Mauritius is a relative newcomer to the world of golf tourism – the first major development at Paradis Beachcomber Golf Resort & Spa only opened in the mid 1990s. However, it punches well above its weight, with ten 18-hole Championship courses islandwide. Many are award-winning, and play host to prestigious tournaments. Most are stay and play courses, which coupled with the islands’ reputation for luxury accommodation, service and facilities, make Mauritius a great choice for discerning golfers.
As a compact island, a golf green is never very far away. Keen golfers will enjoy traditional, strategic challenges, free from the contrivances of ‘signature’ golf courses prevalent in the rest of the world. Golf courses in Mauritius increasingly have golf academies offering tuition from PGA professionals to both adults and children.
Golf resorts typically offer free unlimited golf to residents and increasingly extend complimentary access to other island courses to offer a varied play. Golf-free hotels and resorts often offer golf on neighbouring courses.
Mauritius was the third country worldwide to play golf (after the UK and India), introduced to the island by British military officers in 1844. For a local, historic experience, play a round at The Mauritius Gymkhana Club in Vacoas, the oldest golf course in the Southern Hemisphere.
The ten 18-hole golf courses on Mauritius are genuinely challenging Championship-quality courses and are not necessarily suited to casual golfers or beginners, though they do have golf academies facilities for offering tuition with PGA professionals to both adults and children.
Golf clubs are carried free on Air Mauritius in addition to your baggage allowance, while British Airways counts them as part of your permitted weight. Occasional players may elect to hire locally. All courses have excellent, reputable brand names – Callaway, Taylormade, for example – to hire at about 20-25GBP per round. A handful of balls are generally included with hired clubs and sometimes an additional, chargeable supply.
Soft spikes are the order of the day, and can be hired if necessary.
Shirts (with collar for men), knee length tailored shorts and socks or tailored trousers. No jeans. Bear in mind you may be out in sun at the hottest time of the day, so have plenty of sun cream and water to hand, and a hat.
Facilities are as good as, or better than, what you would expect at any private or prestige clubhouse.
All the 18-hole courses have practice facilities with range balls to purchase.
Take plenty! While there will be the usual ‘natural wastage’ due to wayward shots and hazards, the one thing I can guarantee is you will not find many balls. Recycling of golf balls is a mini industry for enterprising Mauritians, often paying better than more conventional forms of employment. Anecdotal evidence suggests that each golf ball is worth £30 to locals, based on the number of times it is re-sold: it is not unusual to see snorkels in water hazards! An on-course transaction may cost about 500MUR (£7.50) for a bag of 10 to 15 balls, and is always open for friendly negotiation.
On some courses, these are mandatory and all hires have to be paid for. Under 16s are not permitted to drive a caddy car. Some courses also offer golf trolleys or caddies.
With its proximity to the Equator, Mauritius doesn’t have the same extremes of seasonal daylight as Northern Europe: there is no prospect of playing until 10pm in summer time. Most courses close about 6pm due to the rapid setting of the sun. Consequently tee times for 18 holes are restricted to between 7.30am and 2pm, and it is not unusual for individual players or two-balls to be combined with other groups to ease demand. Twilight golf may be available after 2pm if a full round is not being played. Pre-booking, usually the day before play, is recommended to avoid disappointment, but the courses are by no means crowded. A round can comfortably be accommodated in under four hours.
Distances are in metres. For those who play Imperial, add one tenth of the distance to calculate the approximate yardage. Pedants should multiply by 1.093613298! Global positioning systems can be hired which can give metric or imperial distances. Some courses offer as many as five different tees to vary the degree of difficulty, though in my opinion, some are patronisingly over-generous to ladies. Don’t be surprised if offered a welcoming, cooling flannel at the conclusion of your round, and your shoes and equipment are scrupulously cleaned by an attentive member of staff. As everywhere on Mauritius, service is exceptional.
Stretching from the foot of dramatic Le Morne mountain to the white sandy beach at the southwest tip of Mauritius, the golf course at Paradis Beachcomber Golf Resort & Spa is stunning. It’s one reason that sporty families head back to this resort-style hotel year after year.
Constance Belle Mare Plage has two Championship courses, Legends and Links, which as host to the prestigious annual Staysure Senior MCB Golf Tour are among best on the island. A five minutes shuttle ride from Constance Prince Maurice, the courses offer golf for the whole family, with a golf academy, and wonderful views at sundown at the Links Golf Club.
Guests staying at Shangri-La’s Le Touessrok Resort & Spa have access to two world-class championship golf courses in Mauritius, with complimentary transfers and daily green fees. A boat shuttle across the water takes golfers to Mauritius only ‘island’ golf experience, Ile aux Cerfs Golf Club, designed by Bernhard Langer and named as International Association of Golf Tour Operators’ (IAGTO) best golfing experience in the Indian Ocean in 2019. A partnership with Anahita Golf Club, means guests also have access to an Ernie Els-designed 18-hole golf course, in a tropical setting.
Host to the prestigious AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open tournament each November/December, Heritage Golf Club, was voted the ‘Indian Ocean’s Best Golf Course’ at the World Golf Awards for the sixth time in 2019. Heritage Le Telfair Golf & Wellness Resort was awarded ‘Indian Ocean’s Best Golf Hotel’ at the World Travel Awards’ 2019. Its new ‘Golf Bliss’ package, offers five rounds on four championship courses: Tamarina, Avalon, Paradis and Heritage.
One of the most fabulous golf courses on the island, the Ernie Els-designed 18-hole golf course at Anahita Golf Club, snakes along the Four Seasons Resort Mauritius at Anahita, with golf villas overlooking the generously proportioned fairways on a former sugar plantation in two distinct loops of nine. The Anahita Golf Club is constructed to USGA standard and incorporates some old dry-stone walls and a links-like stream into the layout, backed by lush mountains and fringed by the crystal-clear lagoon.
Trou aux Biches Beachcomber offers preferential rates and tee times on Mont Choisy Le Golf, the islands newest 18 hole golf course, and the only one in the north of Mauritius.