The 2014 edition of the annual Kabale Open Golf Tournament will go down memory lane as one of the best events of the year’s golfing calendar. It is during that tournament that Jonnie Walker walked into the very cold Kabale in Western Uganda and turned up the temperatures of the golfers and the business community alike.
Uganda Breweries Limited (UBL) under one of their premium brands, Johnnie Walker, stepped up when the previous sponsor decided to pull out on the last minute. In the end we had a great game of golf at the mountainous and challenging par-68 Kabale Sports Club and a bubbly awards ceremony and dinner at White Horse Inn Hotel. All this happened on Easter Eve.
Steven Katwiremu, 58, won the men’s category while Flavia Namakula, posting a below average 14-over-par 82 won the women’s category. Emmanuel Onito Opio won the professionals’ category. The Jinja-based Onito is son to legendary 12-time Uganda Open winner Sadi Onito (RIP) and brother to two-time winner Charles Yokwe (RIP).
During the awards ceremony, Uganda Breweries Limited (UBL) Marketing Director, Grace Nshemeire, announced that UBL would come back as sponsors next year. After enjoying a sumptuous dinner prepared by White Horse Inn chefs, it was time to take things a notch higher. At the end of her speech, Nshemeire-Gwaku said: “You will not lack drinks.” True to her word, the drinks kept flowing.
There was more Johnnie Walker than could possibly be drunk in one night. On the menu were Red Label, Green Label, Black Label, Double Black, Blue Label plus a host of single malt whiskeys.
This session brought together movers and shakers of Kabale representing the political and business spheres. To give the guest a real treat, Denzel Heath ‘Mixologist’ and expert in making whisky cocktails was flown in from South Africa. Heath wowed the guests with his mixing skills and recipes.
The flair and showmanship of juggling the bottle enhanced the overall experience. He handed guests a glass of his special blend at the entrance. The guest list consisted of elite golfers like professionals from Uganda, Rwanda as well as some of the bigwigs from the Uganda Golf Union like its chairman and the night’s host Amos Nzeyi, Ferdinand Mugisha, John Kato, Edward Kaguchu and Rogers Byaruhanga among others.
Also in town on the invitation of Dr. Sam Zaramba, were Zola Tsotsi, chairman of Eskom Holdings Ltd with his wife, and State Minister for Works John Byabagambi, who showcased his skills on the dance floor. The minister moved his body like he had no bones.
The whisky tasting session saw Denzel and whisky expert John Mwalimu, who is the Golf 100 Magazine Editor, do what they do best, taking the guests through the different brands of Johnnie Walker and how to enjoy them.
Mwalimu implored the guests to have a conversation with the drink so that they could appreciate its colour, scent and then slowly savour it in order to get the feel of the rich redolent flavours like peach, apricot, chocolate and vanilla before swallowing it.
As more bottles were savoured and swallowed, the golfers’ banter got louder, leading the ladies and gentlemen onto the dance floor. The guests bought whisky worth millions of Uganda shillings to toast to UBL’s new partnership. The party went on into the wee hours of Easter Sunday morning.