Odoh laments absence of corporate bodies in golf development
Odoh, who expressed dismay over the country’s neglect of sports development, noted that if golf were prioritised, Nigerian players would compete successfully with top golfers from other parts of the world.
Speaking during a tournament organised by former chairman of Dolphins Golf Club, Navy Town, Ojo, Francis Olo, who recently retired from public service, Odoh narrated the challenges he faces trying to compete in international championships overseas to boost his rankings, saying lack of sponsorship has held him down.
He added that the country’s neglect of promising sports stars has also impacted negatively on the sector’s development.
Odoh, who said he worked day and night to be able to raise funds to feature in the recent Kenyan Tour, added that his greatest achievement was being able to represent Nigeria at the international tournament.
“Nigerian sports stars are facing challenges of sponsorship to meet their quest for international recognition in various sports.
“As the number one golfer in Nigeria, I still find it difficult to get sponsorship to participate in major international championships. This affects my rankings.
“Participating in the European Tour opens doors for Nigeria to become a force to reckon with in golf globally.
“Therefore, well-meaning Nigerians, corporate bodies, and the government at all levels should strive to help develop golf in Nigeria.
“When a star is performing, any company sponsoring the star will be also popular like the athlete.
“I just came back from the Safari Tour in Kenya Safari Tour, which is one of the championships that has been boosting my career.
“Nigeria does not have a tournament ranking championship in golf, so the golfers need to get rankings abroad. Until we get a tournament ranking like the Nigeria Golf Open we had in the past, the country’s players will continue to remain unexposed and ineligible to play in major golf events. As a golfer, you need good ranking to compete at the top level,” he said.
Odoh called for the establishment of public golf courses across the country, saying such a development would help to develop the game.
“Apart from IBB Golf Course in Abuja, I don’t think there is any public course in the country. The Nigeria Golf Federation should also work hard like their counterparts in football and athletics to attract sponsors to golf.
“I can’t win major masters like my mentor, Tiger Woods if I don’t get international exposure and ranking.”
“Everybody should be involved in sports development.
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