A $50 million golf complex on the Kenyan coast has become the first in Africa to secure world-renowned PGA approval.
Vipingo Ridge began as a dream to create a championship course and five star golf retreat from old sisal and mango plantations back in 2004. Now the complex – on the Mombasa-Malindi Highway – is thriving, with its championship Baobab course and homes fit for kings. But most importantly – it has the historic and globally recognised Professional Golfers’ Association seal of approval.
PGA Head of Property and Development Guy Moran said: “It is the first time that we have accredited a golf course on the African Continent. We are glad that Kenya has now joined the league of PGA branded facilities around the world.”
PGA support will have massive benefits for Vipingo resort – and not just as a world recognised seal of excellence for golfers wishing to visit.
Founded in 1901, The PGA is the world’s first golf professional members’ organisation representing over 7,500 professionals working in more than 60 countries. The PGA brand is immediately recognised and respected throughout the world thanks to being at the forefront of golf for over a century.
The PGA’s heritage, standards, ethics, reputation and global role are known and respected equally by players, administrators’ golf facility developers and owners. Only a select number of facilities around the world are endorsed by the PGA – and Vipingo Ridge has now joined these ranks.
All PGA branded facilities benefit from the direct use of the PGA brand and its associated brand value built up over the last century. The affiliation serves as a highly valued International seal of approval and assures visitors and owners that the course is built and maintained to a certain set standard.
But the PGA seal offers more than ensuring the course and complex offer world beating standards.
There are a series of educational options to ensure the club’s golf coaching facilities are top class too. The PGA has cutting edge education available to aspiring golf professionals and others with key roles in the golfing industry.
The Association will work with Vipingo Ridge to create a bespoke educational programme at the complex which in turn will provide a learning facility for those in the Country wishing to follow a career in the Golf Industry.
Vipingo Ridge director Saleem Haji said: “With the PGA support, we can now start training some of the local caddies to be professionals and they will be able to give lessons. They could then go out into the community, into schools and start introducing local kids to the game.
“It would be wonderful if in a few years’ time we could have a caddie who has trained through the whole PGA system and become a professional.
“There is an opportunity through the PGA to give youngsters another educational possibility Some may want to be engineers or doctors. Now some will think they could train to be golf professionals with all the opportunities that will open up. These are very exciting times.”
Moran added: “Kenya should take advantage of the world class golf course to attract golf tourists to generate more revenue and economic growth. Kenya has a lot to offer compared to other golf tourism destinations since it has warm weather, the stunningly beautiful beaches and wildlife in popular parks such as Maasai Mara.”
Sports Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario added: “The PGA accreditation really puts Kenya on the map and will enable the country to attract golfers from around the world. The branding of Baobab golf course as a PGA level facility will give our country more edge than our competitors on the continent and boost our golf tourism growth.”
Vipingo Ridge www.vipingoridge.com