Charles John Wangai, who was introduced into golf while aged nine years old, is no doubt a master of the sport.
He begets a family with a rich golfing pedigree. They are resident golfers of Njoro Country Club, where his 61-year-old father, a handicap five Joseph Chege, works. The late Charles James Wangai, his grandfather, was a long time manager at the club.
He has two younger golf-playing siblings in professional golfer Samuel Njoroge of Kenya Railway Golf Club and handicap seven Richard Muthogia.
Wangai picked up the sport in a surprising move. In 2008, while working at Njoro Club, Anthony Muhoro, then Kenya Railways Golf Club vice chair Anthony Muhoro was looking for someone to play with on a weekday. And unfortunately, no golfer was around.
Muhoro was heartbroken. He looked around to get anyone who could pass time with on the course and Wangai, or CJ as he’s fondly known, offered himself. And that’s how he picked up golf.
Wangai did not disappoint as he fired four under par off handicap five on his first nine. Muhoro was impressed and offered him a job as a golf administrator at Railway Club.
Wangai missed a chance to play for close to one year after he secured employment. But his other breakthrough came in 2009 during a league match when one of the players failed to show up and he got a chance.
Playing alongside James Karuga, he staged an impressive show to win six with five to go. Karuga was elated and asked the clubs’ management to allow accord Wangai more playing and practice time.
It was not long before Wangai finished 15th in the Golfer of The Year (Goty) series then landed on a seventh spot in 2010 rankings.
At the beginning of 2011, Wangai was paying off handicap two and he earned a call up into the national team.
He represented the nation at the East African Challenge in Arusha, Tanzania, that year then lined up in Africa Zone six Challenge in Lilongwe, Malawi, and East African Challenge in Burundi in 2012.
The rest, as they say, is history and a huge task awaits him at the Kenya Open.