Golf might not be popular compared to other sports (football, athletics, cricket) but it has been played in Kenya for more than a century. The sport was introduced in the country by the British colonialists as their exclusive sport for the elites. With more than 40 golf courses, Kenya has been christened the golfing capital of East Africa that offers a world-class golfing experience.
Visitors to Kenya and expats alike all love to wind up their wildlife safari adventures by golfing on these expansive green belts. I have compiled for you the five best golf courses from where you can experience world-class premier golfing. I have ranked them according to their sizes and all of them are within the immediate environs of Nairobi from where they hugely characterize the city’s unique green landscape…
1. Royal Nairobi Golf Club
Founded in 1906 with 9 holes, the Royal Nairobi Golf Club is Kenya’s oldest golf course whose course area is 7021 yards with 18 holes. It is just five minutes drive from Nairobi CBD and offers a superb world-class golfing experience. According to its website, the golf course was “named after British King George V “Royal” and reciprocates with all other “Royal” chartered clubs worldwide”. Its surging landscape is moderately hilly but which offers daunting challenges to every golfer. From here, one also gets excellent views of the rolling Ngong hills. Other ground amenities include a gymnasium, restaurant, and a swimming pool that serves its more than 1500 members.
2. Windsor Golfing Club
Labeling itself as Africa’s premier golf resort, Windsor Golf Club features a spectacular 7277-yard landscape perfected by the impressive ponds, huge coffee farms and tropical forests. It has won several prestigious awards including being the best golf course in Kenya, Africa’s best hotel for golfers at the 2014 Golf Travel Awards and being listed by CNN among the top ten urban golf clubs. The golf course’s extraordinary flora and fauna make it ideal for nature loving golfers who wouldn’t mind engaging in some outdoor excursions like bird watching, jogging, and cycling. Located within 17 minutes drive from Nairobi, the course offers stunning views of both the Aberdare Mountains and Mount Kenya.
3. Karen Golf & Country Club
Located along Karen road, the Karen Golf Club hosts a variety of prestigious tournaments organized by the club itself, Kenya Golf Union, and Kenya Ladies Golf Union and was last year’s host to the European PGA Kenya Open on its 18-hole landscape. With its 6,893 yards, the beautiful golf course is one of the most spectacular in the country as golfers are awe-inspired by the lush bushes and huge indigenous trees. The club also maintains an ecological area that recycles waste matter and water but also harbors several animal and bird species. The golf course is synonymous with the adjacent colonial house belonging to Karen Blixen the author of the best-selling book Out of Africa.
4. Limuru Country Golf Club
Tucked in the serene environs of Limuru, this naturally attractive golf club opened in 1949 is only 30kms away from Nairobi. It describes itself as the “most hospitable and scenic golf and country club” in Kenya. The 6159 yards landscape boasts of 18 holes and is regarded as the most beautiful in Kenya due to the gorgeous flowery landscape and the 7000ft altitude that offers great sights of the nearby sprawling tea plantations and rolling farmlands. In 2015, the golf course hosted the Africa Amateur Golf Team Championship and it continues to host several other national tournaments. Amenities include a heated swimming pool, bowling greens game, and cricket.
5. Muthaiga Golf Club
The exclusive Muthaiga Golf Club describes itself as the “ultimate embodiment of Kenya’s unique marriage of ancient golf tradition and a modern 18-Hole Championship Golf Course”. This is so true as the 2016 World Golf Awards winner for Kenya is the most popular golf course in the country that attracts the country’s elites to its plush environs that are a walking distance away from the city. It is also the home to the Kenya Golf Union and hosts the annual Kenya Open. Like other golf courses, its 6176-yard course built in 1913 boasts of 18 holes and once hosted the European PGA Kenya Open. Its location near the famous Karura forest makes it a unique golfing habitat that’s one of a kind.
Other impressive golf courses to give you an extended Kenyan golfing experience include Railways Golf Club within the CBD, Vet Lab Golf Club, Air Force Golf Club, Jockey Golf Club, Sigona Golf Club and Kiambu Golf Club. The method of admission and membership fees vary from one club to another but trust me, whatever golf club you choose to join, you’ll definitely enjoy the ultimate Kenyan golfing experience of a lifetime.