Professional Golfers Association of Nigeria (PGAN) and their European counterparts have re-opened partnership aimed at increasing the number of professional lady golfers in the country.
The two part partnership is first aimed at identifying and bringing on board more professional Lady Golfers on one hand and boosting the Nigeria PGA tour on the other.
Operation Director of Nigeria PGA Mathew Lawrence who revealed the new package in an exclusive chart with The Nation, expressed optimism that the re-union will take the Nigeria PGA and the LPGA to greater heights adding that qualifying school has been opened this January for lady golfers wishing to become professionals.
“We are affiliated to the European PGA and anything they are doing they always inform us and also invite us to tournaments but you have to make your way there. We have started promoting the ladies version which is the LPGA we have about five of them who started it and they are putting pressures on us to increase the ladies section to make it larger as part of the partnership so we have opened qualifying school this January for lady Golfers who want to be professionals” he enthused.
Lawrence who turned pro in July 1984 regretted that most tournaments that made the Nigeria PGA tour tick in the past have gone under but revealed that the PGA is doing all it can in collaboration with some marketing firms to make the Nigeria PGA tour vibrant again.
“We used to be number one in golf in the continent before South Africa overtook us. We were known for a packed tour.
In 1990 I left Lagos for tournaments and I was out of Lagos for three months two weeks playing from one state to the other. We used to have a loaded calendar, there was the Peugeot automobile, JIB Rocks, Nasco Biscuits in Jos Rank Zerox, Dunlop and more that kept the professional golfers busy all year round unfortunately all those tournaments have become part of history,” he regretted.
Describing golfers as the most honest sportsmen you can think of. Lawrence whose late father an Army officer rather preferred and played the game of Hockey said the discipline associated with golf is second to none.
“You cannot afford to break rules in golf. You can be playing in the same group in a tournament whether you are being monitored or note you make sure that what you play in each hole is what is recorded. Once you cheat and you are identified as a cheat you are banned for life, so you can see how stringent the rules are,” he submitted.