Addis Ababa, though a seat of many international organizations including the African Union, does not have a full golf course. During the competition held last Saturday, at the Golf Club the Ethiopian Golf Association President Nebyou Samuel indicated that Addis is shortly to have an 18-hole 72-par international standard golf course.
The former Addis Ababa Golf Association President Abraham Abegaz, the General Manager of Nyala Motors told Capital that Addis Ababa currently only has a nine-hole golf course.
“A full course, with 18 holes is under construction. The number of players is increasing day by day. In the past mostly foreigners played but now 80 percent of the players are Ethiopians,” he added.
The golf Club at the Old Airport area had full course at the time of Emperor Hailselassie. The military junta made it a half course with the belief that golf is a game played exclusively by the ruling bourgeoisie class. So a warehouse was built on half of the golf course to store some military equipment.
After the fall of the Derg, the warehouse was demolished and the Ministry of Defense decided to construct the full course citing the games importance for young Ethiopians. The association said that the construction will help attract more participation.
A single course takes between 800,000 to one million square meters of plot. Covering the full length of the pitch requires endurance. In this sense one could say that playing golf is a very important activity for a human body. So it is sad to understand that neighbouring Kenya has 40 golf courses. But Ethiopia with a population of over 80 million has only one half course.
Meanwhile in the golf competition held at the Golf Club last Saturday, Abraham Abegaz came out an over all Addis Ababa golf winner. Abraham has played golf for the last 25 years. At the tournament that drew 70 contenders, Elias Wolde won the first place in Group A leaving behind Natty Fantahun and Berhane Negash to take the second and third places, respectively. The fourth place was won by General Samora Yunus, Chief of Staff of the Armed forces.
In Group B, Al Rumphray took title while Mimi Yohanes finished second. Berhane Moges and Zhang Chenguo came out third and fourth, respectively.
Nyala Motors is the sponsor of the season’s tournament. This is the fourth time for Nyala to sponsor the Golf tournament. It offered a set of equipment for all participants.