As you've probably gathered by now, if you’ve been following our golfing posts, almost all the courses we've visited so far have their origins in colonial times. The club houses have parquet floors and championship boards dating back almost a century, or so they appear. Palm Valley Golf and Country Club, however, is different. You are much more likely to see a course like this in Cyprus, the south of France or, indeed, America, than in Scotland, the home of golf. Palm Valley has been developed for the new, and one hopes expanding, Ugandan tourist sector, for expatriate professionals and businessmen and well-heeled locals.
To find the course, you leave Kampala on the Entebbe Road and turn right shortly after the large modern building of the J&G Airport Hotel. You wind your way along and up the side of the hill, peep over the brow and there before you lies a half-finished and half-occupied housing development. Palm Valley is at the bottom of the hill.
|The 1st tee.|
And is it worth it when you get there? The answer has to be a very definite ‘yes’. It has, we are reliably informed, the best greens in Uganda and even, says the owner, the best in East Africa. It also has water features and the largest bunkers we have ever seen. Mean-spirited non-golfers like me might cavil and moan about the destruction of pristine tropical forest and swamp. Stuart, however, begs to differ.
|A view of bunkers from the first tee.|
|A bit of swamp they didn't drain.|
|Carefully does it.|
|In the rough, but fortunately not in the pond.|
|A long drive down the 1st fairway, Godfrey keeping a good eye out.|
|That should do it...|
|Quite a pleasant walk...|
|Well, at least some of the land is put to good use!|
|This should do it.|
|Or, perhaps this.|
|Or this. Well, perhaps not.|