Imagine teeing off on a golf course where the greens are greener, the azure blue ocean stretches out before you and a lush tropical landscape creates the perfect backdrop. This is what awaits you when you go golfing on the paradise island of Mauritius, in the Indian Ocean, where the year-round tropical climate provides excellent conditions for a great golfing holiday.
Dotted across the island are ten magnificently-manicured 18-hole golf courses and three nine-hole courses, as the sport’s popularity continues to grow in Mauritius. Designed by such golfing legends as Ernie Els, Gary Player, Bernhard Langer, David Leadbetter, Peter Matkovich, Peter Allis and Rodney Wright, these world-class championship courses will challenge and test the skills of professionals, passionate amateurs and beginners alike.
And, if you like a bit of history, it is interesting to note that Mauritius was only the third country in the world where golf was played, after the United Kingdom and India. The sport was introduced to the island in 1902 when the first golf course, the Mauritius Gymkhana Golf Club, was opened by members of the British Royal Navy. It is recognised as the oldest golf club in the southern hemisphere, and the fourth oldest course in the world.
Mauritius is now recognised as a professional golf destination, with the staging of the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open since 2015. This tri-sanctioned tournament – by the European, Sunshine and Asian Tours – welcomes the most diverse field on the European Tour, with more than 30 different nationalities represented.
Launched in 2015 at Heritage Resorts in Mauritius, the second edition was held at Anahita last year with the prestigious tournament returning to Heritage Resorts this year. It will be staged at the spectacular Heritage Golf Club on Domaine de Bel Ombre in the south of the island, designed by Peter Matkovich (who also presided over Arabella Golf Club and Borrowdale Brooke Golf Club in Zimbabwe), and voted best golf course in the Indian Ocean at the World Golf Awards in 2014, 2015 and 2016.
So, if you happen to be travelling to Mauritius between 30 November and 03 December this year, you will also have the opportunity of watching some of the top golfers from South Africa, Europe and Asia in action. This world-class field of players is set to battle it out for top honours in the prestigious annual AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open, and a share of the €1 000 000 in total prize money.
Some of the current top South African golfers confirmed in the starting field of 156 professionals include: Louis Oosthuizen, Brandon Stone, George Coetzee (2015 winner), Hennie Otto, Jaco van Zyl, Dylan Fritelli and Haydn Porteous. They join at least 40 professionals from each of the three participating Tours plus qualifiers and local invitees, in a 72-hole stroke-play championship over four days.
While Mauritius is a relative newcomer in the world of golf tourism, it has quickly established itself as a leading destination of choice for the discerning golfing tourists. Being awarded the prized title of 2016 Golf Destination of the Year for the Africa, Indian Ocean and Gulf country regions by IAGTO, the global golf tourism organisation, is further testament to this.
So, to book your next tee-off time, visit www.ratherbeinmauritius.co.za and select the golf course and hotel package that suits you, your family and your fellow golfers.