Thursday, August 21, 2008

Virtual Golf Around Uganda

In order to share part of my experience during Golf Around Uganda: The UG Golf Quest 2008, I have created a virtual tour of golf (and a few other non-golf places) in Uganda which can be played in GoogleEarth. In order to view this tour, you will need to have Google Earth (or it's ilk) installed. If you are in Uganda, please take the file from here. If in another country, this link will be faster.


Friday, August 01, 2008

Uganda golf courses; a subjective rating

There are 4 natural "tiers" that golf courses in Uganda fall into. The tiers and the clubs that belong to them (alphabetically) are:


  • Mehta Club
  • UGC


  • Entebbe
  • Jinja
  • Kabale
  • Kinyara
  • Mary Louis Simkins
  • Toro Club
  • West Nile Club


  • Mbarara
  • Tororo


  • Kasese
  • Lira
  • Mbale

Ranking them in numerical order is more difficult, and of course highly subjective. My rankings with reasons for placement:
  1. UGC - overall condition, best manicure, attention to detail
  2. Mehta Club - speed of greens, beautiful park, best food
  3. Entebbe Club - difficulty, length, views, termite damage
  4. Jinja Club - unique location, views, well maintained, except for greeens
  5. Toro Club - nice views, parklike setting, longest history, greens bumpy
  6. Kinyara Senior Staff Club - fab facilities, best pool, awful to putt
  7. Kabale Sports Club - wildlife, views, good course, greens are shite
  8. MLSMGC: Namulonge - flora, creative use of space, shaggy greens
  9. West Nile Club - putting surfaces awful, but a very nice loop
  10. Tororo Club - lack of maintenance, smelliest bog
  11. Mbarara Sports Club - needs a good thrashing
  12. Kalembe Mines Golf Club - needs several good thrashings
  13. Mbale Sports Club - maize planted on course, zero maintenance
  14. Lira Golf Club - it's a cow pasture/school/taxi stage/football stadium

Past and Future Golf Course

In addition to the places I played during "Golf Around Uganda", There are some former courses, most notably Gulu and Soroti, where housing development has taken precedence over golf, and the courses have been lost.

In Masindi (right), a former colonial course is being revived, although will now be only half its former size. A group of dedicated golfers has gained title to the land, but no design or major funding yet. With Kinyara so close, it will be difficult to sustain another course in the area.

Bulago Island folks had grand plans for a 18 hole championship course there, but realism scaled it back to a pitch 'n putt course. They never would have gotten the traffic to make it pay.

There once was a course between Entebbe and Kampala, somewhere east of Entebbe Road. The signs for it have gone, and even when they were up, the ex-course was impossible to find.

However, a new course is being built on the west side of Entebbe Road by the Akright housing development company. Allegedly it won't be a Uganda Golf Union club, but a resort course. On my way back from Entebbe, I did find evidence of course building (left) at Akright, although not a great deal, and it looks like it will be years before it's ready!

If you are a parent of the International School of Uganda, there is a small golf instruction area near the main gate, wedge work is all you can do here, but it's what I need to do most, so it works for me.