The President of the Nigeria Golf Federation (NGF), Otunba Olusola Runsewe, revealed that Dr. Awa Ibraheem, a dedicated golf enthusiast, is set to become one of the honoured inductees in the upcoming Nigeria Golf Hall of Fame. Speaking during the closing ceremony of the 10th Awa Ibraheem Junior Open Golf Championship held at Ikeja Golf Club, Lagos, on Saturday, Runsewe shared his insights.
Runsewe conveyed, “The NGF under my leadership, is planning to have a Golf Hall of Fame and we are looking at six distinguished Nigerians. Dr. Awa Ibraheem has won the first slot. We will have the other five recipients announced later, as this is the first-ever Hall of Fame for golf in Nigeria.”
He also expressed the NGF’s commitment to supporting the Awa Ibraheem Junior Open Golf Championship. “Also, I want to announce that the federation has keyed into the Awa Ibraheem Junior Open Golf championship, and we will give it all the support. From now on, the tournament will have the federation’s identity.”
Runsewe commended Dr. Awa Ibraheem’s unwavering efforts in promoting grassroots golf development in Nigeria. He emphasised, “I commend the sponsor of the tournament Ibraheem. I can attest that if we continue to develop golf like this in this country, with the ‘Catch them Young’ programme, then the future of golf is here.”
Regarding the sport’s future in Nigeria, Runsewe shared his optimism. “Golf is a game that one must get used to early in life because of the flexibility of the body, once a player passes the age of 20 years before engaging in it, such players may not get to the peak. There is a future for golf in Nigeria, and in the next couple of years, things will start to unfold.”
He added, “As of now, no Nigerian is on the Golf Tour, but with these young ones on board, the Tour is just an inch away.”
Runsewe also outlined his upcoming plans for the development of the NGF. “Unveiling his next agenda for the development of the federation, Runsewe said he was following the blueprint he had evolved before emerging as the president.”
He further explained, “The blueprint made the difference as I was able to convey a stakeholders meeting. I was also able to bring in professionals to train our golfers. I also brought in the World Handicap Index System, the first in the history of Nigeria. Now, Nigerian golfers can travel abroad as professional golfers. The federation has brought in modern equipment, and now we are planning to have the first international golf academy in Abuja.”
Notably, the 10th Awa Ibraheem Junior Open Golf Championship commenced on Thursday and concluded on Saturday, with Austine Aleji of Oturkpo Golf Club emerging as the new champion. Additionally, Ghanaian golf sensation Juliene Amezade achieved a remarkable victory in the U-15 Girls’ category, becoming the first non-Nigerian to win the competition in its ten years of existence.