Rise of JGF, the Boys and Girls Championship

Taimur Malik follows the progress of his shot from the fifth hole fairway during Kenya Amateur Junior Stroke Play championship final round at Muthaiga Golf Club on August 7, 2019.

Photo credit: Chris Omollo | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • It was only in 1975 that a defending champion, Michael Roberts, retained his title at Muthaiga to break the dominance of the Farrar brothers
  • Junior golf then stagnated and it was not until 1991 that concerted efforts were made to form a body dedicated solely to the junior game




The Boys Championship was more or less a Farrar family affair with David and his brother Charles dominating the event.

It was only in 1975 that a defending champion, Michael Roberts, retained his title at Muthaiga to break the dominance of the Farrar brothers.

“As a Union we nurtured the format of junior golf but not many African families were interested in golf at the time,” Ian Campbell, KGU Chairman in 1981 recalls.

Junior golf then stagnated and it was not until 1991 that concerted efforts were made to form a body dedicated solely to the junior game.

Sam Mwai, Chairman of the Union in 1997, remembers the moment.

“The juniors were not coming up and when I joined the Union in 1991, I was put in charge of junior golf with Peter Githua. We then coopted P.C. Patel from Vet Lab and started drawing a plan of forming a Junior Golf Foundation that would
incorporate both boys and girls.

The Junior Golf Foundation was finally registered in 1995 with Eddy Njoroge as its first chairman. The status of junior golf concerns most top players.

Says Wachira Mahihu: “We have continuously focused on clubs through the parents, caddies and high schools. We need to focus on the lower primary school level if we have to produce a champion.

“Golf should be part of the sport curriculum from the start just like driving is in the United Sates.

“For this, all we need is the football or rugby pitch and every school has one. Then we can add a green and a bunker. The most important thing is for the interest to start at that early age.”

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, Kiambu Club Pro Shop and the Karen Country Club Pro-Shop at a cost of Sh4,500.

Saturday: How the Ladies Golf Union came about. 

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