By Silvano Kibuuka.
Ugandan boys seconded in Africa junior golf.
National Team Points.
1. South Africa 850
2. Uganda 940
3. Zambia 944
4. Zimbabwe 945
1. South Africa 592
2. Zimbabwe 634
3. Kenya 662
4. Uganda 691
Since 1997 when American professional golf player, Tiger Woods became famous in the game by earning millions of dollars, many players, governing bodies of the games and countries around the world started looking at it as precious and Uganda was not different from the many.
The Continental body, The Africa Golf Confederation (ACG) that was formed in 1986 got strengthened.
The start of the Africa Junior Golf Championships became a reality in Uganda as well.
Finishing in the second, the Ugandan men booked a berth to participate in the Toyota Junior Golf World Cup in Japan for the first time ever in a championship scheduled for June 20-23 this year.
South Africa and Uganda will be the male teams while South Africa and Zimbabwe will be for the women to represent the continent.
The national team for the juniors has been progressing to this time when they grabbed a silver medal in the men at the previously concluded event at Lake Victoria Serena Golf Resort and Spa Course at Kigo when they beat countries in the men where teams from 15 countries took part.
Uganda elevated Zambia that was in the second position on the third day of the four-day tournament as South Africa led the event throughout.
This was the biggest achievement for team Uganda that finished in the fifth place in 2022 in Egypt behind South Africa, Morocco, Zimbabwe and Kenya.
All the men teams were composed of four players where Uganda had Reagan Joseph Akena, Juma Abiti, Ibrahim Ssemakula and Abdul Kakeeto.
Kakeeto also made a mark by hitting the longest drive during the tournament when he made 170 yards.
Uganda’s other bravery was shown by Akena who shot a hole in one on hole number three on day one of the annual event and was followed by South African Jack Buchanan on day two on hole number 11.
In the women, Uganda finished fourth behind South Africa, Zimbabwe and Kenya.
The team had Vivian Achen, Frista Birabwa and Winnie Musuya.
Teams after Uganda were Tunisia, Zambia, Egypt, Mauritius, Botswana, Tanzania and Cote D’Ivoire.
In 2022, the Ugandan women also finished seventh behind South Africa, Morocco, Zimbabwe, Egypt, Kenya and Zambia.
They were followed by Tunisia and Botswana.
“The players followed the instructions and we gave them strengthening words and they abided. We are now looking at making a mark at the World Cup,” noted the head coach of the junior team Flavia Namakula.
Uganda’s performance was referred to the NCBA Uganda Junior Golf Championship that was held at the same course on April 8-10 prior to the continental event.
Akena won the tournament.
USPA recognize the Junior Golf Team:
On May 8 2023, the national junior golf men team was voted the personality of April by the sports scribes under Uganda Sports Press Association (USPA) at the Nile Special – USPA monthly polls at Imperial Royale Hotel.
The U-18 golfers won a silver accolade finishing second behind South Africa that won both in the men and women continental juniors.
Uganda joined South Africa as the two continental teams that qualified for the Toyota Junior World Cup in Japan in June.
At the USPA vote, the golfer’s edged the Victoria Pearls, the national women cricket team by 195- 190 points.
The Victoria Pearls won a five-nation challenge at Lugogo to qualify for the Capricorn Eagles Quadrangular Tournament in Namibia that they also won.
Real stars Fortebet monthly awards:
On May 9 2023, another sports organization that has recognized sports excellency since 2018 selected golf player Juma Abiti as the best golfer for the month of April.
He placed the best scores on team Uganda in the four successive days (78,76, 76, 78) gross scores.
The senior teams:
The senior national golf men team is ranked 10 as per the continental championships in Egypt last year while the women are in position seven according to the event held in Tanzania last year.