Jamilu Uba Adamu
The object of golf is not just to win. It is to play like a gentleman, and win” – Phil Mickelson
What actually drew my attention to Kano Golf Club is connected to Aba Golf Club where I frequently use to escort my senior colleagues, Mr. Emmanuel Talba, Nura Shehu and Madaki, who were both Golf Amateurs, when I was working in Abia State.
In one of such visits, I observed that Aba Golf Club was established in 1926 as it was boldly written at the club house.
I always take notice of history aspect of sports. So, I concluded that it is the most oldest in Nigeria. Not knowing that Kano Golf Club is far older.
It is a matter of curiosity to ask how old Kano Golf Club is, especially if one observes the vast land the Golf course occupied and the personalities that are associated with the game in Kano.
I can vividly remember how my father used to take me to Kano Club and watched him play the game as a small boy.
Golf is a family thing to me. It is an honour for me to write about the history of this game that my late dad loved so much. I grew up seeing his many Golf trophies,clubs and balls displayed in his parlour.
To write about a history of an old sport like Golf, especially in Nigeria and Kano in particular, where not much importance was given to documentation of sports history is a daunting task.
But thanks to Dr. Tanko Yahaya (Secretary Kano Golf Club), who, with his help and assistance, made it easy to write about this important history of the prestigious Kano Golf Club.
Golf is club and ball sport.
In this part of the world, it is considered a sport of the elite and the rich, but to be fair, it is more of a mind game where a Golfer uses different clubs to hit the balls and the goal is to put the ball into a hole.
The history of modern Golf traces back to 15th Century Scotland, the sport ancient roots are heavily debated between different ancient civilisations.
One theory suggests that Golf came from the roman stick-and-ball game, Paganica. Others point to the Chinese Chui wan played between 8th and 14th Century China.
Kano Golf Club has a Unique History not only in Nigeria but West Africa in General. The history of Kano Club dated
back to 1908, making the club the oldest and the most respected Golf Club Not only in Nigeria but West Africa in general.
According to historic records, Kano Golf Club was established in 1908 after the conquest of Kano by the then Royal West Africa Frontier Force.
The project of building of the Golf Club was done by Major A. Festing, a colonial resident at that time. (Festing Road, in Sabon Gari Area, Fagge L.G.A was named in his honour).
The history of Kano Club is associated with the conquest of Kano, under Lord Fredrick Lugard and the establishment of the cantonment Area or Kano Township.
After the conquest of Kano, the colonialists built a catering rest house and European club for the touring officers both the administrative and commercial who may be in Kano for official duties. That European Club is the present Kano Club.
The first golf tournament: Kano Golf tournament was played as far back as 1922, with Barclays Bank of Nigeria (Present Union Bank) the first Commercial establishment in Kano to organise the tournament in 1922.
Prince Edward of England visited Kano Golf course in 1927, were he reviewed parade mounted by the RWAFF on the present Hole No. 3 of the course.
The iron chair he sat on is still there on the band stand Hole No. 3 Tee box till date; the whole is a Nigerian Army heritage site.
The course also witness the first aircraft landing in Kano and Nigeria by flight Lt. Cunningham, who flew from Helwan, Egypt to Kano on November 1st, 1925 arriving Kano at 5.10pm.
Players: At the beginning Kano Golf Club membership is exclusively preserve of whites but later in the sixties some Nigerians were admitted as members.
The years 1975/1976 recorded the first time Nigerians were elected as members of the committee, as the membership of the club grew to 56 expatriates and 12 Nigerian playing members.
The first Nigerian Captain of Prestigious Club was late Chief Alhaji Fatai Asuni, with the likes of late (Chief) Sam Adeniyi Cole, late Alhaji Uba Adamu Kantoma (My father), late Abdu Lukat, late AVM Mukhtar Muhammad (rtd), late Nasiru Maitama Sule, late Dr. Osad Osamoniyi, Rabiu Musa, Dr. Tunji Funsho, Vincent Ighile, Colonel Yakubu Bako (Rtd), Bashir Mahmud, Haidar Sulaiman, Ibrahim Ganyama, S.K Bayero, Babangida Umar, Habibu Abdullahi, Amb. Magashi (is the present Captain).
After going through this rich history of the prestigious Kano Club, one can be right to refer the Kano Club Golf Club as confirm heritage site.
N.B: I found most of the Information in a paper written by Dr. Yahaya Tanko (Kano Club Hon. Secretary) presented during Kano Golf Club Captain’s Inaugural Tournament held between Friday and Sunday, September 11 and 13, 2020 at Kano Golf Club.
Adamu is a sport analyst based in Kano
Can be reach via +234 803 207 8489.