Inaugural Black British Golfers Open at The Shire London
The date was the 11th September 2021 and the venue was The Shire London Golf Club. The occasion the Inaugural “Black British Golfers” Open. The Shire London is the first golf course in the UK designed by the late Seve Ballesteros.
The Black British Golfers (BBG) is the brainchild of its founder Ray Nyabola. Its aim is to promote and show that people from African decent play and are interested in the game of Golf and want to achieve great things in the game.
The event showcased the African diaspora, with attendees from Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Caribbean and the UK. Those in attendance were formed from several different societies around the country along with some individuals who weren’t society members. The societies involved were ACGA, CGS, M4 Fairways and the NUGA golf societies. It was also a pleasure to see so many young people who are the future of the game we are trying to grow in our communities.
The CGS was well represented with 16 CGS members in attendance, including our Chairman Junior Harris who co-opted to Ray Nyabola in making the event the success it was.
The day involved some 60 golfers from around the country, they came from London and it’s surrounding areas, the Midlands and the South West, and amongst that number were several young golfers who are the future of African representation in the English game. These young individuals didn’t just come to make up the numbers they are talented and came to showcase their abilities.
We’ve seen some of the big names involved on the global stage namely Tiger Woods who has changed the dynamic of the sport which can be seen in today’s game, his main stage was the US PGA Tour but when it comes to the European Tour the African presence has been somewhat missing. Zane Scotland who was in attendance at the Shire for the BBG Open was destined for greatness on the European Tour after qualifying for the Open Championship as an amateur in 1999 at 16 years of age, turned pro in 2003 but was involved in a car crash that resulted in an injury to his neck which severely affected his early career. Zane made it to the European Tour in 2007 and has had multiple successes on the Challenge Tour, EuroPro and as won life-time membership to the MENA Tour after wining multiple events and Order of Merits on that tour. We now have players like Robin “Tiger” Williams who’s rise to European Tour is a work in progress after winning a MENA Tour event already in 2019 as an 18 year old.
The African community has got the talent to play this game, with role models like Zane and Robin and the new BBG open it will give the young and talented the comfort to know that we are out there and its okay to play this great game.
The BBG Open was sponsored by some large organisations, who have joined the start of this journey. The R&A, The Black Heart Foundation, The PGA, Adidas Golf, Canon UK, Bunker Mentality and Sky Sports News was there to record this momentous occasion.
After some photos and welcoming speeches the day of golf began and on the par three 1st on the Masters course. It wasn’t a long hole however water was in play and when water comes into play it messes with a golfers mind and makes a simple shot of 117 yards into wind so much more.
Water played a huge part on the day not only on the 1st but on many of the holes on the course, it was a challenging and long day of golf. The course which has hosted some major events was very challenging, the key number was six, that’s six par 3’s, six par 4’s and six par 5’s. The hole stucture wasn’t enjoyed by all but the main focus of the day was to get together to start something which will be a lasting legacy and that was firmly achieved.
On the day there were prizes for Nearest the pin, Longest Drive, Juniors prizes for 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th positions, Ladies prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd positions and the same 1st, 2nd and 3rd positions for the men. Some of the prizes on offer ranged from Bottles of Wine, Caps, Golf Balls, Towels, Canon Camera’s and Printers, Bunker Mentality vouchers, Custom Fit Driver from Callaway and Adidas Complete Outfits from top to toe.
The winners on the day were:
Nearest to the pin – Robert Grant
Longest Drive – Robert Grant
1) Tyrese Danso
2) Saskia Owen
3) Jamie Owen
4) Laura-Mai Mccarthy
1) Busayo Ogunnike
2) Amaya Athill
3) Julia Regis
1) Steve Garner
2) Brian Dube
3) Trevor Lammy
If the BBG Open doesn’t produce the next Tiger Woods then the next best thing is it brings us together and will no doubt allow for the formation of friendships that would not have happened. Already numbers have exchanged hands and contacts have been made so its already a success.
“Golf is the door into a room of opportunities”.
To a bigger and better BBG Open for 2022, get onboard its the start of something special.
Professional pictures of the event by Ashley Harris can be found here..