Ikoyi Club’s academy will unearth new golf champions, says Johnson

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Tokunbo Pedro.

The quest to take Nigeria to the summit in the comity of golf playing nations has received a boost from Ikoyi Club 1938, which will soon start an academy to nurture young talents in the game.

Vice Captain of the IKoyi Club’s Golf Section, Babatunde Johnson told The Guardian that the academy would feed from the country’s vast reservoir of talents, who will learn from some of the best teachers in the game.

“The Academy will be run by trustees and officers from outside the club. “Some professional instructors from South Africa’s Sunshine Tour recently visited our club and we are hoping to learn from the experience. They Sunshine Tour has an academy in Kenya, so they have the knowledge we need to make the academy a success,” he said.

Nigeria has been struggling to join the elite nations of the sport, but the cost of participation has shackled most of the talents who show promise of doing big things in the game.

In recent times, Nigeria’s number one player, Andrew Odoh has been carrying the country’s flag in international scene, but he had to relocate to South Africa to realize his ambition. Yet he is not reckoned among the best players in the world. That is the situation Johnson hopes the new academy will correct.According to Johnson, “the Ikoyi Club has produced some juniors, who have taken their games beyond the country.

“We want to unearth and train more youths to replace Georgia Oboh, Anita Uwadiae and Tokunbo Pedro. We will ensure the really good ones from the academy travel to compete abroad and gain experience.“We have a clinic managed by our Ladies, but now we are planning for a more professional academy that will bring out the gest in our junior players,” he said.