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RETURN OF THE MAC: A date to remember

BABY STEPS: New recruits from the Young Golfers Association are taken through their paces before a round at the Nyeri Golf Club practice range in Kenya.

BABY STEPS: New recruits from the Young Golfers Association are taken through their paces before a round at the Nyeri Golf Club practice range in Kenya.

“Remember, remember the Fifth of November…” For some, notably in Britain, this is a celebration of the arraigning for high treason in 1605 of Guy Fawkes and the foiling of the ‘Gunpowder Plot’. For others, it is just an ordinary Saturday.

But for golfers in Nyeri – Kenya, it was the day of the Space and Style Ltd Golf Tournament at Nyeri Club’s attractive yet demanding nine-hole course.
Rain on the days before the competition made the course less harsh than it had lately been and saw the purple jacaranda blossoms washed out from the trees; but it was a fine day for the tournament itself and all was up and going by 7am.

 TOUGH TURF: The difficult mountainous course offers exquisite scenery (Mt. Kenya can be seen from the 6th tee). Well protected greens, deep roughs and very tall evergreens plus a stream and a valley all contribute in making it a tough course.

TOUGH TURF: The difficult mountainous course offers exquisite scenery (Mt. Kenya can be seen from the 6th tee). Well protected greens, deep roughs and very tall evergreens plus a stream and a valley all contribute in making it a tough course.

To welcome the golfing fraternity was the club’s newly built ‘pavilion’ – roofed by Space and Style – at the first tee, where there are said to be plans to have a club shop, as well as a resting area for players, caddies and, possibly, journalists.
The development gives the first tee a more than tidy facelift and will ease congestion. It coincides nicely with the structural improvements made recently to the clubhouse proper, which have brought an element of class to the club.

Winners of the day’s play – in what is expected to be an annual event – were Judy Nyambura (Nyahururu) and Gerard Gakima, who had motored up from Nairobi at the crack of dawn particularly to be in time for the competition.

The match committee for the extravaganza – amusingly chalked up on the chalkboard as 4/11/16 – was Rev J Kamere (capt), Joel Githanda (vice-captain), Mercy Mburu, Dickson Mwangi and Jane Munyori.
Relief included the garbage dumpsite, Old Staff Quarters, young tree marked by white band, tractor path. Out of bounds was swimming pool area, left of no 8/7, inside borehole area, new staff changing room. The purpose of an axe lying around near the old staff quarters was not explained…

ANCIENT TREASURE: Nyeri Golf Club is the second oldest golf course in Kenya began in 1910 by Reggie McClure and G. Sandbach Baker. The course was extended to eighteen holes in 1934.

ANCIENT TREASURE: Nyeri Golf Club is the second oldest golf course in Kenya began in 1910 by Reggie McClure and G. Sandbach Baker. The course was extended to eighteen holes in 1934.

Footnote (or pedal note): In the entrance lobby to the members’ only section of Nyeri Club there sits an old upright piano looking somewhat abandoned and forlorn. It has three pedals, is chestnut brown in color and has almost all its black keys But the white ones – the ivories – are all missing. Who took them, and what did he/she do with them? We wonder who will lift the lid for G100 Magazine on this one.

NOTE for readers: I had gone to Nyeri Club on November 5 primarily to interview the club chairman, Mr Daniel Wamahiu, about the ‘goodies’ he expected Santa to bring the club by December 25.

I had been earlier, on November 3rd, but had been met by obfuscation at reception about the chairman’s whereabouts and had been referred to a third party, in Nyeri town, who phoned Mr Wamahiu and arranged the said interview for November 5, after the conclusion of the Space and Style Golf Tournament.

This is what I subsequently reported to G100: “Arranged interview with chairman for 7pm (I had been at club since 7.45am), then put off (by chairman) to after prize giving, then to after dinner, by which time 10pm, then put off altogether. Result: Locked out of home. Thanks, Daniel!”

I do not wish readers to weep for the tribulations of a golf reporter but to join him in condemning a more-important-than-thou club chairman whose arrogance swayed the day. Net result: No interview, a guest house bill and a golf correspondent literally begging for alms. Oh yes, and a blank page in a notebook under the heading ‘Xmas special – Golf 100 5/11/16 Interview with Mr Daniel Wamahiu, chairman of Nyeri Club’.

Hammer blow for pensioners

People who live in Kenya relying on a UK state pension are really feeling the pinch.
The value of the pound against the shilling has plummeted since Brexit, resulting in a roughly 20 per cent drop in the exchange value of the pension.

“This is like a hammer blow,” says Colin Macbeth, 68. who stays in Nyeri and should know. “That Brexit business has been no joke and it has left us struggling. We certainly cannot enjoy life as much as we once did.” And there are little signs the situation will improve as Britain goes about negotiating its exit from the EU…

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