The Nigeria Golf Federation (NGF) may have received its first flak few weeks ago, following the comment by NGF President Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola, saying that golfers intending to take Nigerian golfers abroad for any tournament in the name of the country mustÂ first obtain permission from NGF before they can do so.
Every year several companies organise tournaments in different parts of the country and winners fom the zones lock horns in the final, usually held in Lagos or Abuja.
Eventual winners are flown abroad to compete in the final of such tournaments. In the past, we had tournaments like The World Corporate Challenge sponsored by aÂ elecommunication company. Other tournaments include the International Pairs, World Golfers Championship both bankrolled by MTN, Peugeot Golf Challenge, just to mention a few.
The past NGF board failed to check some of these tournaments and when the NGF was concessioned to a private company, the new board made up of imminient Nigerians vowed to stop the practice of taking Nigerians out without the approval of the NGF.
This decision certainly did not go down well with some golfers andÂ a golfer who worksÂ with one of the companies which has the Nigerian franchise for some international tournaments and organisesÂ annual tournament within the country criticized the NGF for taking such a statement.Â The golfer stressed that the NGF can not take such decisions without talking to concerned golfers and private companies whose business is golf related.
â€œThe NGF can not be ran like a private company. When it was concessioned, we were of the view that they would come out with a policy that would help develop the game. They need to show us their policy, so that we know where we fall in. There is need for us to discuss and chart the way forwardâ€, he said.
According to him, the NGF if it has intension of sanitizing golf tournaments in the country must first make its policy on golf known to golfers, so as for them to know which direction they are heading to. He described the attempt to stop corporate bodies from organising and taking winners out to international competitions as not good enough as some of the events are internationally approved.