As one of our “horizon expanding” activities, we decided to take up the game of golf more seriously in Nigeria. With the combination of close availability to a golf course, company-sponsored joining fees, and more available recreational time, we joined the only Golf Club in the area – The Ikoyi Club – 1938, a very famous and venerable organization celebrating its platinum anniversary this year. On September 29th, 1938, the Club was founded with the merging of the European Club and the Lagos Golf Club. Until 1976, the Club was run by Expatriates, but today, it is a shining example of diversity and inclusiveness. It currently occupies 456 acres of prime real estate in the middle of Ikoyi Island, just blocks from our residence. In addition to a full par-71 18-hole Golf Course with Driving Range, the Club boasts 3 swimming pools, a professional Table Tennis Arena, a Tennis Complex, a Snooker/Billiards Section, a Squash Court Complex, and various restaurants, meeting rooms, a library, gymnasiums, and weight room.
Joining the Ikoyi Club – 1938 starts with finding two full members, (full-members for at least 2 years), to sponsor you. With their escort, one enters the Club’s Business Section and purchases a Preliminary Application Card for ~$65. Upon completion of the Card by yourself and the Sponsors, one returns and is allowed to purchase a full Application Card for another ~$100. Upon completion of this paperwork, and after securing approval from the Sports Section Chairmen, and after submittal with fees amounting to ~$6500, one becomes a Junior Member, (our current status). We will remain Junior Members until being called with our Sponsor before the General Committee and being approved to become Ordinary Members. Junior Members have all the privileges of the Ordinary Members except for voting rights. However, full Ordinary Membership usually takes a number of additional months to secure.
With all memberships, use of all Club facilities is free – no green’s fees or facility charges. Buckets of 50 balls at the Driving Range is only ~$1.75, and Caddies, (which are required), are only $5-$8 for a round of golf. Drinks and food are extremely reasonable, even by U.S. standards. To get started at the Golf Course, one must play 5 rounds with existing members to set a handicap, and then they are free to play whenever they so desire. Since Julie is just beginning, she scheduled a set of lessons with the Club’s Golf Pro, Jacob. She has started out with the more open-faced clubs, and is working her way up to the long irons and woods.
Overall, it’s really wonderful to get outside, away from the traffic and cement of Lagos, and into the greenery of the golf course and the dominant sounds of nature. We plan to spend some hours there, at least a couple of days per week.