The Ultimate Mauritius Golfing Experience

The opportunity to visit Mauritius first came about in 2017 through Mauritius Tourism South Africa and The AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open 2017.

Dinarobin Beachcomber Hotel, Mauritius
Dinarobin Beachcomber Hotel, Mauritius

When I got that call to be part of a trip which included playing golf, sightseeing and a VIP invitation to what has without a doubt become my favourite Tri-Sanctioned tournament by the European, Asian and Sunshine Tours, I did not need any convincing. This enchanting island had always been on my bucket list, even before I started playing golf some 15 years ago.

Back then, like everyone else I really just wanted to go there for the beautiful beaches and crystal clear waters, and the tantalising sights and sounds of this tropical nirvana. Never in a million years did I ever think of Mauritius as the ultimate golfing destination that it is, and that golf would be the main reason for my visit.

And so, with an impressive itinerary in hand, it was destination Mauritius, Le Morne, Dinarobin Beachcomber Hotel, my host for the four days I was going to be there.

Dinarobin Beachcomber Hotel, Mauritius
Dinarobin Beachcomber Hotel, Mauritius

We’d arrived at night and the drive to the hotel was on a dark and winding narrow two lane road. I was glad I wasn’t driving at that moment but my driver seemed to know exactly how to navigate his way.

The Dinarobin Beachcomber Hotel entrance, lobby and reception area was all indication that I was now in paradise. I was whisked off in a golf cart to my beach-facing room with it’s own private patio, and, dropping my bags on the bed, I went outside and sat in the dark, listening to the ocean and breathing in the humid island air.

Yes, definitely paradise. I didn’t get much sleep that night, excitement got the better of me, but I woke up at 5:30am to the sound of the ocean and the most beautiful sight I had ever seen in my life just outside my room.

This was the bluest blue ocean and it was waiting for me…inviting me in. So I put on my costume and went off for a swim – and boy was I surprised by how warm the water was. What a perfect way to start the day.

Tamarina Golf Course

Tamarina Golf Course Mauritius
Tamarina Golf Course

First on the agenda was a visit to Tamarina Golf Course, an 18 hole course situated on the sunny west coast of Mauritius. A lovely lunch of local cuisine on the deck of the wooden floored clubhouse was possibly a sign of what was to follow, we came here to play 9 but couldn’t resist and ending up playing the full 18.

Somehow I felt like I was playing in a forest, with challenging tee boxes and immaculate fairways – which I would suggest you try keeping to because trying to find your ball if it goes out of bounds is no easy feat.

Tamarina is carved between mountain and sea, a beautifully conditioned and enjoyable course with breathtaking views of the mountains. Set on an old sugar plantation, you are also not alone when you’re out there: the abundance of monkeys makes for some great entertainment.

I often wondered if they were out there making bets on our game, which would make us the entertainment. This is one of those courses that leaves you with a good feeling even if you haven’t played a solid game.

Heritage Golf and Spa Resort

Heritage Golf and Spa Resort Mauritius
Heritage Golf and Spa Resort

The following day I went for another early morning swim, paired with a lovely breakfast at Dinarobin. That alone could have been the highlight of the day but I was heading out to the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open at Heritage Golf and Spa Resort.

What can I say, Heritage was everything I had hoped it would be. Designed by Peter Matkovich, this 18 hole tropical golf course is world-class.

Unfortunately I would not get to play it this time around but I was still happy and privileged to get to walk it for the next couple of days and see it from a spectators point of view.

Hopefully that’s given me a slight edge for when I do come back to play it. As I walked around the course following my favourite golfers, I caught myself thinking “seriously, it can’t get any better than this.”

Paradis Golf Club

Paradis Golf Club
Paradis Golf Club

Day four and by this time I was thinking I could definitely live here. 6:30am and I was ready to make my way next door to the Paradis Golf Club, for a 7:00am tee off time. I had been waiting to play this course since I’d arrived. The Paradis Golf Course really encapsulates the true island ambience with its palm trees and stone pines.

Nestled between mountains and the Morne Peninsula lagoon, its views are paradisiacally spectacular! Even with its narrow fairways, it is not a difficult course at all, which is great for us amateurs looking for a decent game – and if the tide is really low, you could be hitting balls off the edge of the ocean.

Playing the back nine is like playing on a movie set, with flawless views from every tee box, every fairway and every green. It’s a relaxing 18 holes because there really is no way you can get too frustrated while playing amongst those views and backdrops.

Avalon Golf Estate

Avalon Golf Estate
Avalon Golf Estate

The drive up to Avalon Golf Estate is a sightseeing adventure on its own. We stopped to see the waterfalls and the Seven Coloured Earth in Chamarel before driving so high up into the mountains that my ears started to pop.

