The Tannahill Shield, better known as Easter Tournament, is acknowledged as the premier team competition in Kenyan Golf. This is an amateur golf tournament.
The tournament was inaugurated in February 1924 by the late Arthur C. Tannahill (Captain-1924 and President-1928). The General Committee of Nairobi Golf Club (at it was known then) invited teams representing Mombasa, Kiambu, Nakuru and Muthaiga to participate in the Tournament. Every club played one match against each of the other clubs, eight players a side and the format was four ball better ball match play
In 1996, a new approach to providing maximum participation by the cream of Kenyan golf was introduced by including a relegation clause in the conditions of the competition. This was applicable to the bottom team (provided that, the team was not R.N.G.C or Mombasa) who would sit out the competition for one year and be re-invited to participate in the following year.
Over the years the club attracted other clubs in the country to participate. The other teams aside from Royal and Mombasa are: Western (made up of Eldoret, Nyanza, Kisii, Kitale, Nandi Bears and Kericho), Karen, Muthaiga, Windsor, Sigona, Limuru, Vet lab and Railways Golf Club. This means that 15 Golf Clubs across Kenya are represented at the Royal Nairobi golf club over the Easter weekend, making the tournament the largest Amateur Golfing Competition in Kenya.
It is the wish of every serious golfer to participate in this event, which is also the reason why some golfers are very disappointed when they fail to get selected for their clubs Easter team. Much is made of the selection of teams each year despite the fact that each team captain or manager tries his best to field a winning team. Criteria like temperament, compatibility, combativeness and the ability to inspire one partner are worth more in a foursomes format than a player merely having a lower handicap.
This year marks the 94th edition of the tournament and as is the tradition, the host, Royal Nairobi Golf Club, will invite 8 other teams namely Karen, Limuru, Mombasa, Muthaiga, Sigona, Windsor, Western Kenya and Vet Lab golf clubs to participate in the competition. Each team consists of 4 male pairs with each pair playing a “three way” foursome match play over 18 holes on Friday, 36 holes on Saturday and the final 18 holes on Sunday. A win earns a team 2 point, all square 1 point and of course a loss does not entitle you to any point. The team recording the most points over the three days is awarded the coveted “Tannahill Shield”. The Royal team won the shield in 2014, 2015, and 2016 but lost to Muthaiga team in 2017 and looks forward to winning this year.
The efficiency with which the tournament is organized and run each year has become legendary throughout Kenya. R.N.G.C is blessed with a team of volunteers who each year incur the wrath of their families by sacrificing 3 days of their Easter holidays for 90 players plus officials. A formal Sunday luncheon and prize-giving concludes the historic event. It is the best competition in Kenyan golf, and hopefully will remain so over the years.