Golf Course Review… Kenya

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Fact File

Par – 72
Rating – 74
Length – 6292m

History

One of Kenya’s newest high-profile courses, the Baobab Course, the first of Vipingo Ridge’s two 18-hole courses, was designed by American David Jones, and opened in August 2009. It’s a championship course, with the men’s tees rated 74, the women’s tees 73 and the championship tees 75. The course enjoys panoramic ocean views to the east and sunsets over the vast African interior to the west.

The Course

Nestled between the Indian Ocean and the rolling green hills of the Kenyan heartland, a landscape of lush, expansive beauty provides the setting for Vipingo Ridge. But, don’t be lulled by the beauty, as it’s a tough course. “The golf course is extremely challenging from all the tees, and provides a risk versus reward situation on most holes for every level of player”, says Saleem Haji, Vipingo Ridge director and PGA professional.

”The wind or ‘monsoon breeze’ also plays a significant part on all the holes, and can affect club selection and ball flight greatly.” A meandering system of water features runs through the course, creating new natural habitats for the region’s vibrant bird and wildlife. Extensive fairway modelling and planting of indigenous trees ensure that every hole has strategic elements to bring interest and enjoyment for all golfers. “The course is magnificently shaped into the landscape, and the water features, lakes and streams provide an additional test”, says Haji. “It is possible to see the sea from most of the holes on the way round, and the views are spectacular and provide a source of inspiration should you happen to not be on your game”.

Signature Hole

The signature 16th hole is a challenging par four, with six different tees down to a broad landing area beside a glittering lake. An uphill second shot features a cascading stream along the left of the fairway, with strategic bunkers to be avoided to find the large green. According to Haji, “the 16th hole demands an accurate drive to the left half of the fairway, bringing the water into play. After you have hit your perfect tee shot, you are required to hit a mid to long iron to an elevated green, which is protected by bunkers in front and the dreaded water, should you go too far left. If you make par on this hole, take it and walk to the next tee with a huge sigh of relief”.

Rates (18 holes)

Adults – $55
Caddie – $5
Cart – $20
Club Hire – $20

Where is it?

The Vipingo estate is approximately 35 kilometres north of Mombasa and south of the world heritage site, Lamu town. Vipingo Ridge is also about an hour by road from either Moi International Airport in Mombasa or Malindi Airport, whilst the estate also has a private airstrip that offers scheduled flights directly to Nairobi. The entrance is just off the main Mombasa-Malindi highway.

Contact

Tel: +254 (0) 733 155155, vipingoridge.com

 

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