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Coastweek -- John Smith, [centre], overall winner with 40 points, receives a prize from Sashit Shah. Looking on is NGCC Captain Bajaber Taib. While Andrew Wahome, junior winner with 37c/b, receives a prize from Piyush Shah during G.A Insurance Golf Day at Nyali Golf and Country Club.  PHOTOS BY GILBERT ONCHOKE.

John Smith Wins the G A Insurance Golf Day With 40 Points

Coastweek -- This Is Your Captain Speaking - Anyone who has travelled by air must be familiar with these words, spoken by the man in charge of the plane taking you over long distances that carries a risk of danger, even possible disaster and so it is always re assuring to hear these words, delivered in a crisp, clear, confident, authoritative manner by the person in whose capable hands rests not only your destination but sometimes even your destiny, writes THE DRIVER.

These words make the stuff of many boyhood dreams.

Taib Bajaber grabbed an opportunity to fulfil a long cherished dream to utter these famous five words, albeit not in command of an airborne ship but on the terra firma of the 19th hole at Nyali Golf and Country Club when opening the prize giving ceremony as the Club Captain first time after being elected, at the G A Insurance Company sponsored Golf Day on Saturday 27th January 2018.

When travelling by air, you also know that your Captain does not just take to the mike to indulge in an idle chit chat.

Apart from the initial brief  greetings, welcoming you on board, the Captain addresses you usually only to deliver an important message that might affect your well being, sometimes perhaps your very life !

The message that Captain Taib had to deliver was also certainly important, of such utmost importance in fact  that it could be a life changing matter for the Club.

Coastweek -- Duncan Ndegwa, [left], senior winner with 35 points during G.A Insurance Golf Day at Nyali Golf and Country Club, congratulating the sponsor after receiving a prize from Zafir Din, [centre]. Looking on is the NGCC captain Bajaber Taib.

It was to the effect that the estate value of Nyali Golf and Country Club is likely to go up many times over by the possibility of a find of hidden wealth that someone seems to have made.

It appears, under the guise of trying to get to  his golf ball, a player was seen to be carrying out some serious exploration for oil.

As is  well known, most of the oil wealth is found in deserts and so unsurprisingly, this oil exploration was being done in a bunker where the player was digging and digging again and again.

So extensive was the digging that there was a danger of all the sand being displaced out of the bunker.

Like everything else, this possibility of the discovery of the black gold in our grounds has two sides, upside as well as down side, as it could threaten the very existence of the Club !

We have been warned by the Captain and as club members, we need to take the matter seriously.

If oil is found, the golf course will disappear.

We therefore have to make a serious choice, in favour of preserving our environment against exploitation, green nature against grey commercialisation.

We have to come out and try and save not only the particular bunker but the fairways, the golf course as a whole to ensure  our continuing enjoyment of the game.

Enjoyable the day certainly was, the first Golf Day held by G A Insurance Company and judging by the  encouraging response from the club members, hopefully to become a regular fixture in the golf calendar.

It would be fair to say, no one enjoyed it more than John Smith, the Winner of the inaugural G A Insurance Golf Day, not only because he clinched the title but also because, by his own account in his winner’s speech, it was one of those days when everything came easy and effortless.

A good round of golf in great company made it a perfect day for John.

John did have his ups and downs though, a double bogey on the very first hole set him back a point and the blanked 7th and 16th costing him further 4 points for the two holes, a total loss of five points but there were more holes with redeeming features, the best being the 11th where a birdie yielded 4 points and 3 points coming off a string of pars, starting with the 2nd, 3rd,  6th, 9th, 13th, 17th and 18th, a gain of 9 points, leaving John with a surplus of four, a total of 40 Stableford points.

With his breakdown of 19 and 21, John had made sure of a good count back but there was no call for a count back, John’s 40 points being clear of 3 points from  the next in line, carded by two players who could pose no threat to John, both being  Juniors, Andrew Wahome and Kelly Rob.

From the main field of contenders, the next best score was 36 carded by two  Josephs,  Oluoch and Kaguru and Pia Swatton.

Pia was clearly the Winner Lady, next score in the ladies line up being 35 from Ulla Grimwood.

Pia’s 36 came off a clean card, without any blank but in the first nine, a number of single point scores, on the 2nd, and the 8th through triple bogeys and the 6th and the 7th through double bogeys, cost her four shots of which she managed to make up two with 3 points each off one over on the double stroking 4th and the 5th.

On the back nine it was regulation 2 on every hole except the 10th and the 14th where Pia picked up 3 each off a par and bogey respectively to finish with 20 points.

Ulla Grimwood was not around to take her prize, after playing in the morning, the treacherous journey through Mtwapa Town in the evening perhaps deterring her coming back and so Florence Karimi derived the benefit of taking the Runner Up Lady prize.

Of the two gentlemen tied on 36, it was the steady round of two equal nines of 18 with which Joseph Oluoch managed to beat his name sake Joseph Kaguru who produced a  less balanced halves, playing out his better golf in the 1st nine with 20 followed by 16 in the crucial back nine where it counted.

Oluoch lost a couple of points with the blanked 3rd and another through a bogey on the 7th but made up all three lost shots off pars on the 4th, 5th and the 9th.

On the back nine also three pars, on the 11th, 13th and the 14th earned him 3 extra points but off set by bogeys on the 12th and 17th and a double on the stroking 16th.

Kaguru made a great start with 3 points each on the opening 1st, 2nd, 3rd and with another on the 8th picked up 4 extra points but lost 2 through the blanked 5th ending with 20 points in the 1st nine.

He opened and closed the back nine with loss of a point each and also lost two more through the  blanked 11th, making up only two off pars on the 14th and the 15th.

To decide the Junior Winner between Andrew Wahome and Kelly Rob, it was quite a contest, both with a good score of 37 points and a similar back nine score of 20, requiring a further count back over the last six holes.

It was the steady Kelly with a regulation score of 12, with his par on the 14th squaring off a bogey on the 15th who lost out to Andrew who picked a tremendous score of 16 points over six holes, with 4 points off his par on the 14th and 3 each on the 16th and the 17th

On the other end of the age spectrum was Mzee Duncan Ndegwa taking the Best Senior prize on a good score of 35 points.

Duncan was given a hearty applause when he collected his prize and was asked to make an acceptance speech, in which he traced in a brief outline those early days when he was introduced to what was still considered a “a white man’s Game” but was then opening up and was taken up by young enthusiasts from other races like him.

Speeches over, it was to round off the day with a dinner, accompanied by complimentary drinks from the sponsors to whom we say many thanks and come back again !


Overall  Winner: John Smith 40 Points.

Man Winner: Joseph Oluoch c/b 36 Points, Man Runner Up: Joseph Kaguru 36 Points, Man Third: Saj Shah 35 Points.

Lady Winner: Pia Swatton 36 Points, Lady Runner up: Ulla Grimwood 35 Points.

Best Junior: Andrew Wahome c/b 37 Points, Best Senior: Duncan Ndegwa 35 Points.

Best First Nine: Sanjeev  Dhutia 21 Points, Best Second Nine: Michael Mbugua 21 Points.

Longest Drive (Man): William Kaguta, Longest Drive (Lady): Joyce Masai.

Nearest to the Pin: Nigel Hanson 7’ 11’


Coastweek -- Pia Swatton, lady winner with 36 points receives a prize from Vijay Shah while Joseph Oluoch (right), men winner with 36c/b receives a prize from Sashit Shah during G.A Insurance Golf Day at Nyali Golf and Country Club.



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