Mount Kenya Championship winner
3. Manchester Salver twice
4. Kabete Open Championship winner
5. Nyali Open Championship and
6. Winston Churchill.
7. Member of Team Kenya amateur golf between November 2015 to August 2018.
8. Winner Nation Classics at Royal Nairobi
Date of birth: 02/07/88
Turned professional on his 24th birthday on 2/07/2012
Favourite Club: Wedges
Favourite hole: Muthaiga Golf Club hole number 2
1- Africa Champions - Zone Vi Botswana -2010
2 - Muthaiga Open
3- Windsor Classic winner 2010
4- Nyali Open winner 2009
5- Mt. Kenya Champion
6- Kenya Junior Match Play Championship
7- Kenya Junior Stroke - Play Championship.
8. Tannahill Championship winner as a team manager for Muthaiga Golf Club.
9. 3 times winner - team coach for Muthaiga Junior team at Tannahill
10. Two times winner of Tannahill Championship as an amateur