• “When you play amateur, there is something like Sh20,000 and above while pro rank is like the amateur of our time. There are no tournaments. Imagine I have not played since the Kenya Open,” said Simwa.
• Mudanyi said 2023 has been the worst for local professional golfers.
As the countdown to the 2024 Magical Kenya Open (MKO) gains momentum, Nelson Simwa regrets turning professional early in life.
Simwa said he is not able to enjoy the fruits of amateur cadre, where they are getting a lot much money, unlike the pros, whose events hardly come by.
He said some amateurs don’t even want to turn pro.
“Amateur golfers don't see the point of turning pro when they can still earn consistently at their level,” said Simwa.
He said if he knew what awaited him in the pro ranks, he would have stuck to amateur golf.
“When you play amateur, there is something like Sh20,000 and above while pro rank is like the amateur of our time. There are no tournaments. Imagine I have not played since the Kenya Open,” said Simwa.
His counterpart, Edwin Mudanyi, said there have been no 72-hole competitions for the pros for the last nine months, the last being the Safari Tour at the Muthaiga Golf Club in March.
Mudanyi said 2023 has been the worst for local professional golfers.
“It has not been easy but we remain steadfast with the hope that the doors will open before Magical Kenya Open in February next year."
"The Safari Tour has always been a government initiative and with the changes we have witnessed in the past year, we are fearful that it will not come back," said Mudanyi.
"However, we remain hopeful that the event will come back to allow us to enjoy ourselves again on the course as we head for the MKO."
He concurred with Simwa, that turning pro in Kenya is a challenging move even though it is the only thing to do after playing in the amateur level.
"Turning pro is the ultimate goal of any golfer irrespective of the challenges. It is the only way an individual can prosper," he noted.
“Most of us turned pro with high hopes of better tidings but that has not been the case,” he said.