Thursday We started our golf on the challenging Links course, designed by Peter Allis for the 1st of our 3 visits. Some really interesting humps and hollows have been put in and tricky run off areas by all the greens. We started with a team comp, best one of three to count. Everyone was getting their “golf legs” for the front 9 and then off on the back! Arnold, Vanessa and David shot an amazing 27 pts. However, the triumvirate of Paul, Christine & Hugh amassed 47 points in total to win the day.
Friday Off to play the Legend course today and all of us hoping to create a couple of our own! The course has hosted the Mauritius Open and is a first class venue. The weather was great but with a testing breeze, just to give it some spice. There is water on 17 of the holes, mainly on the right. The days format was four ball better ball an in the reverse of the Links, the best scoring was on the front nine. Holes 10 to 15 are as difficult as you will find anywhere. The dynamic duo of Lynda and Jo won the day with 39 points. The two highlights were Jo’s par on the 4th and Lynda’s par on the treacherous 13th.
Saturday We visited the very impressive Anahita course, designed by golfing great Ernie Els. As with everything in Mauritius, the welcome and service you receive are second to none. The expansive course, with breath taking views on many holes is a real privilege to play. We all felt the golf course was an interesting mix of American greens, large and undulating with severe run offs, with a nod to North Berwick with a cunning use of walls on several holes. I hit them twice which was a surprise as I used the usual premise of ‘if you aim at something you are unlikely to hit it.’ The men’s comp was won by Arnold, who was on song and had a lovely streak of 6 pars in a row. Mrs Puttick won the Ladies comp, compiling a solid 34 points and I think she was emailing Ernie to compliment him on his design.
Sunday Well what a way to spend a Sunday! Our White Sands team of Norma, our driver Bertie were joined by our guide for the day Bhondu. We boarded our catamaran after a short drive and set out across the picture perfect water. The weather was marvellous and our on board team were great fun and soon plying us with rum and coke, with the sun nowhere near the yard arm! Out on the water an opportunity came for Paragliding and intrepid duo Christine & Jo decided to go up, both of their husbands looking on nervously, wondering whether their wives would be dropped off in Madagascar. We were then taken to see the lovely waterfalls and along the way encountered friendly monkeys and high in the trees some very sleepy fruit bats. Back on the sea and time for lunch, a delicious chicken and fish done with a fantastic sauce and salads galore. A nice stop on Ils aux Cerf, gave us an opportunity (ok just me) to sleep off lunch and enjoy another idyllic setting. Our attentive crew delivered us home by late afternoon. If there is a better way to spend a Sunday, I can’t think of one.
Monday Back to see if we could master the Links and Mrs Putticks idea of Waltzing Matilda for the day’s format was fully embraced. For those of you who don’t know it is a fab team game with 1 score counting on the first hole, two scores on the second and three on the third and on the fourth you go back to one score etc. Whilst joining Paul’s group I’m pretty sure I heard him whistling a waltz as he went round. So par for this type of game would be 72 points and the trio of Arnold, Paul and Christine amassed a terrific 79 points with 45 on the back nine. This won the honours for the day and it was fitting for birthday girl Christine to be in the winning group.
Tuesday Normally transport to a game of golf doesn’t involve a boat trip, but Le Toussrok does. It is part of its unique charm and for most of our party it was their first visit. There are some tight tee shots and interesting approach shots with several up turned saucer greens that make holding approach shots challenging. It was a beautiful day and an individual stableford was proposed to test everyone’s mettle. Our very own Mauritian David stole the show with a very impressive 39 points. We also ran a sweep stake as to how many balls our group would lose and only 34 was very commendable. Last time we were there, the number was in three figures. A lovely journey back and some more excellent food and wine that evening.
Wednesday Port Louis shopping , lunching and site seeing.
Thursday The day dawned with a reminder of UK rain. Six of our group entered the hotel’s guest competition. Christine held the David Short flag high with an excellent 2nd place in the ladies comp. Her 34 points was only 1pt behind the winner, so a very good performance.
Friday We went for a scramble and as ever this produced some excellent golf. I must admit I think scrambles really improve a players thinking and focus positively at the task in hand. The team of Vanessa, Lynda, David and Paul put together an impressive gross 74, which with shots netted down to 63.5 and this won the day. Features of the day was how well Vanessa putted and this was the bedrock of the teams total.
So our time in beautiful Mauritius has come to an end and we have been blessed with great weather, good and first class service from the team at the Belle Mare Plage. Jennie & I have been fortunate to visit this wonderful island on three occasions and eagerly look forward to returning and sharing it with more of you in the not too distant future.
by Barney Puttick
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