Tannahill Shield gave rise to organised golf

Royal Nairobi Golf Club team player Mugambi Mwigithania splashes champagne on teammates after they were declared winners during the Tannahill Shield Trophy on April 5, 2015, at the Royal Nairobi Golf Club. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • In 1938 it was unanimously agreed at the lunch that the Shield should be known as “The Tannahill Shield” and it is presented each year to the winning team by Mrs A.C.Tannahill
  • In 1949 to commemorate that he played in the 1st Easter Tournament and was playing in the Tournament that year, 25 years later, Mr. R.S. Campbell was presented with a memento of the occasion


It is necessary to write about the Easter Tournament because it is at this tournament that the ideas of golf unions and, finally, the Kenya Golf Union, were born.

The Easter Tournament is played on the Easter weekend at Royal Nairobi Golf Club by teams formed by Clubs invited by Royal Nairobi.

R.W. Hooper writes in his book:

“At a meeting of the General Committee of the Nairobi Golf Club on 6th February, 1924 it was proposed that teams representing Nyeri, Mombasa, Kiambu, Nakuru and Muthaiga be invited to play a Club Tournament in Nairobi at Easter. The Hon. Secretary of the Nairobi Golf Club, the late Mr. A. C. Tannahill, took charge of all arrangements, and with the exception of Nyeri who wished the idea all success, but regretted they could not raise a team, all were in favour of sending teams. Nairobi put in an “A” team in place of Nyeri, and the first Tournament took place on 19th, 20th and 21st of April, 1924.

In 1938 it was unanimously agreed at the lunch that the Shield should be known as “The Tannahill Shield” and it is presented each year to the winning team by Mrs A.C.Tannahill.

In 1949 to commemorate that he played in the 1st Easter Tournament and was playing in the Tournament that year, 25 years later, Mr. R.S. Campbell was presented with a memento of the occasion.”

Today, the Tannahill Shield is presented by the Chairman of the Royal Nairobi Golf Club.

The Sundowner Dance and the Smoking Concert are no longer held. Both ceased to be part of the tournament in the mid-80s when the tournament started becoming very competitive and players were showing little interest in the merry-making that the Dance and Concert produced preferring to rest and prepare for the golf.

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. Review continues on Sunday.