How Lucifer influenced Kenyan golf in the early years

New Kenya Golf Union chairman Anthony Murage (left) receives the KGU shield from outgoing chair Lucas Maranga during the handover ceremony on May 27, 2019.

Photo credit: Pool

What you need to know:

  • The commission tabled its report in Parliament and when it was released golf was named as one of the laces of the practice. Apparently, the Lucifer Golf Society was the culprit. The Government never took any action on the report.
  • The book Kenya Through the Lens of Golf is available at the KGU offices at Muthaiga, book stores in Nairobi at Village Market, Yaya Bookshop, Westgate and the Karen Country Club Pro-Shop at a cost of Sh4500. 

Two years after the Kenya Golf Union was inaugurated in 1928, the Kenya Golfing Society was formed. The KGU played a crucial part in that formation having been the one elected to invite the initial members.

R.W. Hopper writes in his book: “The Kenya Golfing Society was formed in 1930,  the Formation Committee being C.N. Day, R.D. England, W.N. Mackenzie and A.C. Tannahill.

With W.N. Mackenzie as Honorary Secretary.

"The objects of the Society are: To promote the interests of golf in Kenya, and particularly to arrange matches against clubs in the Colony and a Home Tour for members on leave in the United Kingdom.”

Membership:
"There are three classes of membership; (1) Original, (2) Ordinary and (3) Honorary.

“The original members totalling 74 were elected by invitation from Executive Committee of the Kenya Golf Union. At the same time the following were elected as Honorary Members:

1. The Prince of Wales; 2. Sir Edward Grigg; 3. Sir H. Greer, President of the Lucifer Golfing Society; 4. Mr Todd, Treasurer of the Lucifer Golfing Society; 5. Mr Carlton Levick, Honorary Secretary of the Lucifer Golfing Society.

It is noteworthy to write about the Lucifer Golfing Society in the UK and its influence through the KGU on golf in Kenya.

Formed in 1921 the original name chosen was “The Match Club” to reflect the intention of the society which was to hold matches amongst a small group of 60 members and then dine together.

But the Match Club already existed and the name Lucifer was adopted.

The word Lucifer excites some emotions given its other meaning but the title "Lucifer" was adopted being the slang for a striking match used in the trenches in the First World War.

Note the reference to "a lucifer" in the song from this period "Pack Up Your Troubles In Your Old Kit Bag".

In 1994 the Kenya Government appointed the Devil Worship Commission to look into the matter of devil worship in Kenya.

The commission tabled its report in Parliament and when it was released golf was named as one of the laces of the practice. Apparently, the Lucifer Golf Society was the culprit. The Government never took any action on the report.

The book Kenya Through the Lens of Golf is available at the KGU offices at Muthaiga, book stores in Nairobi at Village Market, Yaya Bookshop, Westgate and the Karen Country Club Pro-Shop at a cost of Sh4500. 

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