WORDS: DEBBIE HATHWAY :: PHOTOS: SUPPLIED
Preparations are in full swing for the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open to be held at the brand-new La Réserve Golf Links in Bel Ombre, Mauritius.
Jonathan Menteath, General Manager of Heritage Golf Club in Bel Ombre, Mauritius, calls the site of the soon-to-be-opened La Réserve Golf Links “one of the most naturally beautiful places on earth”. He’s not wrong. The course is the first and only contemporary links in the Indian Ocean, with spectacular ocean views from every tee and green.
It will also host its first professional tournament during Golf’s Most Beautiful Week when the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open begins on December 14. The four-day co-sanctioned event on the Sunshine Tour and DP World Tour features a field including course co-designer Louis Oosthuizen (the 2010 Open champion), defending champion Antoine Rozner and five-time DP World Tour winner and Heritage Golf Club ambassador Marcel Siem.
“La Réserve Golf Links is a game-changing course for Mauritius and Heritage Golf Club as a select global golf destination,” said Jonathan Menteath, General Manager of Heritage Golf Club. It’s already been described as a “game-changer for golf in Mauritius” and an “unparalleled experience of pure golfing drama”, a welcome addition to the Heritage Resorts golf portfolio under the banner of Heritage Golf Club and including Le Château Golf Course.
MASTERPIECE OF GOLF DESIGN
Renowned golf course architect Peter Matkovich and Oosthuizen guarantee that this year’s AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open field will face a golf course that plays exactly like a traditional links. Players must produce “a deft putting touch” to manage the slopes and variety of pin placements, while a “strong collection of par-threes will also test the field.”
Matkovich says, “It’s not a course where you can power your way around and hit high shots into elevated greens. We’ve gone back to how links golf was played, low along the ground, bouncing it in. I thought about some of the great players like Peter Thomson, Bobby Locke and Gary Player and how they mastered links, by playing the course in front of them and the shots each hole required. From the first tee until the 18th green, there are so many ‘Wow!’ moments.”
HERITAGE VILLAS VALRICHE GOLF COMMUNITY
A growing interest in golf has spurred the development of communities based around golf courses, offering homes with frontline views of manicured fairways and now, proven health benefits for resident golfers.
Christophe Piquet, Sales & Marketing Director at golf community Heritage Villas Valriche in Bel Ombre, Mauritius, says, “Buyers are drawn to buy here as they want to have a healthy lifestyle, surrounded by nature, and have easy access to the golf course. It has many social benefits as well, with owners able to enjoy each other’s company and some friendly competition on the course.”
Heritage Villas Valriche offers a range of stunning properties overlooking Le Château Golf Course. Villa owners have access to an exclusive sports centre and lap pool, privileged access to a private beach club and two five-star waterfront hotels with spas, restaurants and bars for diverse gastronomic and tropical art de vivre experiences.
LIVE LONGER – PLAY GOLF
Research published by the R&A confirms that golfers live longer, happier, healthier lives, with physical benefits of playing the game including prevention and treatment of up to 40 major chronic diseases, including diabetes, heart disease and stroke, breast and colon cancer, depression and dementia.
Former professional cricketer Ray Jennings, who played for SA, is a keen golfer who lives at Heritage Villas Valriche. Testifying about the health benefits of golf, he says: “I am 69 but feel 21! I play golf three times a week and it boosts my energy, keeps my mind sharp and helps reduce stress. It’s important as you get older to find something you love doing and by following your passion you keep a positive mind and stop thinking about your aches and pains. For me spending time outside, in a beautiful natural environment, intensifies the pleasure of golf. Playing in Mauritius, I can enjoy the sea views and lush greenery; it’s heaven.”
According to the report, more women are taking to the game – 20% of adult golfers were female in 2022, compared to 15% in 2019, and more people are playing today than before the pandemic. Data shows that 5.6 million adult golfers played on nine-or 18-hole courses last year, the second-highest number in over three decades. That number has increased by 265,000 since 2021.
LIVE YOUR BEST LIFE
Heritage Golf Club is the only 45-hole golf destination in the Indian Ocean, located within the luxury Heritage Resorts. Golfers can enjoy accommodation at the resorts’ two five-star beach hotels – Heritage Le Telfair and Heritage Awali – with access to the beach club, fitness centre, restaurants and bars, spa and much more, making it a perfect destination for a complete golf and leisure getaway.
Explore the packages and prepare for an unparalleled golfing experience at La Réserve Golf Links. Get a taste of what it’s like to live in sustainable luxury like Heritage Resorts residents on the 2,500-hectare Domaine de Bel Ombre. It will be transformational and could motivate a more permanent move to buy property and live the island dream. Heritage Villas Valriche is part of the Integrated Resort Scheme (IRS), which gives owners residency rights to live, work or retire in Mauritius.