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Golf clubs, unions must come closer

11th February 2012
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Editorial Cartoon

Recent months have witnessed largely unnecessary tension developing between Dar es Salaam Gymkhana Club and Tanzania Golf Union officials. In the main, the rift is due to failure by the two parties to exercise tolerance, which is an antithesis of good sporting behaviour.

DGC is in a class of its own in the whole of East and Central Africa, at least in terms of having diverse sports venues and activities besides golf.

For years since its establishment, its officials have cultivated and maintained close and therefore enviable links with their TGU counterparts.

The club boasts a world-class 18-hole golf course, where events organised by the union have been routinely staged - with resounding success. The added fact that TGU had opened offices at the club speaks volumes about the strong bonds existing between the two parties.

Most golfers and golf lovers or enthusiasts would thus have expected the cordial links to keep growing from strength to strength for the good of golf and sports.

But the recently announced relocation of TGU offices from Gymkhana to the Tanzania People’s Defence Forces’ Lugalo Club raises a lot of questions, though there would really be nothing inherently bad about the development had been agreed by both parties to the matter.

Surely, DGC is under no obligation to host TGU and neither does the union have to run its activities from the club’s premises. So, on the surface, the union’s decision to conduct its activities from Lugalo is perfectly in order. Trouble is that many observers see the move shrouded in suspicion.

Just for the record, some two months ago, DGC suspended the Tanzania Ladies Golf Union president for three months.

It is common knowledge that the club boasts members not easily expected to entertain uncalled-for bickering. The frequency of cases pitting the club against ladies or men’s golf unions appears to have gathered a tempo with little record.

The trend clearly shows that the differences of opinion between the club and the union are fast resurfacing, even threatening the future of relations between the two parties. This is sad, to say the least.

Most golf unions in the world, particularly in developing countries like Tanzania, commonly operate in close cooperation with golf clubs.

For unions to distance themselves from clubs, as is the case for DGC, is thus strange as it deviates from common practice.

True, Gymkhana engages in a number of sports activities besides golf. But it still needs to work in close cooperation with the golf union in promoting the game.

Though most DGC golfers are recreational ones, the club has a role to play in grooming young talent to guarantee Tanzania a safe future for golf.

It’s high time the club’s officials saw the need to keep their personal differences aside for the good of golf, sports and the nation. Grudges must be discouraged as they can only destroy, not build.

The sooner both parties seek ways to mend fences and rebuild bridges instead of acting to the contrary, the better for. So, let harmony reign.

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN
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