Golf Course Review… Nairobi

1209

Fact File

Par -71
Rating – 71
Length – 6218m
Best Time to Play – All year round

History

The members proudly refer to it as the Kenyan ‘Home of Golf’, and it does have a rich history. The original nine holes were laid out in 1913 as a private membership golf course and originally had ‘browns’, as opposed to greens. The club became an 18-hole golf course in 1927. In 1949 the browns were converted to greens, but it was some time before the course was to return to its former glory. The force behind this renaissance was an extensive course reconstruction by the celebrated South African golf architect, Peter Matkovich, which in 2004 returned Muthaiga to prominence as the course with the fastest greens in East Africa.

The Course

Muthaiga Golf Club is very scenic, with its tree-lined fairways interspersed with numerous lakes and ponds. The water features are a breeding ground for magnificent Egyptian Geese, whilst monkeys frolic on the 470m fourth hole and the par-3 fifth. It’s a challenging layout with fantastic greens, and that could be why it’s so popular. At Muthaiga you could find yourself bumping into a member of parliament, a minister or even the president of Kenya, as most golfing politicians are members. A quick look at just a couple of holes will give you an indication of what you’re in for. The first hole is a 372m par-4, with a blind drive to a wide-open fairway. The fairway falls off sharply to the lake, which serves as a water reservoir for the irrigation system. A sharp dogleg right to the green 110m higher makes this a very challenging, but also scenic first hole. The 18th is a par-5 with a lovely view of the clubhouse. The signature of this hole is the massive trees which line both sides of the fairway. When standing on the tee there are fairway bunkers on either side and a long hitter has to produce a rather straight drive to avoid them. The large green is guarded by bunkers in front, on the left, behind and on the right side of it, while putting on this most challenging green makes this a teasing finishing hole.

Signature Hole

The ninth is a par-4 measuring 342m. The three-tier men’s tees sit up on a bank overlooking a ravine with a narrow portion of the Gitathuru River, which forms part of the dam, running through. The view from the tee offers you a profusion of colours supplied by an abundant growth of flowering trees and bushes. It’s a very scenic hole with many jacaranda trees on the left. The best approach for long hitters is to drive to the bunkers on the far left of the fairway, while short hitters should play straight over the bridge to make sure their balls make it across the hazard. Thereafter, you had better have your short game wits about you, as the green, like all of them at Muthaiga, is a real challenge.  

Rates (18 holes)

Visitors (weekday) – $35
Visitors (weekend) – $47
Caddie – $10 (no carts)
Club Hire – $20

Where is it?

Muthaiga Golf Club is situated 10 kilometres north of the Nairobi city centre, along Kiambu Road at the Thika/Kiambu roads roundabout.

Contact

Tel: +254 20 2368440, muthaigagolfclub.com

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