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Our History

WHERE WE HAVE COME FROM

Being one of the oldest clubs in East Africa, the development of the game and the emergence of important national/regional competitions grew out off the activities of the RNGC.

Royal Nairobi Golf Club (RNGC) is more than 100 years old. The club was inaugurated as a nine hole course as far back as 1906. The golf club is named after British King George V "Royal" and reciprocates with all other "Royal" chartered clubs worldwide. RNGC was later bestowed the Royal Charter on 15th July 1936 by the Keeper of the Privy Purse.The Club celebrated its Centenary in 2006 which was well attended by members from Royal Golf Clubs from all over the world.

RNGC is located in very close proximity to vibrant Nairobi city along one of Nairobi's longest roads: Ngong Road. As one tees off hole number 1 and 2, the Ngong Hills are in clear view and form a stunning backdrop to the two opening holes. The course is well maintained with excellent facilities and there is also a swimming pool adjacent to the club house and a squash court. Royal Nairobi Golf Club reciprocates with many Royal Clubs worldwide.

The course itself is fairly long compared to most other Kenyan courses. The part of the golf course that is closest to the club house is fairly flat while the part at the back of the course is undulated with a small stream passing through the layout. The Club hosts one of the most important amateur tournaments: The Tanahill Shield which was inaugurated in 1924 popularly known as the Easter Tournament and has since been played during the Easter Holidays. It is arguably the most prestigious amateur golf event in Kenya. The finest Golfers in the country aspire to be selected to participate for their respective clubs - the criteria being the lowest handicap members.

No surprise then that the Tannahill Shield, named after one of the most active and well known of the club's members is still regarded as the premier interclub competition in Kenya. The tournament was inaugurated in February 1924 as the 'Easter Tournament' for the obvious reason that it has been held, probably without exception over the long Easter holiday. In the early days of Kenya's history, Saturday morning was commonly part of the working week and many people, particularly those in Government service, took off Wednesday afternoons in lieu.

During Easter, even then, the whole weekend from Good Friday to Easter Monday would be declared a holiday that allowed participants from all over the then colony to congregate in Nairobi in time to play for the trophy of a silver shield, known since 1938, when it was presented by Mrs. Tannahill, as the Tannahill Shield in recognition of the contribution made to the club by her late husband, Arthur, a prominent member of the day.

In 1924, participation was by invitation of the R N G C General Committee and in that first year, five clubs (Kiambu, Mombasa, Muthaiga, Nakuru and Nyeri) were invited to send teams comprising eight members. These days, nine
Clubs commonly take part and original format of foursomes match play has resisted many attempts over the years to convert it to a Ryder Cup style of singles, pairs and foursomes. It is beyond question that the finest golfers in Kenya aspire to be selected for their respective clubs and, while golfing ability, marked by a fittingly low or even a scratch handicap, remains the principal criterion for selection, other factors such as an individual's temperament, compatibility and that intangible quality of being able to inspire one's fellow competitors are given due consideration.

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Royal Nairobi Golf Club,
Off Ngong Rd, Along Mucai Road.
Mobile: +254 718810810

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