Tiger Woods, renowned for his golfing prowess is the name that pops up when the word golf is mentioned in the world and Ghana is no exception. He is a multiple award-winning golfer and contributed to the worldwide popularity of the sport.
Golf was introduced in Ghana (then called Gold Coast) by the British who were the then colonial masters to take away their boredom, their homesickness, and to entertain them. Soon they spread the sport to many parts of the country and one of the remnants of what was established and left is what we would consider in this article: “The Achimota Golf Club” as presented by GreenViews Apartments.
The Achimota Golf Club exists in the woody enclave of the Achimota School, which is near the Achimota Forest. It is 10 kilometers north of Accra on the grounds of the Achimota School which is near the Achimota Police Station. Due to the woody nature of the area, it is not immediately apparent where the office of the Golf Club is however, the Golf courses would show that you are at the right place. The road leading to the Club is well tarred and since that road is a bottle-neck, hawkers use the opportunity of the slower movement of cars to sell their goods to drivers.
It was the early 1920s and records that have been found report on some golf tournaments on the Beach Golf Course at Christianborg in Accra and the development of golf in other parts of the country notably Achimota, Kumasi, Secondi, and Takoradi. It is in the same period (1927) that the Achimota School was established as the Prince of Wales College and it occurred that several of its early teaching staff including the Principal (Alexander Fraser) had Scottish origins. They added to the golfing population in Accra since it was a popular game back home. However, the closest courses were at Christianborg which were known as the Beach Courses and the journey from Achimota to Accra took considerable time. Bad roads network (untarred and stony) and the physical state of the cars used then made regular trips to Accra tiring and time-consuming.
They subsequently realized that the spacious grounds of the Achimota School were ideally suited for the layout of a Golf Course. Hence the first thing the staff did was to form “The Staff Club” which was then incorporated into the School’s amenities in the early 1930s. The Club then made a case to the then Anti-Malaria authorities that the long grass and shrubs that surround the school created perfect conditions for the mass breeding of mosquitoes and therefore should be cleared and leveled. In the year 1934, a seven-hole golf course was laid out and the Achimota Staff Golf Section was formed. This cut-short the trips to Accra to have a game and the staff could have fun, exercise, and enjoy the game like they did when they were back home in Scotland.
In the following years, the golf course was extended to 9 holes. At this time, only the School Staff played on the Golf Course and of course, a few distinguished members of the community were made honorary members. 1940 was a historic year for the Achimota Golf Course because it was the first time the Ghana Open Championship was held there.
Slowly, the other Golf Courses in Accra went extinct due to various factors, and the Club House was made available to the general public by the School as a result in 1955. By the year 1959, the course was being played to capacity and so the club thought it prudent to limit the membership to 350 and the waiting time for a new applicant was more than a year. This inconvenience brought about the proposal of an extension of the course. It was then decided for the course to be extended by another 9 holes which the school generously provided land for. Work on the new holes started in 1967 was completed in 1970. Afterward, various relatively small-scale works were undertaken to improve the course and raise it to the standards of the times. The construction of hazards, planting of trees, regressing of fairways, and re-arranging the sequence of play was some of the improvements that were added in the following years.
The Achimota Golf Course
1983-1984 was the period in which the sequence of play was re-arranged to provide a better balance of play and to enable those in the clubhouse to see the game on the first and last two holes. Through feasibility studies and drilling of boreholes, the availability of water was established and a decision was taken to upgrade the course to international standards by implementing an irrigation scheme. Fast forward to the year 2010, an agronomist was invited to conduct an assessment of the courses and his final report was one of the baseline documents provided to Ryder Capt. Paul McGinley – an award-winning, famous, and professional Irish golfer. Tullow Oil also threw its weight behind the project and aided Paul McGinley to rehabilitate the Achimota Golf Course.
The Achimota Golf Academy
In 2012, the construction of 2 greens was completed as well as the reconstruction of the Driving Range into a Golf Academy. The Academy has proven very instrumental in increasing the awareness and interest for the sport and has helped in the training of some golfers who have gone ahead to become professional. After the reconstruction of the course and the Club House, Tullow Oil then handed the new facility to the Club for management in 2015.
Today, the Club has an International Golf Course designed by Mr. Paul McGinley and a PRO shop, which stocks everything a golfer needs to be ready for the game sponsored by Tullow Oil. There is also a well-furnished Kitchen and a first-class Bar and Lounge. The Golf Club is welcome to all who wish to learn the sport as well as enthusiasts and professionals. A day at Golf is a day well spent.
GreenViews Apartment gives you the feeling of home. With well-furnished rooms and located in a serene and beautiful environment, your quality of life just gets better.