International Sports Management (ISM) has signed a partnership with the Nigerian company International Golf Management and Development Company (IGolfMDC), with a view to staging tournaments and helping grow golf in Africa.
Set up by former professional Chubby Chandler in 1989, ISM has a rich history of putting on events, including the European Tour’s British Masters, Turkish Airlines Open and, most recently, Cyprus Open.
That influence is now set to extend to Africa for the first time with the aim of taking new tournaments to the continent and boosting golf there.
IGolfMDC is a sport management company focused on contributing to the development of golf in Nigeria, specializing in tournament organization, talent management, and youth development.
Olusola J. Lawson Jnr, who set up IGolfMDC in 2014, managed the first professional golfer tour in Nigeria, the PGA Nigeria Tour from 2007 to 2012.
ISM Chief Executive Officer Chandler said: “We’re really excited to be linking up with Sola and IGolfMDC. No-one knows more about staging tournaments in that part of Africa and we’re looking forward to exploring some untapped potential.
“In my playing days, the Safari Tour was a real success in so many ways and if we can create something similar, helping the game in those countries, then I’d be delighted.”
Lawson is in no doubt about the significance of the new partnership and believes it can help create a pathway for African players to the European Tour and PGA Tour.
He also believes that hosting tournaments can show off all the region has to offer and boost tourism, as the Turkish Airlines Open and Cyprus Open did for Turkey and Cyprus respectively.
Lawson said: “Over the years I have nursed the idea of promoting international professional golf via a pan-African platform to enhance playing opportunities for Nigerian and African pros, giving them the opportunity to compete with their counterparts from Europe and America.
“Signing a Working Agreement with ISM is a huge step for IGolfMDC. ISM is a major sports management company representing some of the world’s leading talent in Golf.
“Working with Chubby and the ISM team will fast-track the development of West Africa into a key golfing destination. We will be able to stage and manage world-class tournaments that will attract some of the best golf pros and showcase our countries to the rest of the world, in the kind of light that will enhance our eco-tourism assets.