Tob Cohen came to Kenya in 1987 as CEO of Philips in East Africa. After his four-year term in Nairobi, he decided make a drastic career turn. Today, 24 years later, Tob Cohen’s ‘Tobs Kenya Golf Safaris’ is Kenya’s number one golf tour operator. With his company’s name firmly on the world golf map, Tob is still growing his business with new activities: outgoing golf tourism and golf business events in Kenya.
“I had fallen in love with this beautiful country, its fantastic weather, its friendly people and its 40 great golf courses”, Tob accounts for his unusual move in 1991. Today, Tob is looking forward to celebrating the 25 anniversary of his Kenyan golf business. “We have built our business on the opportunity to play golf with caddies all-year-round and on the combination with the best wild life safaris in the world and 500 kilometres of white sandy beaches. That combination was an innovation in Kenya’s tourist industry 24 years ago and is still unique. In the past years Tobs Kenya Golf Safaris hosted thousands of golfers from Europa and the US and even from as far away as Japan”, says Tob.
Masai Mara & safari
Most golfers stay between one week and ten days and spend most of their time in Kenya playing golf in and around Nairobi. Tob: “Some like to add a visit to the Masai Mara, to do a safari, to relax on the beach in Mombasa or do the very exciting Escorted Golf Safari to the Equator, with a driver/guide in a 4WD.”
After 24 years of development and promotion, Kenya is firmly on the golf map, and Tobs has managed to diversify his business. “Many local golfers like to play elsewhere in the world. Kenya’s new middle class has money to spend and travels with us to discover new fairways and greens around the world. Outgoing golf tourism is a growth market and golfers from the region are playing in Thailand, South Africa, Dubai, Jamaica, Argentina and Vietnam amongst many other golf destinations.”
Networking in golf
Another trend in the Kenyan golf scene is networking in golf. Tobs is renowned for organising large-scale and well-sponsored golf events, like the Kenya Golf Trophy. “With 200 qualified and VIP guest golfers and 50 local and international sponsors, this is Kenya’s most important golf networking event. We are proud to have organised the event for the third time last October, with Orange as the Title Sponsor and our most important partner”, says Tob.
“This high-profile golf event, hosted by the Muthaiga Golf Club in Nairobi, offers great golf, food and drinks and a wonderful Prize Giving Gala. Sponsors go to great lengths to showcase their products and services in tented areas and even on specific holes. The Kenya Golf Trophy offers a great number of wonderful and valuable prizes to be won, from golf trips around the world to hotel nights in and outside Kenya. We are proud to be organising the event and to show our expertise in the event and golf market”, says Tob Cohen.
Tob’s involvement in the tournament has not gone unnoticed, as international brands like Mercedes-Benz have asked Tobs to organise similar events, leading to the launch of the ‘Mercedes Trophy’. Tob Cohen: “I am proud of the position our business has acquired in Kenya’s golf scene. I am convinced that golf in Kenya is still a growth market with great potential, for both individual golfers and for businesses looking for a great venue for their incentive events. Come and play on exotic courses with a chance of spotting monkeys, warthogs, zebra’s and even antelopes, and mix business with pleasure in Kenya!”