Stuart Thompson makes a return to Mauritius!
by Stuart Thompson
What a trip, I was delighted to get back on the paradise Island. Many thanks to Rhys from the Mauritius Tourism & Promotion Authority, Air Mauritius and all of our hotel partners for making this a very memorable trip…
Night Golf at Heritage!
It was lovely to arrive back on the island again after so long and on the 45 min drive to the Heritage Le Telfair I could really see the difference in the island compared to the last visit. We arrived in at the hotel and got some time to freshen up before inspecting the two hotels before lunch, it was great that the hotel had arranged a spa treatment to help us loosen up after the long flight and to prepare for the golf ahead.
Our first golf experience was night golf at Heritage Golf Club (host of the 2015 AfrAsia Mauritius Bank Open). A new experience for me was the night golf on Awali’s par 3 course, and I have to say this was a great experience as you can’t see a thing apart from glow sticks and bright illuminated golf balls, if you are staying at the resort it is a must!
Heritage & Le Paradis Golf
We had an early start today (6.30am) but the prospect of playing the Heritage Golf Club one of the finest and testing on the island certainly woke us up a bit! The course was in a cracking condition and the fairways felt like carpets and greens running very true it again was a great pleasure to play. After playing this amazing course for the fifth time, I’ve decided to change my favourite hole from the 9th to the 18th. It has an elevated tee box overlooking the resorts with an inviting large fairway for the drive and if you are lucky enough to hit the fairway you have the choice to try for the green in two, it is just a great finishing par 5. We had a beer to relax and count the scores (which in all honesty needed to drastically improve to give an acceptable performance in the Pro-Am).
We took the 20 min drive to Le Paradis and had a light lunch before it was again back on the range again to hit a few balls before teeing off.
Paradis is a totally different design of course compared to Heritage. It’s more open and can be friendlier to the higher handicapped golfer. We only played 9 holes but have to say the favourite hole on the golf course is the 16thh. I would say this has to be the most picturesque hotel on the island as you play around the Indian Ocean to a green that seems to fall into the sea which is just stunning. Thankfully the scores were a lot better on this 9 with my partner Ross and I winning a scramble match 4 & 3. It was time for a quick shower and change then off for a fantastic dinner and overnight stay at the hotel.
Tamarina Golf & Zip Lining
We had an extra hour in bed this morning and after breakfast we made the 25 minute scenic drive to the Tamarina Resort & Golf Club for our 9am tee time.
Having played the course on my previous visit I wasn’t very impressed with the layout and condition of the course so didn’t really think it would have changed, but I was wrong! We played the back 9 and I have to say that I ate my words a little as it was a totally different experience with well-manicured fairways and very true running greens. Also on the plus side my golf was starting to take shape for the big day at the Pro-Am. The best hole on this course is easy, the 12th. It has to be most stunning par 3 that you will play on the island, off the back tees it is 220 yards downhill with the Tamarina mountains in the distance and black river running to the left side of the green makes it a fantastic golf hole.
After we packed up our clubs it was a short drive to Casela National Park for lunch then zip lining which was a fantastic experience and definitely one I would recommend if you are on the west side of the island. I wouldn’t recommend it to the faint hearted with a walk over a rope bridge suspended 300 ft over terrain and then zip lining across the same canyon 4 times. I didn’t expect to enjoy it so much but look forward to returning. We headed back to the Tamarina Hotel for a couple of hours relaxation before dinner and aimed for an early night before the big event tomorrow.
Enjoying a spectacular course with my four-ball.
Teeing off on the 13th at Tamarina.
Pro-Am competition at Anahita
This was going to be the closest that we will ever get to being a professional golfer and the butterflies and nerves showed over breakfast, or maybe it was just lack of sleep and that the early night didn’t happen as planned! We had a 1 ½ hr drive across the island to Anahita, It was again nice on this drive to see the development of the island.
On arrival, we checked into the bag drop area before being shown to our Jaguar cars to take us to the players’ lounge where we received goodie bag and instructions of the format for the day. It was a quick change before we headed to the range. This was a surreal experience as whilst warming up I had George Coetzee (last year’s winner) and Haotong Li who had just won the china open in the next 2 spaces, I had to make sure I was on my ‘A-game’. Our Pro today was Ruan De Smit and I couldn’t have asked for a nicer person to accompany us as he gave us some tips on our game over the 18 holes.
I have to say this was one of the best days on a golf course from start to finish I have ever experienced, we ended up 5th in the team event and I won the longest drive for the amateurs which was a great way to end the day.
After the presentation event, I made the short drive to one of our firm favourites on the island: Constance Le Prince Maurice for my overnight stay.
My approach on the 18th during the AfrAsia Mauritius Bank Open at Anahita
Links golf course at Constance Belle Mare Plage
During the morning I had some time to myself before meeting up with the group so took the time to go and visit some old friends at the Belle Mare Plage before getting to see the new mock up room which is very exciting for the future.
After this, we were back on the range again warming up before heading out to play the Links course. Links is a more golfer friendly course than the Legend at Belle Mare Plage but has some very challenging holes on both 9’s.
My favourite hole has to be the 10th – it’s another beautiful par 5 with an elevated tee box to a tight fairway before a blind shot to a green with a lake to the left-hand side of the green.
We said our goodbyes to the guys at the golf club after some great hospitality and headed to Long Beach for dinner and an overnight stay. This is a resort I would have no problem recommending!
Day 7 – Ile Aux Cerf’s golf course
Sadly my golf packed trip in paradise was coming to an end, but Ile Aux Cerfs golf course is a great way to finish the trip! It’s not every day you get a boat to take you to the golf clubhouse and they’ve made a few changes to the course from the last time I played, so I was looking forward to experiencing it. After the short journey, we checked in before teeing off. You could see from the 1st hole that it was slightly easier than before, but I have to say it is still a great course and a must if you visit the island.
My favourite hole has to the be the 11th : a par 5 playing alongside the Indian Ocean to an elevated green overlooking the ocean which makes this a special hole.
Squeezing as much golf into a holiday in Mauritius is great and the new Mauritius golf passport enables you to play all of the courses on the island for a reduced rate (around €100 per round) and is applicable to all of our Mauritius golf holidays!
On the 11th at Ile Aux Cerfs Golf Club.