Seven unique golf experiences in Mauritius
1. Take a boat to the first tee
Ile aux Cerfs Golf Club on its own private island might have the world’s greatest journey to the first tee, because it takes place from a jetty, by boat, across a creek, to another jetty.
Forget those disastrous, panic-stricken, late arrivals for your tee time.
This is beautiful, relaxing and unique.
2. Watch deer roam the fairways
At Constance Belle Mare Plage’s Legends course the deer stroll through the trees in search of shade and if you’re lucky they will take a wander across the 18th fairway as they make their way for a cooling dip in the lake.
Deer in the Indian Ocean?! Yes, it happens.
3. Skirt with crystal clear lagoons
Some golf courses are unfortunate. Miss the fairway and you’ll hit wasteland, roads and maybe even a highway.
Other courses are luckier. Their hazards include long grass, ponds and bunkers.
Miss the fairways at Anahita and you’ll find crystal clear lagoons - possibly the best hazards in the world.
4. The volcanic outcrops at Constance Belle Mare Plage’s Links course
Mauritius has a volcanic past to thank for its distinctive flora and fauna. Both are on full display at the Links course, which may take inspiration from the links courses of Scotland, with sweeping fairways and greens, but which is 10 times more colourful than the Scottish seaside.
Those volcanoes have also left behind outcrops of lava, which has cooled to create unusual hazards - make sure you get the ball airborne if you want to avoid a ricochet.
5. Tee off in the shadow of the mountain backdrop at Tamarina
Look out to sea on a golf course in Mauritius - you’ll always be able to do that, by the way, blue water is never more than a 5-iron away - and you see nothing but the Indian Ocean.
Peer inland and you’ll see the peaks of mountains that rise sharply to a point.
At Tamarina it makes for a stunning backdrop.
6. Keep it straight and steady on the awe-inspiring Morne Peninsula at Paradis
This year’s Irish Open returns to Royal County Down, often rated the finest golf course in the world and a venue that is loomed over by the Mountains of Morne.
Mauritius has its very own version at Paradis, in the shape of the awe-inspiring Morne Peninsula, which incorporates mountains, lagoons and a golf course to die for.
7. Tread in the footsteps of the European Tour
Football fans are unlikely to get the chance to play at Wembley or the Maracana. Runners won’t get the chance to complete a circuit in an Olympic stadium.
But golfers are lucky - they can play the courses the pros do. They can test themselves if not quite against the best, then at least on the same course.
And after this week you can take on that challenge at Heritage GC - home of the 2015 AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open.
Photos: Ile aux Cerfs Golf Club, Legends at Constance Belle Mare Plage, Four Seasons Anahita, Links at Constance Belle Mare Plage, Tamarina Golf Club, Paradis at Beachcomber Hotels, Heritage Golf Club