Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Golf Competition: The Heineken Style

Though it was never found out who invented golf, it is generally accepted that golf goes back a minimum of 500 years. History of Golf brings you the interesting details about how golf gradually evolved from the medieval to the modern times.

There is a legend that shepherds, while getting bored tending their flocks used to hit stones into rabbit holes with their wooden crooks near St Andrews. They became adept at this and it led to the birth of golf on the greens of Scotland. There is evidence that people started playing golf before 1457 because on 6 March, 1457 James II of Scotland banned golf and football as these sports were hampering archery practice.

Some historians have also traced the history of Golf to a Roman game called paganica. They played it on the streets of Great Britain, where they ruled from 40 to 400 AD, with a bent stick and a leather ball stuffed with feathers. Others believe that golf originated from het kolven, a Dutch game. Historians even think that golf originated from French and Belgian game called chole, a French game called jeu de mail, and an English game called cambuca. But it is generally agreed that golf originated in Scotland.

Heineken has achieved yet another sports milestone as the brand sponsored the 37th edition of the highly rated Ikoyi Club Ladies Golf Open Championship tournament which teed off between December 1 and 2, 2011 at the prestigious Ikoyi Club 1938, Lagos.

Apart from producing quality products, NB is also a socially responsible corporate organization with a good track record of corporate social initiatives in identified and strategic areas. The brand’s Corporate Social Responsibility is driven by a vision to always “Win with Nigeria”. Over the years, it has been very active in supporting national development aspirations in line with its commitment to “Winning with Nigeria”. The brand has continued to identify and respond to major challenges confronting Nigeria through its huge corporate social investments especially in the areas of education, the environment, water, youth empowerment, talent development and sports, amongst others.

To this end, the brand in 1994 established an Education Trust Fund with a take-off grant of N100 million to take more active part in the funding of educational and research activities in institutions of higher learning, all in an effort to provide and encourage academic excellence in Nigeria. This is in addition to its secondary and university scholarship programmes for children of its employees.

Nigerian Breweries Plc is the foremost sponsor of sports in the country with sponsorship covering football, athletics, tennis, cycling, chess, golf, squash, dart, Sailing and “Ayo”, a traditional sport among others. The aim is to develop Nigerian sportsmen and women to participate in national and international sports, and boost the sports profile of the country. The company is also involved in the development of leadership, musical and movie talents, through various programmes. Some of these activities are captured in the company’s Social and Environmental Report.

Jacqueline Van Faassen, Senior Brand Manager, Heineken said that prior to the sponsorship, Heineken has sponsored the Nigeria Cup Golf tournament and embarked on many other Golf projects in the country.

“Heineken is a premium international brand and we have decided to associate with golf as an international sport .We have decided to endorse the Ikoyi Club Ladies Golf Open Championship because it is different and also helps to depict the strength that lies in women, ” she said.

She added that “sports in Nigeria are going through tough times and we intend to help build the image and standard of sports through continuous support”.
The two-day tourney, hosted by the Lady Golfers, Ikoyi Club 1938, is in its 37th year running feature lady golfers from golf clubs all over Nigeria who participated in the tourney.

This edition saw incredible swings from professional woman golfer from across Nigeria who entered for the competition to show their strength and passion for the game as the best in country. As the heat grew from the first day, only a few were able to advance as the rules become stiffer.

In the end Lady Okah who had never won a championship in the Ikoyi Club Ladies Golf Open emerged as the winner of the 37th edition of the Heineken sponsored championship. According to her, ever since she started participating in the tournament since 1988, she just couldn’t explain why she did not win although she was always a hairsbreadth from winning the championship. It seemed the more she tried, the more it eluded her.

At over sixty years of age, one would expect her to have abandoned playing active golf let alone take part in the championships. One can best describe her as a relentless and passionate competitor. She did not give up on her pursuit to win the highly coveted Ikoyi Club Ladies Golf Championship. So as usual, the Port-Harcourt based golfer flew in from her base to once again take part in this year’s championships in Ikoyi Club 1938.

Just like it has always been, the Ikoyi Club Ladies Golf Open Championship was very challenging this year. After 2 days of golf duel amongst the best female golfers in the country at the Ikoyi Club 1938, Lady Okah emerged victorious defeating all other competitors to emerge overall winner of the prestigious Ikoyi Club Ladies Golf Open Championship 2011 edition.

An emotion laden Okah, described her win as long due. “I just said I should come out to participate because this course, since 1988 that I have been playing in this championship, I have never emerged champion. Every time I play here, I always make it to the last group but somehow I would emerge runner up but never the champion. Sometimes I would go for sudden death and I would not make it. But to my greatest surprise, at this age I emerged winner for this year’s Ikoyi ladies golf championships. I am so happy. This is the only club I have played and have never emerged as a champion until now. I have won in all other clubs in the country. I have been. I am so happy and give God all the glory”.

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