News The world of golf comes to Equatorial Guinea The company Sipopo Invitations organized last November 19 the Driving Range Shoot tournament, which marked the starting signal for the introduction of the golf world in Equatorial Guinea. The tournament was held at the course of the Hotel Sofitel Sipopo Le Golf and was a success, in both participants and audience.

26/11/2011

Within the diversification that is occurring in Equatorial Guinea's economy, tourism has to have a prominent role and everything related to the world of golf opens a wide range of possibilities. Equatorial Guinea has excellent conditions, both because of its location, as well as its climate, to increase the golf tourism and benefit from the economic impact of the sport, which can be considered a true lifestyle.

Furthermore, the fact that today, in Equatorial Guinea, reside many workers, managers and entrepreneurs from many countries, interested in new leisure activities and establishing new relationships in an interesting and dynamic environment, increases the attractiveness of the organization of golf events in our country.

Golf is considered a modern tourist product: for many people, access to a good course is a priority factor when choosing a holiday destination. It is also a major generator of potential repeat visits, as players always return to their favorite courses.

Playing golf is now a first-rate tourist incentive in the world, for the number of tourists who practice it as well as the volume of business generated around it. Golfers have high purchasing power, spending three to four times the average of a normal tourist. Of the total of this expenditure, about 50% of it is non-hotel related, and only about 15% is directly related to golf, so it is a business generator in a broad spectrum: restaurants, car rentals, shops, taxis, construction, sightseeing, etc.

Its importance as a niche market becomes clear when we see that those who play golf, spend more, travel more often, take longer vacations and also do it with the family. Taking as an example a country like Spain, we find that the average expenditure per tourist per day exceeds €85 and creates a turnover of around one billion Euros.

An excellent starting point

The opening of the Conference Center of Sipopo in the city of Malabo, with the Hotel Sofitel Le Golf Sipopo has opened the door to the organization of tournaments such as the Driving Range Shoot, held on Saturday, November 19 and was an excellent starting point for the sport of golf in Equatorial Guinea. The organizer, Sipopo Invitations, had the support of a large group of sponsors: Bange, Somagec, Bouygues, ECG, EGBL, Canal +, Axia, Centurion, LLP, Punto Verde, Punto Azul, Car Fix...

The tournament was a first contact at the national level and the players who participated were mostly the expatriates working in Punta Europa, but personalities from the Government also attended, such as the Delegate Minister of Mines, Industry and Energy, Gabriel Mbega Obiang Lima, the Secretary of State for Technology and Telecommunications, Carmelo Martin Modu Ebuka, who even competed in the tournament, or the Minister of Information and Tourism, Jeronimo Osa Osa Ecoro, who attended as a spectator.

The day was a success and everyone enjoyed a course in excellent conditions that allowed them to perform their best game. In the end, the winners were John Preston (Kentucky, USA) and Dick Biller (Florida, USA), and secondly the British couple formed by James Sanderson and Jim Carlin. The atmosphere of this first day could not be better.

The trophy for the "Closest ball" went to Roger Broughton (Kentucky, USA), who managed to leave the ball at 18.6 cm. from the hole, while in the "Longest Drive" won Nick Bednorz (Texas, USA), who hit the ball 288 yards.

After this first national tournament, they are already working on the next one, the 18th Hole Sipopo Invitational to be held in May 2012 and with the participation of professional players from the U.S., Europe and Africa.

Photos: Mansueto Loeri Bomohagasi.

Equatorial Guinea’s Press and Information Office.