•Vice Admiral Adekeye teeing off at the Royal Valley Golf Resort in Igosun, Offa, Kwara Stte
By John Egbokhan, Akure
Organisers of the Ist Smoking Hills Invitational golf tournament in Ilara-Mokin, Ondo State have said that they plan to make the event one of the top PGA tournaments in Nigeria.
And they also intend to mould future stars from the fledgling golf club built by the Chairman of Toyota Nigeria Limited, Chief Ade Ojo. The one-day tournament ended yesterday amidst pomp and panache at the serene Smokin Hills golf resort and club on the outskirts of Akure, with winners emerging in various segments in the amateur and professional categories.
Graced by the crème-de-la-crème of golfing and business society, the tournament had about 82 golfers battling for honours on a well-laid golf course, which the Local Organising Committee touted as one of the best in this part of the world.
Speaking to Sunday Vanguard Sports , Dr. Ayo Ojo said that the golf club was on course to being the number one golf club in Africa in a few years.
Ojo, a medical doctor with wide interest in sports and tourism said that the golf resort in Ilara-Mokin has the potentials to host a European PGA event due to its breathtaking facilities and adherence to international quality.
He said that plans were on to build a six-star hotel at the resort to make it an haven for golfers and tourists.
“This is just the beginning of what we hope will be the centre of international golf in Nigeria because what we have here at the Smokin Hills Golf Resort matches up to the best in the world.
“We are not saying what is not here. The facts speak for themselves. You have seen what we have and we plan to take it further by making sure that we project this place to the world through hosting of top championships that will be graced by the world’s best.
“The PGAN is excited with what we have on ground and it is ready to offer us any help to realize our objectives. Soon, we are going to host a top PGAN event and later, we plan to host world stars”, added Ojo.
“The beauty of what we are doing here is that we are helping to develop local talents in Ilara-Mokin and its environs. The youths here are now caddies to these golfers and have started learning how to play golf.
“We also want to actively encourage these youths by training them on how to play golf and give them golf kits, so that they will have the tools to develop their talents. We are also going to allow them use the facilities so that they would not have to think that the game is out of the reach due to its high cost”, added Ojo.