Golf has always remained a seductive passion for Otunba Olusegun Runsewe. For years he remained connected to sport with Catholic fervor. Whether in the country or off the coast, golf destinations are his first port of call. So it was no surprise that he chose to go further than just being a gamer. Those familiar with his interests in the game weren’t surprised that he realized his dream of having his own course that could be used to improve the skills of playing the game. Welcome to Otunba Runsewes classy Golf Garden Waterfront Golf Club (GGWF) in Wuse, Abuja!
On the penultimate Saturday, a one-week digital golf training session for selected Nigerian golf professionals ended with a lot of praise for the club.
Most golfers who participated in the program admitted that this novel addition to the country’s game was able to bring Nigerian golf to the world stage in five years.
Interestingly, one of South Africa’s top golf instructors, Mpoh Kelosiwaag, was flown into the country as an instructor for the first golf training session. The region sent the country’s first five golf professionals 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 courses he saw on-site at the Golf Garden.
He went on to reveal that no other African nation besides South Africa can boast of facilities that are in tune with modern day digital golf.
“For this reason I would like to say that this man, Otunba Runsewe, is a blessing to your country,” said Mpoh, a man of unusual insight, patience and a gentle sense of humor, combined with an unmatched golf knowledge.
“Otunba had a dream years ago and is now living it. I remember he came to South Africa 10 years ago to look for a top golf instructor who could help bring 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 what 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 and can see everything he said, what he would do on the spot. 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 talent that abounds in your country, I could see the pros here move onto the great stages of the golf world in, say, another five years. Your country should put less emphasis on spending all of its money on football alone. 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 23-man soccer team could give. Your country should start investing in golf because a man gave you digital golf facilities, ”noted the top golf instructor.
After a fabulous party for Mpoh, which ended the week-long pro training, the Group Managing Director of the Golf Garden, Olori Adekunbi Runsewe, admitted that with the founding of the digital golf facility by her husband, it was revealed that Otunba Runsewe is wholeheartedly committed to developing the game of golf in Nigeria.
“Even if I’m not yet playing the game, I’m very happy that my husband has agreed to study golf management and administration so that I can bring the experience 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 pretty big 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, said he had never had goose bumps while developing Golf Garden for the past eight years. He said he knew long ago that 2023 would be a staggering $ 4 billion in golf in Africa and that he wanted Nigeria in a prime position to be part of that godsend.
“This generosity would only benefit those nations that are prepared,” revealed 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 delicacies that world golf would bring to Africa, ”said the GGWF patron.
Musa Ayuba, Nigeria’s No.
Listen to Ayuba: “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. This is what other African pro golfers are paying so much to be opened to such facilities in Europe and America. And we have it here in Abuja. That’s incredible. I just pray that such facilities should be replicated in all Nigerian states. We have great and passionate golfers like Otunba Runsewe in Nigeria. They should come and emulate him and do what is necessary to make the sport bigger, ”concludes the country’s number one former golfer.
With a golf enthusiast as passionate as Otunba Runsewe leading this project, it is only a matter of time before Nigerians turn their attention back to the sport that is being inundated with so much money for the pros. GGWF seems to be the answer to make this dream come true.