Every year around this time there is a special week of golf
fiesta in the golfing ladies’ calendar which brings together the
largest number ladies from all over the country and also from
some of our neighbouring countries, a strong contingent of
Tanzanians being a regular presence for the last several years.
is the Ladies Coast Open Meeting.
Coast Open was however even more special because it marked
an important landmark in the journey that this event has
made, being played continually 70 years from the time it
started way back in 1948 at Mombasa Golf Club, which was
the only golf course then in existence at the Coast.
Coast Open had already been initiated earlier and was held
regularly over the last weekend of July when the weather
is generally cooler at the Coast and being the time of the
long school holidays, it drew golfers from up country in
large numbers who combined it with a family holiday at the
therefore not surprising that the ladies at the Coast
decided to stage their own competition to give an
opportunity to the up country ladies accompanying their
golfing husbands to indulge in some swinging activities of
the Ladies Coast Open following the weekend after the
men’s Barry Cup.
In due course
of time, Nyali course came into being, having been
developed from an initial 9 hole course to 12, 15 and
finally what is now the full fledged 18 hole course.
In a sisterly
spirit of sharing, Mombasa ladies invited Nyali to join in
and co host the event.
This was expanded
further to include Leisure Golf Club in 2000 and Vipingo Ridge
Golf Club in 2013 to crystalise into what is today a marathon of
7 rounds of golf over 6 days on 4 courses, comprising a medal
round at each of the Clubs, Nyali staging two rounds in a day,
while Mombasa and Nyali continue with their original arrangement
of hosting alternatively Ladies Foursomes and Mixed Greensomes.
What makes the event
gripping is that every course played on presents its unique
There is no time
either for warming up and gently getting into the swing of
It is straight into
the deep end from day one which opens with a medal round at the
demanding Leisure Golf Club with its water hazards and hundreds
of bunkers strewn all over the course.
The 36 holes medal
round at Nyali is a real test of endurance while Vipingo
combines its water hazards with deep rough verging just off the
Mombasa is deceiving
in being considerably shorter than the other three courses but
demands utmost focus and attention, with a potential of out of
bounds on practically every hole due to its tight, narrow
fairways combined with strong wind blowing from the sea that
takes the ball off its intended path.
Over the last few
years, the Tanzanian players have dominated the Open Meeting and
were expected to continue with their good performance.
But this year, our
Kenyan girls came with intent and on Monday 30th
July, the opening day at Leisure, the defending champion Angel
Eaton from Tanzania nearly lost her Leisure Trophy title to a
determined Kellie Gachaga.
Eaton managed to
retain her title by the margin of just a shot with her five
over par 76 to Kellie’s 77.
The same pattern
repeated further down with the Tanzanian Iddy Madina taking
third spot with 79, Naomi Wafula from Kenya following a shot
behind on 80 in the fourth place.
After an interlude
of a less taxing game of Ladies Foursomes at Nyali on Tuesday,
on Wednesday it was back to medal round at Nyali, not one but
two squeezed in a day.
Angel Eaton did not
have the best of starts, making a double bogey on the 4th
and a bogey each on the 7th and the 9th,
saving just one shot off a two club on the 6th,
finishing three over par 39 on the first nine.
Worse was to come in
the second nine, with a double bogey on the par five 11th
and bogeys on the 12th, 13th and the 17th,
with just a shot saved with yet another two club, on the 15th,
to finish four over par 39, a total of 78.
In the afternoon
session, she played better, no double bogeys but seem to have
lost her touch on par threes, dropping a shot each on the 3rd,
6th, 10th and the 15th and with
one more dropped on the par four 8th, with the only
birdie on the par five 11th, she finished with 75 and
the grand total of 153.
Unlike at Leisure,
Kellie Gachaga was not in hot pursuit of Angel, in fact she was
quite a way behind with both rounds in eighties, 80 and 81,
and Florence Karimi, winners during Mixed Greensomes at
Mombasa Golf Club during Ladies Coast Open, receives a return
ticket, Mombasa to Dubai from Ibrahim Temam, Traffic and Sales
Manager - Mombasa, Ethiopian Airline.
Angel was however
chased and overtaken by Naomi Wafula.
Naomi made a perfect
start with a brilliant first nine of three under par 33,
setting the tone with a flying birdie start on the par five 1st,
followed by a bogey but two 2 clubs on the 3rd and
the 6th and another birdie on the 8th put
her three shots ahead.
The momentum was
however lost on the second nine, where two double bogeys, on the
12th and the 13th and a bogey on the 16th
put her back to five over par 40, a total of one over par 73.
performance was less impressive, with a bogey start on the 1st,
followed by two more, on the 3rd and the 4th
and worse a double on the 5th.
With five over par
41 in the first nine she was in danger of losing the plot but
steadied herself on the back nine, dropping only two shots to
bogeys on the 13th and the 14th, closing
the afternoon session with 78 and the grand total of 151 which
turned out to be the best of the day and clinched the Nyali Bowl
Angel took the
second position but not without having to fight off a challenge
from her compatriot Iddy Madina who also brought a score of 153.
With a good opening
round of 74, Madina threatened not only Angel but also
However, she fell
back in the afternoon carding a string of bogeys, on the 2nd,
4th, 5th, 6th, 8th
and 9th finished with a six over par 42 score in
the first nine which combined with her back nine score of two
over par 37 ended with eight over 79, losing out on count back
On the parallel side
of handicap scoring, Carol Kiengo playing in Bronze Division
produced an impressive ten under handicap round of 61 in the
afternoon, following upon her morning round of nett 70 to take
the Rose Bowl trophy for the Best Nett score.
