Golfers set for All Africa tourney

The Namibia Amateur Ladies Golf Union (Nalgu), through the Namibia Golf Federation (NGF), will this year host the All Africa Golf Trophy (AAGT) challenge at Rossmund Golf Course at Swakopmund.

The tournament will take place from 31 March till 4 April, with 17 countries – host Namibia, defending champions South Africa, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cote D’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Mauritius, Nigeria, Reunion Island, Senegal, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda and Zambia – set to compete in the competition.

The AAGT started in 1981 when Tessa Govel, then president of the Zambia Ladies Golf Union, was invited to take a team of women golfers to India to play in the All India Championships. The idea of an African championship appealed to them and after much consultation over the next nine years and her move to Zimbabwe, the time was right for the inception of the AAGT.

The event is run by the organising committee of the host country, assisted and overseen by the regional trustee, who ensures that guidance is adhered to and that participation in the event continually expands.

From Zimbabwe, the tournament moved east in 1994 to Kenya to the Muthaiga Golf Course and the golfing safari continued west to the Ikoyi Club in Lagos, Nigeria in 1996. Its success blossomed.

The South Zone hosted the 1998 event at the Randpark Club in Johannesburg, South Africa. This tournament also marked the first time the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews assisted the AAGT with financial sponsorship.

This support continued in 2000 at the Uganda Golf Club in Kampala in East Africa and in 2002 at the Cote d’Ivore Golf Club in Abidjan. This was the year the zones were formally defined due to the AAGT’s ever-increasing popularity and the need to split suitable venues between the regions.

Egypt joined the tournament for the first time in 2004 at the Windhoek Golf Club, bringing the pool up to 16 countries.

Although South Africa has always been the victor of the team event – apart from Egypt in 2006 – the individual trophy has been won by Zimbabwe, South Africa, Kenya and Cote d’Ivoire.

Over the years, the standard of women’s golf has improved immensely with ever-increasing enthusiasm being displayed.

“Undoubtedly, this is the most prestigious international amateur ladies event on the African continent and Nalgu is privileged to host this event for the second time at Rossmund Golf Club at Swakopmund to help promote their efforts to enhance ladies golfers in Namibia while also being ambassadors for this unique country,” read a statement from Nalgu.

Namibia first hosted the championship in 2004, with the team finishing eighth.

The best ever finish for a Namibian team at the championship was in 2006 and 2012 when they finished fifth in competitions held in Zambia and Botswana respectively. The AAGT was also hosted in Egypt (2008), Nigeria (2010), Botswana (2012), Tunisia (2014), Kenya (2016) and Ghana (2018).

LIMBA MUPETAMI