• Runsewe’s efforts inspire South Africa’s best coaches
Efforts to bring Nigeria into the mainstream golf of the world were stepped up over the weekend when a few select Nigerian professionals completed a week-long digital training for the posh Golf Garden Waterfront Golf Club (GGWF) in Wuse, Abuja.
The event was organized by a patron of the club, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, who flew in one of South Africa’s best golf instructors, Mpoh Kelosiwaag, as an instructor. It was the first golf course for Nigerian golf professionals since Chief Anthony Enahoro, as chief information minister in the western region of Obafemi Awolowo, sent the first five golf professionals from Nigeria to practice in London.
Mpoh, who is also a senior member of the Botswana Professional Golf Association, said he was amazed at the high-tech golf facilities at Golf Garden digital golfing.
“For this reason I want to say that this man, Otunba Runsewe, is a blessing for your country,” said Mpoh.
“Ötunba had a dream years ago and he is living it now. I remember he came to South Africa 10 years ago to look for a top golf instructor who could impart modern golf knowledge to Nigerian professionals. I’ve never met him, but I was recommended to him. He invited me to Nigeria to see what he had there and which directions he was dreaming.
“When I came by, I only met this part of the golf garden. Then he told me about his dreams of bringing digital golf courses to Nigeria and then building a model golf course that other African nations would envy. I could imagine what resources and what commitment are needed. I had my doubts. The project was challenging and I didn’t think it could happen. And here I am now; I can see everything he said, what he would do on the floor. It’s just awesome and unbelievable.
“With these facilities in place, it is now clear that Nigerian professionals would be opened up to electronic golfing. If I add this to the golfing talents that abound in your country, I could see the pros here take to the great stages of the golf world in another five years, for example. “
Mpoh advised Nigeria to stop spending all of its money on football, adding, “Golf is the future and people are already seeing it. Even at the Olympics, the honor a man could bring to one through golf would definitely surpass what a 26-person soccer team could get. Your country should start investing in golf as a man has given you digital golf facilities. “
After a fabulous party for Mpoh that rounded off the week-long pro training, the Group Managing Director of the Golf Garden, Olori Adekunbi Runsewe, mentioned that when her husband founded the digital golf facility, it was evident that Otunba Runsewe had fully embraced the Development of the game of golf prescribed in Nigeria.
“Even if I’m not yet playing the game, I am indeed delighted that my husband has agreed to study golf management and administration so that I can bring the experience back to Golf Garden,” said Olori Runsewe.
“I’m glad I work in the garden here. But I have to tell you what’s here is quite extensive and that’s why I still have to run to my husband most of the time for advice so that I can run this place as smoothly as possible. “
Otunba Runsewe, who is also director general of the National Council of Arts and Culture, announced that it took him eight years to develop Golf Garden. That stroke of luck, he said, led him to position Nigeria to be in a prime position to capitalize on.
“This generosity would only benefit those nations that are prepared,” said Runsewe. “By preparation I mean what we will have on site by then. Since the fund would essentially revolve around golf equipment, hotels and logistics, I am therefore responsible for building up capacity in the Golf Garden. I can tell you that before that time I must have started my own golf brand, the OSR brand, which will take over the manufacturing of golf equipment and golf apparel.
“I really want to create a healthy synergy, I mean digital golf synergy, between our pros and those in Europe and America. I started with ten of our pros and I’m going to take those ten to places around the world. I want us to really reap the goodies that golf would bring to Africa. “
At the end of the event, Nigeria’s ex-golfer Musa Ayuba, who was attending the training session, also announced that he first encountered digital training last week in his two decades as a professional golfer.
“I and other pros who were lucky enough to take part in this training are really grateful to Otunba Runsewe for building such a digital golf course in Nigeria. For this, other African pro golfers pay so much to be able to open up in Europe and America. And we have it here. That’s incredible. I just pray that such facilities should be placed in the Nigerian states.
“We have great and passionate golfers like Otunba Runsewe in Nigeria. You should come and emulate him and do what is necessary, ”said Musa.