By Jacob Ajom
Nigeria’s number one golfer, Oche Andrew Odoh from IBB International Golf and Country Club, Abuja is excited at the prospects of his making it to the top in his chosen career as he has broken into the European tour circuit.
Odoh was in Lagos at the weekend on the invitation of his friend and strong backer, Engineer Framcis Olo who marked his retirement from the DPR with a retirement kitty staged at the Dolphin Golf Club, Navy Town, Lagos.
Odo said his journey has not been easy because of the perception of Nigerians and corporate bodies towards certain sports.
“It is really tough out there,” he started. “There are lots of tournaments but the one thing that keeps one back is the lack of sponsors. I just took part in two European Tour events a few weeks back, the Magical Kenya Open and the Kenya Savannah Classic and it was a completely different experience.”
Continuing, he said it is even tougher for Nigerian professional golf players because, there was no standing tour in the country.
He said, “This is because there are no proper programmes in place.”
He set a target for himself. “My target is to continue to soar higher but one cannot achieve much without adequate backing from sponsors.”
Should his wish of getting sponsors come to reality, Odoh hopes to go out there and take part in as many tournaments as possible. Said he, “I am an affiliate member of the Sunshine Tour, which has quite a number of tournaments of world ranking standards. I want to take part in such tournaments to improve my world ranking,” he said.
On his part, Engineer Olo lamented that South Africa have overtaken Nigeria in golf. It is unfortunate that we have lost focus and have taken the back seat in a sport that we were top in Africa,
Former captain of the club, Babatunde Ajayi challenged the ministry of sports and the Nigerian Golf Federation to come together for the growth of the domestic game.