Courses

GARUGA: GIFTED & GUARDED

CONSERVED HAZARD: A ladies group around the water pond that is part of play on Hole No.5.

CONSERVED HAZARD: A ladies group around the water pond that is part of play on Hole No.5.

The picturesque 18-hole course in South Western Uganda opened up to the public for play on November last year with the third edition of the Paulo Ngorogoza Memorial Open that was until recently hosted by Kabale Sports Club (KSC).

The 7, 189 yard-long course plays off par-71 and is intricately incorporated into parkland setting with its undulating manicured terrain, entwined by wily use of small water bodies as hazards. The Bermuda grass found on the tees, the fairways have Kikuyu grass and the greens possess creeping bent grass. International turfs don’t come any better.

The club is without membership thus far but several golfers, who participated in the Ngorogoza event have shown willingness to commit to it. There are excellent practice facilities, fully stocked pro shop that mostly sold balls during the inaugural tourney and full conference and banqueting facilities with an in-house functions co-coordinator.

There are also plans to have a resident coaching professional for the newest course in Uganda that is centrally located in Kihihi town, a few minutes’ drive from Savannah Resort Hotel and Kihihi Airfield, both also owned by the course proprietor James Musinguzi Garuga.

RECORDS KEEPER: The scoreboard is right in-front of hole No.1 that has a long OB on the right.

RECORDS KEEPER: The scoreboard is right in-front of hole No.1 that has a long OB on the right.

After touring the place and seeing how it tortured many a golfer, we give you an insight on how the course can be conquered with a hole by hole analysis.

UNPLUGGING GARUGA

Hole No.1 (Par 4, buy 402 meters):
We look at play as a right hander. The best shot off the tee is a fade. One has to aim left. It is the first shot of your game, so one has to play safe. Look to hit the Mvule tree with a slight fade. On the right is Out of Bounds (OBs) which is the airfield. And if it’s a draw, one must hit it with pinpoint accuracy. Mind the direction of the wind. Local knowledge suggests one uses the wind sock on the right of the hole.

Hole No.2 (Par 3, 176 meters):
Same as No.1, a fade should do at the start. Take enough club and mind the wind again. It has an uphill raised green. Far right is OB into the airfield.

Hole No.3 (Par 4, 296 meters):
It’s a very short drivable par 4. There should really be no hustle here. There are trees both on the left and right and OB is on the left. The green is very large and no excuse for missing it.

Hole No.4 (Par 4, 447 meters):
It is a long par-4 but the distance is cut short because of the nature of the course since the green is downhill. OB is on the right of the airfield and left is guarded by trees. A par is easily manageable if the first two shots land in the right areas.

Hole No.5 (Par 3, 184 meters):
One can either play a straight ball or a fade. There are OBs on the right. The green sits across a water pond. If you have a water phobia, you are advised to play it as a par-4. It is an interesting hole.

19th HOLE EXPERIENCE: The building that houses the bar, washrooms, restaurant, offices and pro-shop of the club is located right in-front of the greens of hole No.9 and 18.

19th HOLE EXPERIENCE: The building that houses the bar, washrooms, restaurant, offices and pro-shop of the club is located right in-front of the greens of hole No.9 and 18.

Hole No.6 (Par 5, 514 meters):
Despite being long, it is an okay hole. Fade the tee shot and survive the OBs on the left. It demands respect and if you play it as a par-5, you will get a score fitting your handicap.

Hole No.7 (Par 4, 437 meters):
The tale of OBs continues but the OBs here is a bit faraway; one must have played a very poor shot to get into trouble. A solid tee-shot is a necessity here. It has a dogleg left and it should be easy as it’s not a long hole.

Hole No.8 (Par 3, 189 meters):
This should be an easy par by any standards. On the left there is a water hazard (creek). But not very long and one should be able to get the ball into the pocket in regulation time.

Hole No.9 (Par 5, 562 meters):
It is the longest par-five with a gorilla uphill dogleg right. If you play it as a par five, you will be fine. Many players will not be able to clear the dogleg, so they may end up trying to carry it which is a temptation. Adventure here could be costly. Advice for anyone here is to play it as a par five.

Hole No.10 (Par 4, 441 meters):
It is a straight hole and the only trouble here is the distance. Problem is that there is a forest across the road on the left which has dangerous spear grass. The club house is also OB and one should try and keep on the fairway which should be easy.

Hole No.11 (Par 3, 206 meters):
Nicknamed the ‘Rift Valley’, the upward hole always manages to live up to its reputation. The green is atop like a rift valley. Mind the direction of the wind and take enough club. There is an OB on the left and right (ravine) and beyond the green.

Hole No.12 (Par 5, 494 meters):
It is a straight hole with OB on the left and water hazard running all the way on the right. A draw off the tee is the favoured shot. There are two ponds on the guarding the green and one has to give this hole respect. Avoiding under/over clubbing. Good thing it has a large green.

Hole No.13 (Par 3, 164 meters):
It is very deceptive. A very large green surrounded by water hazards. It’s like an island green. It has enough distance (long). But if you land on fairway No.6, it is a penalty shot because place is OB.

Hole No.14 (Par 4, 462 meters):
This is the Stroke Index One. (S1 1). It is a straight hole with OB on the left and water hazard running all the way on the right. A draw off the tee is the favoured shot. There are two ponds on the guarding green and one has to give this hole respect. Avoid under/over clubbing. Good thing it has a large green.

Hole No.15 (Par 5, 523 meters):
The tee shot has to cross a swamp. There is OB on the dogleg right (No.6). The nearby orchard is also OB. But it has a very wide fairway. Aside the distance, it should be an easy one.

Hole No.16 (Par 5, 518 meters):
There are two Acacia trees on the left. All one has to do is aim at them and you will land safely. Long hitters can decide to carry the trees. It has a slight dogleg left.

TAKE OFF: As one starts his round of golf, he can see air-crafts land and take off on the right. The Kihihi airfield is Out of Bounds, though.

TAKE OFF: As one starts his round of golf, he can see air-crafts land and take off on the right. The Kihihi airfield is Out of Bounds, though.

Hole No.17 (Par 4, 370 meters):
It has a very wide fairway which makes it difficult to land OB. It should be an easy hole. It is my second easiest hole on this course. One should be able to get a par easily.

Hole No.18 (Par 3, 189 meters):
A six or seven iron should get play started on this final hole of this course. The green is also large and it is designed to ensure every golfer finishes with a good score and a smile plastered on his face. All one has to do is minding the direction of the wind. The last three closing holes No.16, 17 & 18 should calm one’s nerves and bring you back into the game.

ABOUT GGC

The 7,189 yard-long course plays off par-71 and is intricately incorporated into parkland setting with its undulating manicured terrain, entwined by wily use of small water bodies as hazards. The Bermuda grass found on the tees, the fairways have Kikuyu grass and the greens possess creeping bent grass. International turfs don’t come any better.

The club is without membership thus far but several golfers who participated in the Ngorogoza event have shown willingness to commit to it. There are excellent practice facilities, fully stocked pro shop that mostly sold balls during the inaugural tourney and full conference and banqueting facilities with an in-house functions co-ordinator.

There are also plans to have a resident coaching professional for the newest course in Uganda that is centrally located in Kihihi town, a few minutes’ drive from Savannah Resort Hotel and Kihihi Airfield that is also owned by the course proprietor James Musinguzi Garuga.

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