Mon 14 February 2022

Kenya's reputation as a tourism and golfing giant is steadily growing, thanks to the various golfing tournaments that have been held in the recent past. According to Mintel International Group Golf Tourism, golf travelers spend on average 2.5 times more than leisure tourists at a destination.

According to the Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) Chief Executive Officer Dr. Betty Radier, "Golf is one of the key sports that continues to play a major role in showcasing Kenya to the world. These events attracted a lot of global attention and also presented an opportunity to showcase to the world that we are safe for travel and ready for business."

It comes as no surprise that Kenya was declared as a leading golf destination in Africa at the 7th Annual World Golf Awards Gala Ceremony in 2021.

The Magical Kenya Ladies Open (MKLO 2022)- the biggest ladies pro golf event in Eastern and Central Africa - has officially kicked off this morning at the 18-hole PGA Baobab Course at Vipingo Ridge in Kilifi County. This will be the second time the prestigious event is being held in Kenya, the inaugural event being in 2019 - and having not been held in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic. The event will be the very first on the LET 2022 calendar, setting the pace for what promises to be an exciting golf season for the year.

A field of 96 top local, regional and global players will grace the pristine PGA Baobab Course at Vipingo Ridge - the only PGA-accredited golf course in Africa - for a chance to battle it out for a chance to be crowned the winner of the LET 2022 season opener, the MKLO 2022.

Players from 25 nationalities will be present at the event as follows: Kenya, Wales, Brazil, Germany, South Africa, Finland, Austria, Spain, Belgium, France, India, Switzerland, Scotland, Norway, England, Italy, Netherlands, Estiwani, Iceland, Morocco, Czech Republic, Nigeria, Denmark and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The Kenyan contingent will be led by the Nyali Golf and Country Club pro Bhavi Shah who will be joined by elite amateurs Naomi Wafula, Mercy Nyanchama, Chanelle Wangari, and Faith Chemutai - all supported by Vipingo Ridge's PGA Academy as part of a training program with the Kenya Ladies Golf Union to nurture homegrown talent.

Set among 2,500 acres of manicured gardens, a PGA golf course and wilder terrain, Vipingo Ridge is a secure gated community with panoramic views from the Indian Ocean in the east to the Chodari Hills in the west. This unique destination offers exceptional real estate opportunities or holiday rentals for shorter stays. And with Africa's only PGA-accredited golf course featuring a meandering system of lakes and streams that runs throughout the championship-level 18 holes, this is the perfect setting for lovers of the game.

There are many different species of wildlife on the estate including two young giraffes that were rescued from the drought in the north of the country, herds of zebra, water buck, oryx, eland and impala. Imagine teeing off as zebra wander past and giraffe graze nearby.

Total prize money for the event will be €300,000 - which is approximately KES 38.8 million. Some of the notable names to look out for include Esther Henseleit from Germany who won the maiden Magical Kenya Ladies Open in 2019. Others include Lee-Anne Pace from South Africa, Julia Engstrom from Sweden - who came agonizingly close to winning the event in 2019; Sanna Nuutinen from Finland; Olivia Cowan from Germany among many others.

The tournament will be broadcasted to millions across the globe on live TV for all to watch. You can be among the action and spotted on television because spectators can purchase tickets to the four-day tournament. Tickets are available online on MKLO2022, #RaiseOurGame


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