Golf in Nigeria? Even the word ‘Golf’ sounds pretty alien to some Nigerians. Some people have never heard the word before, not to talk of them knowing it’s a sport.
Yet something quite ironic is, a recent Google research showed that golf is one of the highest paid sports in the world. Actually, It’s the fifth amongst the top ten most lucrative sports in the world. Shocking right?
The highest paid golfer, Tiger Woods is paid an average of 127.2 million dollars! Yet, despite the lucrativeness of this sport, golf is still one of the least talked about sports in Nigeria.
In this article, I will be highlighting some of the problems this sport faces in Nigeria. They are:
*Lack of enough golf courses.
Nigeria comprises 36 states in total plus a federal capital territory. Despite this, there are only eleven recognized golf courses in the country. This is quite disappointing when comparing it to Scotland. Scotland has about 9,384 golf holes. That is, Scotland has one golf hole for every 568 people which is approximately one 18-hole golf course for every 10,000 inhabitants.
* Unlike football, golf cannot just be practiced at convenience.
Golf has to be practised at a golf course because of the peculiarity of the sport.
*Exorbitant membership fees.
The exorbitant membership fees being charged for golf, is such that an average Nigerian might not be able to afford comfortably.
* To build a golf course is quite expensive.
One of the contributing factors as to why our golf courses are not enough in the country is because of the cost to build. An estimated value of building an 18-hole golf course in Nigeria costs about $150,000 to $250,000. Also an 18-hole golf course needs around 120-180 acres of land to build.
*Golf in Nigeria is seen as a leisure sport by the wealthy.
Golf tournaments organized by some states are not fully recognised or given much attention to because people believe that golfing is for the wealthy. Due to this mentality, the sport has become practically inaccessible to the general public.
Despite these challenges highlighted in this article, I still think golf is a really amazing sport and should be given a chance in Nigeria. These challenges can be overcomed if the sport sector is determined to give golf in Nigeria a thought. More spotlight should be given to the sport, more golf tournaments should be organised, the government should take charge of building golf courses as part of the sport sector budget allocation, Nigerians should be enlightened more on the sport to encourage more participation.
Seeing as golf is not as saturated as football, a good golfer actually has a better chance at getting to the limelight.
If the Nigeria sport sector should give golf a chance, I see more windows of opportunities opening up for Nigerians.
This article was written by Emmanuel Chika Eunice; connect with her on Instagram via here