It’s in the heart of a natural reserve that we find the beautiful Avalon, perched at the top and surrounded by a tea plantation. It was somewhat cooler up there which I appreciated after spending the last few days in the heat and humidity of the southern part of the island.

Avalon Golf Estate is another Peter Matkovich 18 hole championship course and the only one inland. The views are spectacularly breathtaking from the first tee – it’s one of those courses where you are constantly in awe of your surroundings.

There was rain looming in the far mountains but I couldn’t be bothered, I was determined to play through. We did play in some low-lying mist (or what seemed like a moving cloud) and slight drizzle at one point, but that soon passed and floated off into the mountains.

It was all so magical. The fairways are wide and forgiving and make for some good golf, great for amateurs. Carts are a must because of the long distances between tee boxes, but carts are not allowed on any part of the course except the pathways.

Avalon looks and feels like an immaculately manicured mountain forest. I did play a decent round of golf finally, managing to hit my driver long and straight most times, a rare occurrence for me. I finished with a par on the 18th, and so now I really want to go back!

At the AfrAsia I managed to sit down and have a brief chat with Peter Matkovich himself,  who insisted I make my way up to the Northern part of the island to visit his latest addition (which, according to him is an absolute beaut), the increasingly popular Mont Choisy Le Golf.

Unfortunately I had run out of time and did not get to visit this newbie but it has gone straight to the top of the bucket list.

Fast forward a year later…

I am ready to make another trip back to this golfing paradise. The AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open 2018 is back and the Mauritius Tourism South Africa gang and I are ready for another golfing adventure…

Anahita Four Seasons Golf and Spa Resort

Anahita Four Seasons Golf and Spa Resort
Anahita Four Seasons Golf and Spa Resort

This time the tournament’s host was the much anticipated Anahita Four Seasons Golf and Spa Resort. No longer a Mauritius rookie, I came prepared. We arrived on the late flight again and the drive to the eastern part of the island takes about an hour.

As my driver is navigating the narrow roads I cannot help but feel a sense of familiarity, a welcome feeling. I was staying at the exquisite Long Beach Sun Resort and by this time I am accustomed to the island’s world class hospitality.

Arriving at Long Beach I kinda got the feeling that the standards of hospitality might just have been upped a notch since last year! My room was 50 metres from the ocean and was stunning, modern and immaculate.

A lovely fruit and chocolate basket awaited me inside but my exhaustion kicked in very fast and it didn’t take me long to fall asleep to the sound of the waves outside my door. Tomorrow was a big day, I was playing in the AfrAsia ProAm. A dream come true, an ultimate bucket list and flag collecting moment.

Designed by Ernie Els, Anahita Four Seasons Golf Club is an 18 hole championship course situated on the east coast. With its beautiful natural flora and fauna, the course is set in a tropical idyll and the coastline’s natural beauty shows off views of the mountains, lagoon and Indian ocean.

Anahita is more than a treat, insanely gorgeous scenery surrounds you on all sides. The beauty might even deceive you into thinking you’ll play a beautiful game yourself, and with fairways so pristine I wasn’t sure if I was allowed to make divots!

I believe my second experience will be far more successful, this course deserves a return round and the respect of a decent game. It was an unbelievable honour to watch Ernie play on his own turf, this course is not one you want to miss out on when visiting Mauritius for a golfing holiday.

Ile Aux Cerfs

Ile Aux Cerfs Mauritius
Ile Aux Cerfs

Just a 10 minute boat ride from Anahita is a very special little island called Ile Aux Cerfs. The golf course on this island was designed by the legendary Bernhard Langer and sits in the southern region.

The holes wind beautifully through the length of the island, with undulating fairways and challenging greens. Almost all 18 holes have views of the ocean and water is the predominant feature of the course – not just the ocean but the lakes in and around the course too make for some interesting tee shots.

Add in a dose of some luxuriously white sand bunkers and you’ll soon come to realise that Ile Aux Cerfs is not just a pretty face. The winding cart path will take you through some gorgeous vegetation that’ll make you feel like you’re in a tropical forest island – which, actually, you are!

The beauty around you might bring about the onset of a sensory overload, and you’ll feel like you’re playing in a postcard. The holes are narrow and short but really enjoyable to play… as long as you keep your ball on the fairway (I would suggest sticking to your irons off the tee!).

I lost about 4 balls myself, so be warned (although I would be happy to lose more balls again). Of Mauritius’ 12 golf courses, I’ve taken on five – only seven to go.

I’m pretty sure I will never be able to choose a favourite course on Mauritius and I am OK with that. My six days in paradise came to an end and it was time to head home… but I promised myself and the island I would be back. For the other seven.

Catch you on the fairways.

By Felicity Shiba

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