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Golfing holidays

An unexpected treat for golfers on courses old and new

golf

Uganda may not quite rival some other African destinations in terms of its golf courses; yet visiting golfers are in for a pleasant surprise, as the country serves up some real treats.

The jewel in Uganda’s golfing crown is without doubt the 18-hole Uganda Golf Course. Located in the heart of Kampala, this is the nation’s premier club. Established over 100 years ago, the course is deceptively difficult, with many narrow, tree-lined fairways. The 15th is particularly tough, calling for a good drive, then an accurate approach shot to the green, which has trees on both sides.

Golfers can enjoy a welcome break at the 10th tee, which has its own café and provides a vantage point to watch those playing the par-3 ninth. A warm welcome awaits at the clubhouse, with good food and inexpensive beer.

The country’s other 18-hole course is at Entebbe. Established with just nine holes in 1905, this is East Africa’s oldest course, pre-dating Kenya’s Royal Nairobi by one year. Both caddies and green fees are well priced; and, with just 150 full members, it is always easy to obtain a tee time, even on a Saturday morning.

The 6,441-yard course is mostly open parkland and the venerable clubhouse is the original Edwardian building.

Resort Course

Jinja has a nine-hole course and is, in many ways, under utilised. Playing the nine holes twice from different tees, the par-72 course is 6,481 yards. The course is in reasonably good condition.

Scheduled for completion in 2011 is a new 7,350-yard, par-72 course at the Serena Lake Victoria Resort. As its name suggests, the golf course is being laid out on the shores of Lake Victoria.

There are golf courses, too, in Fort Portal (the Toro Club), Tororo, Arua, Mbarara, Masindi, Kabale and Kasese.