The management of Toro Club, in Fort Portal tourism city, has announced that they have finalized preparations for the 2020 Christmas Golf Tournaments which will run starting Friday December 19th until December 31st .
We have learnt that golfers in three groups i.e Group A, Group B and Group C will play in four tournaments which include; Monthly Mug, for 19th December, Captain’s Prize, for 24th December, Mzee Basaliza 95 Years Celebration, for 30th December and Chairman’s Putter, or 31st December.
The organisers of the tournaments reveal that besides the sporting bit of it, the event shall also double as a celebration of legendary golfer Mzee Emmanuel Basaaliza’s 95th birthday.
Basaliza is the only golfer of his generation still involved in the sport.
During his youth, he played and won many tournaments around East Africa.
In Uganda, his major win was the then famous Western Open that attracted golfers from Arua, Jinja, Mbale, Kampala, Entebbe in 1975 which he defended in 1976, beating Sadi Onito on both occasions.
Onito would later become the undisputed number one golfer in Uganda, winning the Uganda Open 12 times.
Basaliza nowadays spends most of the time at his home in Kiburara village, Kabarole, Fort Portal district.
Basaliza, with a golfing career spanning 47 years, beat the fatigue after travelling from his home club in Fort Portal and proceeded to win the Platinum category of 80 plus year-olds with 27 stableford points.
“The prospect of playing golf always gives me joy,” said the 95-year-old nicknamed Mzee Kijjana, arguably the oldest playing golfer in Uganda, amidst deafening applause from the patrons at Uganda Golf Club (UGC)’s 19th hole.
“And to play and win gives me double joy. When I started to play in 1967, there were mostly whites that dominated the game and when I see more black people like me playing the game passionately I am equally delighted,” he added.
In his heyday, Basaliza represented the national amateur team, enjoyed several duels with legendary Sadi Onito (12-time Uganda Open winner) and Tooro’s John Bahindi with the epitome of his career being the back-to-back Western Region Open titles he scooped in 1975 and 76.