The Kenya Open Golf Limited (KOGL), the organisers of the Safar Golf Tour Series, on Wednesday announced a bumper increase in the minimum prize purses for individual events of the tour from Sh1 million to Sh1.5 million.
This is part of changes expected beginning with the 2020/2021 series which may start as early as May.
Additionally, KOGL is also working towards ensuring that at least half of the events in the series are offering a total prize money of between Sh3 million and Sh4 million as the series grows in stature.
KOGL tournament director Patrick Obath, who is also the chairman of the Safari Tour, said the move will enhance competition as more regional players playing in established tours such as the Sunshine Tour are expected to join the series.
KOGL is also ramping-up the number of events for next season’s Safari Tour which was launched in 2018 as a preparation pad for the local and regional professionals heading into the Kenya Open, will be increased from 11 to 15 or 16 events in the coming season, to give players more playing opportunities.
“Next season, we will certainly expand to Rwanda and Tanzania. We are then going to share our calendar with Nigeria and the Sunshine Tour so that we don’t have major events clashing and ensure that each event has a clear weekend so that we can attract the right kind of people,” said Obath.
The just-concluded season saw Kenya host seven events while four others were held in Uganda which included the Uganda Open which offered Sh5 million, while other events were the Entebbe Open, Lake Victoria Serena’s Pam Golding Open and the Kitante Open played a week ago.
In Kenya, events were held at Nyali, Royal Nairobi, The Great Rift Valley Resort in Naivasha, Thika Greens, Muthaiga, Sigona and Karen.
“In time, we expect to attract players from Ethiopia, the Indian Ocean Islands, the DRC and those other places and we see the Safari Golf Tour placing itself as a premiere event for the middle belt in Africa,” added Obath.