Her gross score of
93 placed her ahead of seventeen players in Silver Division.
again the next day, Thursday 2nd August at Vipingo
albeit not without fighting off a challenge, Madina Iddy being
involved in the tie with the same score, but the level of
scoring at Vipingo dropped to eighty, the ever present rough not
too far from any fairway taking its toll on the entire field,
not a single score in the seventies.
The course extracted
a heavy price from Naomi through a triple bogey on the 3rd
and three bogeys, on the 2nd, 7th and 9th
she ended with a total of 41 in the first nine but then she
settled down to do a better back nine with 39, losing three
shots to bogeys, on the 13th, 15th and 16th.
Madina played a more
even round of two equal nines of 40 and thereby lost out again
on count back by a shot to Naomi’s 39 on the second nine.
She dropped four
shots in the first nine to bogeys on the 1st, 2nd,
3rd and 7th and in the back nine although
she dropped six shots to bogeys, including a double on the last
hole, she made up a couple of shots with birdies on par five 11th
Action then moved to
Mombasa Golf Club, the sea front course being back in the game
after being excluded for a couple of years for allowing women
caddies without Kongu handicaps to participate in the Open in
contravention of KLGU rules.
To side track a
little, this should serve as a good lesson, always obey the law.
If you disagree with
the law, mount a campaign and put up your case to try and change
it but while it is on the books, do not flout it.
It was fitting
therefore that on its 70th anniversary, the curtain
on the Ladies Coast Open 2018 came down at the Front Club where
it had all started way back in the past.
Equally fitting was
the fact that Mombasa Cup was retrieved back for Kenya by Kellie
Gachaga who, having tried and failed to assert herself in the
contest at Leisure, finally succeeded at Mombasa.
Kellie not only won
Mombasa Cup but did it in great style with a fantastic one over
par score of 73, her nearest rival Naomi being eight shots
steadily with three straight pars, Kellie fumbled a bit on the 4th
and 7th, which she bogeyed but worse, a double bogey
on the 6th set her back four shots.
She however made a
great recovery with two consecutive birdies to end the first
nine with two over par 38.
Back nine contained
birdies on the 13th and 17th, but her two
shot gain being lost by just a shot through a bogey on the 16th,
ended with one under par 35.
Naomi had a
disastrous start with a double bogey on the 3rd,
bogeys on the 4th and 6th and worse, a
horrible quintuple bogey on the 7th adding up to a
big number of eight over par 44 in the first nine from which she
never quite recovered although she made a valiant effort with
two over 37 in the back nine. This came in spite of a bogey on
the 16th and a double on the easy par five 17th,
thanks to birdies on the 11th and the 13th.
There was some
silver lining to the dark clouds though, her back nine 37 coming
to aid her fight off a challenge, again from Madina Iddy who
also carded 81 but with a breakdown of 39 and 42, thereby losing
on count back yet again!
The last day was, as
always a fun day, in the form of Mixed Greensomes at Mombasa
Golf Club, ladies inviting gentlemen to join in the fun.
the winners and all the participants and many thanks to the Lady
Captains and their team of organisers who worked tirelessly to
present a successful and very enjoyable Coat Open Meeting.
Last and not the
least, asanteni all the sponsors, too numerous to name here, for
your very generous support for the ladies golf.
Leisure Golf Club
Runner up: Kellie Gachaga 77
Third: Madina Iddy 77
Fourth: Naomi Wafula 80
Allison Thety 73
Mwongeli Nzioki 74
Vicky Elias 76
Winner: Kerry Venturini 98
up: Maureen Wroe 101
Jaimmie Gachaga 101
Fourth: Naomi Wafula 80
Alice Mwangi 81
Nyali Golf Club
Scratch Winner Nyali
Bowl Naomi Wafula 151.
Best Nett Winner
Rose Bowl Carol Kiengo 131.
up: Angel Eaton 153
Madina Iddy 153
Vicky Elias 156
Best Nett A M:
Ashley Awuor 68
Best Nett P M:
Faith Ontune 68
Winner: Rosemary Kioni 185
up: Kerry Venturini 187
Mary Kandu 188
Hilda Mugure 188
Jammie Gachaga 141
Best Nett A M: Petty
Best Nett P M: Grace
Winners: Irene Auma
& Carol Kienga 278
Runners Up: Loise
Akinyi & Joy Ndonga 291
Mombasa Golf Club
up: Naomi Wafula 81
Madina Iddy 81
Mary Kandu 73
Terresia Wainaina 74
up: Jayne Githere 96
Rita Njeru 96
Hilda Mugure 73
LADIES FOURSOMES NYALI
Scratch Winners: H
Wanynche & V Elias 33 Points
Scratch Runners Up:
N Oloni & A Eaton 28 “
Nett Winners: A
Mwangi & V Kona 36 “
Nett Runners Up: J
Kamau & C Okcotch 36 “
MIXED GREENSOMES MOMBASA
Winners: F Karimi &
S M Kamau 42 Points
Runners Up: F Mbandi
& A Achilla 40 “
Third: A Mbogori & S
M Wambugu 36 “
Nine: A Wahome & M Wahome 20 “
Nine: M Kimemia & T Githagia 20 “