Situated in the up-market residential suburb of Nyali which lies north of the creek separating Mombasa island from the North Coast, the 18-hole course here at Nyali Golf & Country Club is laid out over a 150-acre site that was once part of an estate processing sisal for rope and twine production.
When the market declined for sisal in the 1940s, the owners of the property split the land up into housing plots, creating a 9-hole course as a recreational amenity for residents in 1958. When Nyali became a members’ club in 1974, its name was changed to Nyali Golf & Country Club and, within six years, the course had been extended to a full 18-hole layout.
Polana grass from Mozambique was used in the construction of all the greens at Nyali and it is still used today with grass grown in the club’s nursery. Wild animals still roam around and the occasional vervet monkey – the club’s mascot as displayed on its logo – can still be spotted during a round.
Thanks to a top of the range irrigation system, dry spells never change the condition of this gently rolling course to anything other lush, with flowering trees like the Madagascan Flame Tree bordering many of the fairways. Although not located right on the Indian Ocean, the coastal winds that blow in from the east can influence a game here so be prepared for occasional days of links-like conditions at Nyali.
I played at Nyali back in April 2012 and loved the place. The course was interesting and well maintained but perhaps a little flat. I had to have a caddie which was fine except having asked the Pro what was a suitable tip and giving the Caddie nearly twice the suggested amount he seemed insulted and strutted off as if offended. That was a shame and slightly spoilt what had been a great experience.