Golf has been played in Kumasi since the early Twenties as evidenced by the magnificent sterling Governor’s Cup in the possession of Royal Golf Club, Kumasi which was donated by the Governor of the Gold Coast, Sir Hugh Clifford KCMG in 1921.
The old Golf Course was sited at the present location of the Okomfo Anokye Teaching Hospital and Ghana National Cultural Centre. The Golf Course had to be re-located to give way to the new Hospital planned for Kumasi. The land in the valley of the Wahi River near the residency was found most suitable. Development of the course started with initial construction of five holes at the west end of the valley.
Later, the east end which was being used as a private racecourse by Mr. Bob Briscoe was acquired and four additional holes were built to make nine holes. The nine holes course was opened in 1952. The pioneer members through whose hard work and initiative the nine holes and the club house were constructed and built were Messrs. George Caspescha of A Lang Ltd., Jeff Davey of J. J. Peele, Rex Mariot of U. A. C., George Falkenberg and last but not the least Otumfuo Nana Sir Osei Agyemang Prempeh II. These members were later honoured as the first Honorary Life Members of the Kumasi Golf Club.
Up to about 1970, more than 95% of the membership of the club comprised of expatriates. The most prominent of the few Ghanaians playing members were Otumfuo Nana Sir Osei Agyemang Prempeh II, Mr. F. K. Poku of Poku Transport and Sawmillers Ltd, Mr. S. K. Appiah, Mr. John Acheampong, Mr. Justice Djabanor, Mr. Victor Owusu and Mr. Maxwell Owusu.
From 1972, started a gradual exodus of the actively playing members from Kumasi to Accra and Overseas. With dwindling membership and depleting funds, fear abounded of an imminent collapse of the Golf Club. Strangely enough, just before the exodus started, three additional holes had been constructed at the west end of the course to extend it to 12 holes. The chief Architects and initiators of this effort were Messrs. Jeff Davey and Peter Fairley. Unfortunately, since the three new holes could not be played with the 9 holes in sequence in an 18 holes Competition, the three holes were gradually neglected. With fast dwindling funds, maintenance was not possible, and the effort was abandoned.
In the mid Seventies, a membership drive was initiated by the committee. The first group of prospective members was of course our old caddies. A group of six former Caddies were invited to join the Club. Some members gave these former Caddies employment to enable them to meet their financial obligation to the Club. Notable of such members was Mr. Nadim-Bitar of logs and Lumber Ltd.
Unfortunately, due to persistent infringement of their amateur status and professionalism, they were obliged to turn professional Golfers. In the Ghana Open 1977 played in Kumasi, the Ghana Golf Association forced them to play in the professional event of the Ghana Open. The membership drive was also extended to the University of Science and Technology, the Breweries, and other Kumasi based business Houses. The success of the membership drive became apparent in the Eighties when more than 95% of the membership was Ghanaian.
The Royal Golf Club, Kumasi celebrated in the 1977 Ghana Open Championship, the Silver Jubilee of the new course. In the same year, thanks to judicious and good management of the Club’s financial matters, especially prudent and effective control of the Bar by the then Treasurer, Mr. M. M. Ezan, the members at a General Meeting took the bold decision to build a new and bigger Club House.
Work on the Club House started in the same year with the initiative and ingenuity of Prof. John Owusu Addo as the Chief Architect. The progress on the new building was stage managed and construction was suspended for economic reasons. However, the 1991 Committee worked overtime to bring the building up to standard for the Ghana Open in Kumasi in 1991. The Prize-Giving Ceremony took place on the spacious first floor.
In 1989, the then Captain of the Club, Mr. A. K. Baffoe and the committee took the very bold steps to reactivate the old abandoned three holes mentioned above.
An expatriate member, Mr. Douglas McBoye who was worried about the fate of an undeveloped portion of the course at the east end, donated a substantial sum of money to the Club, to clear this land and build a Green and Tee on it. This area was developed into a par 3 hole. With the inclusion of this par 3 hole at the east end of the course, it became possible to play the additional 4 hole in sequence in an 18-hole competition.
This was done for the first time on 31st of December Competition played in 1991. It is worth mentioning here that the same concerned expatriate member won that 31st December Competition.
All these developments and in fact even at times the day to day running of the Club could never have been possible with members subscription income alone. Several companies and personalities have played a great role in sustaining the Kumasi Golf Club. Prominent among these are Otumfuo Opoku Ware II, the Asantehene, the Chief Patron of the Club: Kumasi Brewery Ltd; Guinness Ghana Ltd; Standard Chartered Bank Ghana Ltd; Barclays Bank Ghana Ltd; Pioneer Tobacco Ltd; and two International Airlines KLM – Royal Dutch Airline and British Airways.
These companies, through their annually sponsored Competitions, adoption of Holes of the Course and generous donations have contributed immensely in building and sustaining the Club. The Club is also grateful to the former Ashanti Regional Secretary. Col. (RTD) E. M. Osei – Owusu, for offering the Club the use of some heavy earth moving machinery in clearing some undeveloped parts of the course in preparation for the 1991 Ghana Open and for preliminary work on the remaining five holes to bring the course to 18 holes standing.
After Col. Osei-Owusu’s transfer to Accra, the late Nana Anim Boateng persuaded the then new PNDC Secretary for the Kumasi Metropolitan Authority, Naval Captain Yaw Mensah to place at the disposal of the Club, heavy earth moving equipment, black soil etc; to complete the remaining 5 holes. On 23rd January 1993 under the Administration of the re-elected captain (for the 4th time) Mr. A. K. Baffoe, the Kumasi Golf Club’s 18 holes course was formally commissioned by Otumfuo Opoku Ware II, Asantehene.
In the Eighties, Mr. & Mrs. George Paton, Mr. & Mrs. Brain Cooney were accorded Honorary Life membership of the Club at the General Meeting in appreciation of their continued invaluable contribution to the Club. Life Honorary membership were also recently conferred on Mr A. K. Baffoe, the late Nana Anim Boateng and Mr. P. K. Fiagbe for their contributions towards the completion of the 18-hole course and the partially developed Club House.
At the annual general meeting of the Club in December 2005, a resolution was passed by unanimous acclamation to change the name of the Club from Kumasi Golf Club to Royal Golf Club, Kumasi.