The maiden Custodian Group Classic, which offers a N10 million purse, will debut on the Professional Golf Developmental Tour at the golf section of Ikoyi Club 1938, Lagos, from March 23 to 25.
Founder and Group Managing Director, Custodian Group, Wole Oshin, said the Professional Golfers Development Tour has provided the group the platform to empower the demography represented by the country’s professional golfers.
He said: “Golf holds so much potential for the teeming youth we have in the country. Apart from helping to shape character, and helping to put their energy to productive use, it also represents a huge reservoir of untapped income for professional sportsmen in the country.
Oshin said his firm has been in the vanguard of promoting the game, adding that the Tour serves as a new channel to invest in the country’s social structure.
The Professional Golf Development Tour, promoted by Meristem, was launched in January 2023, with an opening event, The Meristem Open, at the Lakowe Lakes Golf and Country Estate, Lagos.
Meristem’s Group Managing Director, Wole Abegunde, had, during the launch, emphasised the need to canvass development initiatives around professional golf through the PGD Tour.
“Like in most sports, golf has produced some brilliant talents for the country, but because of lack of adequate structure to support professional golf talents, the growth has been limited,” he said.
The Custodian Classic, which will be played over 56 holes, has already attracted over 80-signed players from Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, and Togo.
The entrants include the Ghanaian duo of Vincent Torgah and Emos Korblah, who at different times had enjoyed successes on the Nigerian PGA Tour. Francis Ekpe, the Tour’s leading player, along with Sunday Olapade, Oche Odoh, Gift Willy and Kamalu Bako, have all signed-up.
Oshin whose Custodian Group houses Crusader Sterling Pension, Custodian Life Insurance, Custodian and Allied Insurance and UPDC Real Estate, said his dream is for the event to become one of the pillars for unearthing and empowering golf talents that will end up putting the country on the world map.
“We are in this for the development potential it portends for the social and economic structure of the country,” he said.