More cash as EA Golf Safari Tour expands to Rwanda, Tanzania

More cash as EA Golf Safari Tour expands to Rwanda, Tanzania

The second edition of the East Africa Golf Safari Tour is expected to expand to Rwanda and Tanzania as the organizer announced an increase in the prize money by at least $5,000 for the least paying leg.

The 11-series event that culminated this week at the Karen County Golf Club in Nairobi, will be expanded by at least four series to be staged in Tanzania and Rwanda, the Kenya Open Golf Limited (KOGL), the owners and organizers of the tour announced Wednesday.

“As we prepare the calendar next year, several things are going to happen; we will increase from 11 to 15/16 events during the course of the year. Next season, we will certainly expand to Rwanda and Tanzania,” said the Tournament Director Patrick Obath.

The KOGL also announced a $5,000 increase in minimum prize purse for individual events of the tour that will see the lowest paying leg cough out $15,000 from next season.

According to Obath, at least half of the tournament series will offer total prize money of between $30,000 and $40,000 from next season, a move geared at enticing players from the region playing in established tours such as the Sunshine Tour.

 “For next year, we are upping the prize money to $15,000 as a base so any event that wants to be part of the Safari Tour has to have a minimum prize kitty. This will begin to attract players from other tours both in Africa and beyond to come and play here. This will heighten competition further and we hope will sharpen the play of the Kenyan golf professionals.

“We are then going to share our calendar with Nigeria and the Sunshine Tour so that we don’t have major events clashing and ensure that each event has a clear weekend so that we can attract the right kind of people.”

 The Safari Golf Tour, which was launched in 2018 as a preparation pad for local and regional professional players heading into the Kenya Open Golf Championship, has seen 18 professional events being held in Kenya and Uganda over the two seasons. 

As part of the expansion plans, KOGL sees the tour growing to become the region’s biggest golf opportunity.

 “In time also, we expect to attract players from Ethiopia, the Indian Ocean Islands, the DRC and those other places and we see the Safari Golf Tour placing itself as a premiere event for the middle belt in Africa,” said Obath.

The event was expanded to Uganda to 11 Series tour, up from seven in the previous season.

 “Initially when we went into Uganda, we only thought that it was going to be one event but when they saw the opportunity, they decided to add more – which was a quiet way of saying that they needed more events in Uganda so that the Ugandans can get more points to qualify into the Kenya Open.”