Inside Muthaiga Golf Club: The Untold Story

The Muthaiga Golf Club.
The Muthaiga Golf Club.

Magical Kenya, also known as Kenya Open, is a professional golf tournament held in Kenya. Despite being founded in 1967 and held at home, no Kenyan has ever won the tourney. 

Only two golf courses have hosted the tournament since 1967, Karen Golf Club and Muthaiga Golf Club

This year the four day event is being hosted by the Muthaiga Golf  Club for the 41st time. Muthaiga Golf Club is located at the edge of the Karura Forest in the suburbs of Muthaiga.

Ronald K Meru is the current chairperson of the Muthaiga Golf club. Meru is a seasoned marketer both in digital marketing and IT solutions. He previously served as the club's marketing and communications director.

Njoroge Kibugu at the magical Kenya open
Njoroge Kibugu at the magical Kenya open

The club is one of Kenya’s golfing pioneers having been in existence since 1913. Muthaiga Golf Club underwent major renovations in 2002 to modernise its course which stretches to more than 6,500 metres. South African architect, Peter Matkovich oversaw the renovations. 

"As the club prepares to celebrate its long-awaited centenary, Muthaiga Golf Club has been reborn as one of the most prestigious and challenging courses in the region.

The force behind this renaissance is an extensive course reconstruction by  Matkovich, which in 2002 returned Muthaiga to its prominence as the finest course with the fastest greens in East Africa," the club states on its website. 

For the Kenyan open, Muthaiga Golf Club has been the favourite for hosting the tourney. It also ranks top for hosting it for the longest period, from 1969 to 2002. 

Muthaiga Golf Club is a private member’s club with a culturally diverse membership including full, country, overseas, expatriate and temporary. 

Temporary Membership

Prospective members need to be proposed for membership by a current member of the club with good standing. These individuals must have also held membership for more than three years. 

There are certain limits set for temporary members. They are not allowed to take part in club competitions or introduce guests to the club.

"Such a person shall not ordinarily be a resident within one hundred kilometre radius of the club and may be entitled to enjoy privileges for any period of fewer than three months in any one year, subject to re-election by the Board for a total period not exceeding six months in that year," Muthaiga Golf Club states. 

However, they are not liable for any entrance fees but shall pay such temporary membership fees at the club's rates.

Magical Kenya Golf Course 2022
Magical Kenya Golf Course

Expatriate Membership

The expatriate membership category is offered to members of the diplomatic corps, business person or international employee who doesn’t ordinarily reside in Kenya but who would like to commence or continue to enjoy playing the game of golf during their stay in Kenya.

These members are only limited to 3 years.

While applying for membership, expatriates require a letter of introduction from the employer (If the applicant is an international employee). The candidate shall be required to pay the annual fees, within 30 days, and will be admitted as an expatriate member for a three months probation period.

"During probation, the candidate shall be invited for an introduction to at least three membership & disciplinary committee members and the general manager. His application will also be processed through the Membership & Disciplinary Committee and the Board during the probation period.

Reciprocating Membership

A reciprocating member is a full member of another club that has negotiated and agreed on reciprocal terms for members with the club and is not situated within a radius of 100 kilometres of Muthaiga Golf Club.

They are limited to using club facilities not more than twice a month and shall be subject to the rules and by-laws of Muthaiga Golf Club.

Muthaiga Golf Club was ranked  Kenya’s best Golf Course in the 2021 World Gold Awards. The last time the club received this award was in 2016 and 2015.