Golfing legend and winner of 18 career major championships on the PGA Tour, Jack Nicklaus, spent three nights last week at the luxury Sabyinyo Lodge in Kinigi.
Nicklaus who was accompanied by his family and close friends was on a tour to see the golden monkeys and mountain gorillas that have made Rwanda a major tourism destination.
Speaking to The New Times from her Gacuriro office, Rosette Rugamba, whose company Songa Africa, organised the VIP tour, described the visit as an invaluable compliment to Rwanda’s tourism industry.
“We are harvesting the fruits of the pleasant experiences that visitors to Rwanda have; for instance Mr. Nicklaus was referred to Rwanda by our good friend Jack Hanna, a renowned American zoo-keeper,” Rugamba said.
The champion golfer and his entourage visited various community projects in the Kinigi Area and appreciated the country’s recovery.
Nicklaus, 70, also known as “The Golden Bear” is widely regarded as one of the greatest professional golfers of all time.
He was named “Golfer of the Century” by almost every major golf publication and also named Male Athlete of the Century by Sports Illustrated and one of the 10 Greatest Athletes of the Century by ESPN.
In 2005, the Golden Bear was honoured by President George Bush at the White House with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honour given to any U.S. civilian.
He was later unanimously named by GolfWorld Magazine as its Newsmaker of the Year 2005, punctuating a year in which he played his final British Open, his final Masters Tournament, and led the United States to victory in The Presidents Cup.