That the 2023 Captain’s Inaugural golf tournament, which was concluded last weekend, is arguably the biggest, most colorful, memorable and successful golfing event for a long time at the iconic Ilorin Golf Club, in the capital city of Kwara State and for miles around, goes without saying.
Over 200 golfers from across the country and beyond competed for stroke play honors in teams of four players at the two-day tournament that took place Friday-Saturday, May 19-20, 2023.
The competition, which featured some of the best golfers in the country, was a thrilling event that kept spectators on the edge of their seats.
Play kicked off at 6.30am on Friday with club members and visiting golfers teeing off in turns from Hole 1 for the practice round. The first day saw a relaxed but closely contested affair for tournament players, with several golfers putting in impressive performances to put themselves in contention for the prizes.
On the second day of the tournament, the golfers returned to the course with renewed determination to clinch the top prizes and teed off simultaneously from Holes 1 and 10. The competition was fierce, with golfers vying for every stroke, and the leaderboard remained tightly packed throughout the day.
In the end, it was a nail-biting finish as a few strokes separated the top contenders, but it was Golfer Samson Oladele who emerged victorious, finishing with the overall best net score of 65.
Other prizes in the Men’s category include Best Gross which went to Jide Allen with 74 gross score; Best Veteran which was won by A. Madara with 72 net; Longest Drive on Hole 9 won by A. Yusuf; and Nearest to the Pin on Hole 16 which was also won by Jide Allen.
The Best Net prize in the Women’s section went to S. Madungwo with 79 net score. The runner up was M. Onyeose who beat B. Meroyi on count back.
Speaking after the tournament, Alhaji Luqman Yahaya, the newly inaugurated captain of Ilorin Golf Club in whose honor the tournament was organized, expressed delight at the turnout and thanked golfers and dignitaries present for gracing the event.
He stated that it is impossible to have an event of such magnitude without slight hitches and urged understanding of golfers for observed lapses, if any, while wishing all traveling participants safe trips back to their respective destinations.
The top golf gathering which was originally intended for a club kitty but turned into a tournament due to over subscription ended in a classy dinner in a carnival-like and enchanting atmosphere with more than enough to eat and drink and was a huge success. Golfers and their guests as well as spectators praised the Ilorin Golf Club for its excellent organization and top-notch hospitality.
The event was a testament to the long golf career and social capital of the Club’s new captain, a former bank executive and successful businessman, and of the growing popularity of golf in the country.
The lush and evergreen Ilorin golf course in the Government Reservation Area (GRA), Ilorin, West Central Nigeria, which was established in 1975 is full of picturesque centuries-old cashew, locust beans, mango, neem and umbrella trees, and rocky outcrops. It is Kwara State’s premier, signature 18-hole course in a unique and breathtaking landscape.
It is hoped that more tournaments of this caliber will be organized at the club, which is a golfer’s delight year round, and nationwide in the future to promote the sport and encourage more people to take it up.
Tunji Suleiman, an avid golfer, wrote in from the Ilorin Golf Club.