The 18- hole Elizade Golf Resort, Ilara Mokin is set to become the latest addition to Nigeria’s list of growing golf courses.
The course, which is just about 20 minutes from Akure, the capital of Ondo State, is developed by Chief Michael Ade Ojo, the Chairman of Toyota Nigeria Limited.
It is located in a university town and is the first and only golf facility in cocoa producing Ondo State.
Moses Anabui, one of the golfers privileged to have recently played the course, described it as one of the best courses in Nigeria.
Anabui said the layout took away his breath in view of its sheer aesthetics which surpassed expectation.
Even before the character of Elizade is fully put to test, golfers who have hit the course are quick to compare it with IBB International Golf and Country Club, Abuja and Le Meridien Ibom Golf Resort, Uyo, the only Nigerian courses with world class attributes.
One undeniable fact is that this addition would redistribute the tournament pattern across the country as it aims to win over the well-heeled Nigerian golfing niche when it finally opens its doors for business.
The Elizade golf course is a standard 18 holes layout that is set up in pristine African forest and extends into the cascading hills around Ilara Mokin.
Such is the elegance of the course that its 18 greens and fairways are said to be in peak condition and will tempt golfers to want to play 36 holes golf in a day, no matter the conditions.
The signature hole is said to be the island green No7, which is designed to capture the imagination in the mould of the par 3 hole 17 at the TPC Sawgrass, Florida, the venue of the Players Championship.
The course has been built to championship standard with state of the art features and materials, including a driving range and short game practice area.
It was built by American company, Total Golf Construction, which has carried out similar golf designs in the Gulf, USA and the Caribbean.
“Ilara Mokin is a world class course that is also going to be a challenging golf course and defining layout in Nigeria. Some of the holes are quite remarkable,” said a golfer, who did not want to be identified.
The fact that it rolls through the hills means golfers over the 70 years mark, including General Yakubu Gowon, Chief Omowale Kuye, King Alfred Diete-Spiff, Dr Tim Menakaya, Brig Gen. Mobolaji Johnson and Gen. IBM Haruna, among others would likely struggle to complete the two nines without being aided by golf carts.
But THISDAY has learnt that a network of cart paths is built on the entire course in consideration of the effect of the topography on this category of golfers.
The trend all over the world is that most courses frequented by tourists now bear the cart path in order to protect the fairways from the stress effect of human traffic.
Ibom and Ilara Mokin stand out as they are the only courses in Nigeria to create special route for buggies.
The owner of Elizade is understood to have ordered for over 300 of such carts.
In addition, the course is dotted with blocks of chalets as the proposed 5-star hotel is yet to be put in place.