The first day of our Mauritius Golf Tour dawned bright and sunny with temperatures in the mid 20’s, a theme that would continue through the holiday. The opening game of golf was at Ile aux Cerfs and to get there you have the novelty of travelling by boat to get to the island.
We opted for a team competition with the best two of four to count. The tricky course threw up a few challenges to our ball supplies and the greens took a little reading, once you had negotiated the hole. However, finding their form very early on the front runners were Arnie, Julian, Pat and Judith with a wizard 88 points. Runners up were Mike, Gurdip, Alison and Jennie with a more than respectable 80 points. The other notable event was that first birdie of the week went to Ina on the 3rd hole with a super putt after a well struck Iron.
Day two saw us on the brilliantly designed Anahita Golf Course. A better ball competition was the order of the day in beautiful weather with just a light breeze. Julien and Jennie came in with a very competitive 41 points only to be pipped by the dynamic duo of Sharon and Arnie with 43 points. Arnie was on top form and eagled possibly the most scenic hole in Mauritius, the par 5 4th after a brilliant 3 wood approach and a sure putt.
Wednesday was our day off and many of the group went out to explore the island. A spot of shopping and rum tasting tickled the palates of some and the rest of us just lazing around the beach! A brilliant buffet rounded off a nice day and I have to say the quality of food and level of service at the Anahita Golf and Spa Resort, where we were staying was terrific.
Our second game at Ile aux Cerfs brought some great performances as our players were now more familiar with the course. The first group out, Alison, Sharon, John & David, set the scene with an excellent 82 points. Alison was on fire with 9 pars! However, keeping up his rich vein of form Arnie’s Angels, Maggie, Ina and Jennie rattled up 87 points to win the day. A super meal with lobster, fresh prawns and beautifully cooked fish rounded off another great day.
A breezy day set an interesting challenge around Anahita for the game today. Just to make it even more interesting the pins were set in some tough positions, making approach play and putting tricky to say the least. Maggie, Judith, Neil and Julian set what looked to be the winning score of 76 points, only for a last hole turn round and Ina, Carol, Ivan and Gurdip won the day with 77 points. Another great meal (a meat theme tonight) and some top entertainment afterwards with an excellent local band.
A day at the races was our Saturday treat and great fun it was too. We had a box and were plied with drink and snacks all afternoon whilst we studied the runners and riders. Our host Jerome was very knowledgeable and gave us some interesting history. The track was opened in 1812 and is the 3rd oldest in the world. Some of us were taken to see the live broadcasting, some into the weighing and winners circle and others down on to the track to the winners post and following the race from a car trying to keep up with the riders! A few winners all round and cheering your horse home is right up there with watching a birdie putt roll in.
Sundays golf was at Anahita and another glorious day greeted us. I thought today we would have a men’s pairs and a ladies pairs event running in parallel. Of course this didn’t stop pairs of different genders comparing their scores! Ronnie and Jennie had a solid 34 points, however romping home like one of the previous day’s winners at the races were Wendy and Ina with 39 points. In the men’s division David and Julian set what looked like a winning score of 40 points only to be pipped at the post (last racing analogy I promise) by Arnie and Mike with 41 points.
Certainly the warmest day of the holiday so far for our golf day on the island. Bernhard Langer’s design is an incredible feat of ingenuity and we all enjoyed our penultimate game there. Teams of four with two scores to count was the format today and everyone fared well as the had played the course on two previous occasions. Leaders in the clubhouse were David, Mile, Ronnie and Anne on 80 points. However, in the last group, Wendy, Sharon, Jennie and myself with some ace dove tailing hoovered up 85 points to win the day.
Anahita was in prime condition for todays competition and you can see why this magnificent layout will host the Mauritius Open in 2020. The team was now getting into mastering the raised greens and tricky pin positions. With a very credible 79 points Vanessa, Jennie and Arnie however they were trumped by the 83 points of Ina, Sharon, Mike and David. The day was finished off with an outstanding barbeque at the hotel.
We had a day off and some shopping, sun appreciation and sleep were the plans of most of our group.
Thursday saw our last visit to Ile aux Cerfs and again we were blessed with a glorious day. The favourite format of Waltzing Matilda in a three ball was the challenge for the players. On 62 points John, Julian and David set the pace, however comfortable winners were Sharon, Ina and Jennie on 71 points. It is a fun layout and although there is a propensity to lose a few balls, the magnificent scenery and golfing test make it well worth while.
Our Waltzing Matilda format proved popular so we played it again for our penultimate game at Anahita. We had some great performances in the leading teams. In the runners up spot on 70 points were Ina, Judith and John C. Judith weighed in with 6 net birdies and Ina also had 6 with a net eagle and a gross birdie on the tricky 17th for a 5 pointer. The winners on 75 points were Maggie, David & John G. Again a couple of gross birdies recorded with excellent 2s on the 12th and 17th by John G and David respectively. Maggie’s steady golf meant they were always keeping the scoreboard ticking over. A nice day with and excellent dinner in the hotel’s Signature restaurant, funnily enough called Signature.
Our final game of golf was played in breezy conditions, however when the temperature is 30 degrees it is still very pleasing to play. We had several formats today with some of the group opting for 9 holes, a trio of three’s playing Watzing Matilda and the headline match between Julian and John C against Sharon and Maggie. The 9 holers’ had a great time on and off the course, spending equal amounts of time on the grass and in the bar! The team competition by the slenderest of margins Judith, Jennie and John G won on a countback from Pat, Ina and Neil. In the big match after a fast start the ladies came second to John C and Julian.
A lovely final evening on the deck of the restaurant finished our fortnight in the beautiful island of Mauritius. It is a wonderful place and we felt fortunate to stay at Anahita Golf and Spa Resort which with its excellent golf, amazing food and terrific staff, is the place to stay.