Kenya’s top golf professional Dismas Indiza is a worried man. The veteran pro is concerned about his form occasioned by lack of competitive golf for the last six months. Matters have been worsened by the cancellation of the Magical Kenya Open 2020.
Indiza’s story is one of pain and anguish occasioned by both self-inflicted and force majeure acts. Having setup a stable base at Mumias Sugar Golf club for the last decade, all was going fine for Indiza until the sugar company went in the red. And with the debtors’ noose slowly tightening around the sugar company’s neck, maintenance work at the erstwhile pristine nine-hall golf course was abandoned condemning the facility to a forest.
Today Indiza has to travel 40 kms every day to Kakamega Sports club for a practice round. This is interspersed by occasional visits to other courses in the region notably Kitale and Nandi Bears. “It has not been easy to say the least. It is so hard to come up with a structured routine in these circumstances,” laments Indiza.
To stay fit and focused, Indiza has been forced to improvise a Practise Range at the derelict Mumias Sugar grounds. The disused facility is offering some solace to the veteran as he mounts two practice sessions every day, a routine that sees him hit at least 500 golf balls daily.
“I have had to raise some money to rehabilitate the Practice Range. Though not really up to scratch, the make-shift practice range is at least 350 yards long thus enabling me to put in some decent training work.”Said Indiza
The situation has been exacerbated by the government’s ban on competitive sporting activities at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Devastated by the deferment of this year’s Magical Kenya Open, his hopes are now pegged on the resumption of the Safari Tour. “Match practice is mandatory in this sport. There are no shortcuts. The resumption of Safari Tour will definitely get us back on track as we look forward next year’s Kenya Open,” says an optimistic Indiza.
Arguably the most successful professional golfer in Kenya, the long-hitting golfer has featured at Kenya Open a record 23 times since making a debut as an amateur in 1996. Indiza’s best outing was at the 2007 Kenya Open when he finished in the 13th position. He qualified for the Magical Kenya Open 2020 after winning the grueling Safari Tour series. The series, organized by Kenya Open Golf Limited was played over 11 legs in Kenya and Uganda.
As he toys with the idea of graduating to the senior’s Tour, Magical Kenya Open 2021 perhaps presents the final opportunity for Indiza to finally exorcise the ghosts that have bedeviled Kenyan pros in search for the elusive victory. The shambolic preparations notwithstanding.