Limuru golfing actually began way back in 1926 when local farmers Scott, Bradshaw and some neighbours established a course and hotel at what is now the Brakenhurst Baptist Conference Centre. However, the land was sold some years later and local golfing enthusiasts began the quest for a new facility. Negotiations with the government over 80 hectares (200 acres) of Crown land began in 1945. The land was finally secured on a 25-year lease, through the unwavering efforts of Major C.E.V. Buxton and Colonel E. Hutchison.
This coincided with ‘bush clearing’ by other white farmers at the same location to develop what became Limuru’s horse race track.
With advice from eager club members and golf professional, Mr. J.A. Kinnell, the Club Secretary, Major W.D. Bacon drew the plans for an eighteen-hole course. The first nine holes opened on 25 June 1949 when the then President of the Kenya Golf Union, Mr. David Morgan, drove the first ball 250 yards straight down the first fairway. The second nine holes did not open until February 8, 1952.
British golf professionals, Dai Rees and Harry Weetman, happened to be visiting and were ‘coaxed’ into playing the first round of the eighteen-hole course. With the opening of the second nine holes, 100 additional golfers were invited to join the club’s founding members. The entrance fee was waived and the annual subscription for a couple was Ksh 120/= (US$1.50 today)!
The course boundaries are the same today as they were originally. But almost every hole has undergone alterations of one form or another. The club bowling green was opened in 1956 while the cricket wicket was planted in 1959. Both activities continue today with increasing interest of late from international club touring cricket clubs.
Early club members were mostly colonial farmers and civil servants. Kenyan men players began joining from the late 1960`s, shortly after independence but Kenyan women players did not take up the sport until as recently as 25 years ago. Today the club membership enjoys a warm and welcome mix of native Kenyans, old settlers and their descendants, and expatriates working in Kenya.
Dr.Barua became the first local Kenyan men’s member while Leah Wambua, the Club’s first Kenyan lady player in the early 1970s, duly became the first African lady to play in silver division golf. Towards the end of the 1990s, there has been a resurgence of interest in ladies golf at the Club while active men’s golf membership has increased significantly during the same period.
The club is laying solid foundations to ensure its golfing future, by investing in various initiatives to stimulate golfing involvement at youth level.
Limuru remains the only golf course surrounding a horse racing track. In fact the wooden fencing encountered around the course is the racetrack railing. In Kenya racing and social circles, Limuru became famous for the annual Boxing Day charity race meeting at which large quantities of strawberries and champagne were the order of the day.
Regrettably, this great event was moved to Ngong race track in recent years due to lack of sponsorship, but following recent club renovations at the racetrack facilities, plans are being laid to attract racing once again.