President Uhuru Kenyatta has challenged Kenyan golf clubs to open up their courses to more youth.
The President said attracting the youth to play golf will secure the future of the game and the next Kenya Open could be won by a Kenyan youth.
He said playing golf will also have the benefit of teaching the youth vital lessons about honour, good manners, and about patience.
“It is a game that teaches discipline, honour and it is a game that we will like to see more and more of our youth participating in,” said the President when he presided over the closing ceremony of the 49th Kenya Open at the Muthaiga Golf Club, Nairobi.
The Head of State said this as he praised the Kenya Golf Union and the Muthaiga Golf Club, which hosted the 49th Kenya Open, for maintaining high standards.
The President said Kenyan schools should also include golf as part of their sporting activities to encourage more youth to take up the game.
As part of efforts to promote the game and attract more players to take part in the Kenya Open, President Kenyatta said the prize money will be raised starting with the next tournament.
“We will work together to raise the prize money to USD 1 million (Sh100 million) to attract more players,” said the President. He said this will promote Kenya as a sporting destination thereby bringing in more tourists who love the game.
The President asked golf clubs to use whichever approach convenient for them to have more junior players on their courses such as reaching out to schools in their neighbourhoods.
“The fact remains, Ladies and Gentlemen, that we need to do more to open up this wonderful game to our young people,” said the President.
The President also encouraged the Kenyan youth to take up golf the same way they have dominated other games.
Former President Mwai Kibaki attended the closing ceremony. Also at the ceremony were Cabinet Secretaries Hassan Wario (Sports), Najib Balala (Tourism) and Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero.
The tournament was won by Aaron Rai, a UK citizen of Kenyan descent.