The 18-hole championship Leisure Lodge course – home to the largest annual amateur event in Kenya, the Diani Beach Masters – is part of a huge resort on the shores of the Indian Ocean that includes a hotel, swimming pools, shopping arcade and casino.
Opening in 1972, the resort was acquired soon after by Dr Wilhelm Meister, who used his connections to bring in a steady stream of tourists from Europe. Construction of the course started in 1992 but it took six years before the first ball was struck due to the large area of coral that covered the landscape.
As the architect, Tommy Fjastad, says, “building the golf course at Leisure was a real challenge. There was little top soil cover on the site and another piece of land (a 100-acre farm in the nearby Shimba Hills) had to be purchased to supply the top soil.”