You have great experience in the golf industry. When did your passion for golf started?
I am a golfer since the age of 15. We started playing the 9 holes that the island of Mauritius had. We used to play at the Dodo Club, Saint Geran or the Gymkhana Club. Just like all the Mauritians at that time, we played without a coach and we had to learn on the spot. The passion for the sport grew since then.
Mauritius did evolve from the 9-hole golf courses to now many 18-hole golf courses. When did this evolution occur?
It started approximately end of 2007 and beginning of 2008. With the introduction of golf resort hotels that were offering international golf courses, it certainly gave us a “kick” to continue living the passion for the game. To consider that at this time, the access was exclusively reserved for clients residing at the Golf Resort Hotels.
The Tamarina is a unique golf course on the island. Tell us exactly what is the particularity of Tamarina Golf Course?
The Tamarina Golf Course is unique with its African feel. We are just missing some giraffes crossing the fairways. We have some guinea fowls, monkeys, and an amusing wildlife on the fields. Some do not realize that this course is only ten years old. It has been so well designed and it blends perfectly with the villas surrounding it.
One must know that the Tamarina is 206 acres with 119 villas, with one 18 hole golf course and 2 tennis courses. It is the absolute luxury. Let’s put things in perspective, the Tamarina is 206 acres and Monaco is 203 acres. So we are 3 acres more than Monaco and we have the honor to say we have a golf course on 206 acres. Golfers can enjoy their game in all peace of mind and admire our fetish mountain, “La montagne du Rempart.” This mountain is visible from all the holes.
I also love to say “swing west where the sun shines.” The west coast is known to be sunny all the time and this is a serious advantage. I’ll go further to say that all the golf courses in Mauritius has their own particularity. For us, it is this African ambiance along with a little hotel that is situated at the Bay of Tamarin at 5 minutes from here.
The Tamarina Golf Club holds a lot of golf tournaments. Tell us more about it.
We have many groups that come and play at Tamarina for the quality of our golf course. The fact that we hold regular golf tournament demonstrates how much golfers appreciate our service and the quality of the course. The Tamarina golf course is located near all the towns and nearby villages, making it very accessible. There is also the assurance of having a great weather, like I say “swing west where the sun shines.”
How do you see the evolution of Golf in Mauritius?
We are definitely going through a positive evolution. I must say that for the past years, we have doubled the amount of green fees per year. At Tamarina, we are approximately 70% local golfers and 30% tourists. With the evolution of tourists in Mauritius, we are reversing the tendency. Together with our hotel, Tamarina Boutique Hotel, we having agreements with other hotels to make our golf course even more accessible. The evolution is clearly here with the two new golf courses at Mont Choisy and the Heritage Two.
How do you see Mauritius as a golf destination?
When you take 1.5 million of tourists a year we still have have a lot of work. However, I believe that we have the potential yet the competition remains big. We need to stay at a very professional standard, with perfect courses, excellent service and maintain the quality of the fields. Of course the mauritian hospitality, smile and warm welcome is unique and we need to use these to make the difference with the other golf destinations around the world. We must not minimise the fact that we are bilingual nation and it gives us an advantage on other destinations. Yet, I think that we should not aim at the mass but rather at premium class golfers.
What is your favourite hole at Tamarina Golf Course?
I personally love the hole 16 which is a par 5, a slight dogleg on the right but at the same time give the chance to all golfers to do a birdie. Not to forget the amazing view of the Rempart Mountain and the huge trees including the Terminalia that are found all along the fairway. It is a rewarding hole.
Of course, we also have a signature hole, the number 13, a beautiful par 3 with a river on its left. It is a pleasant hole to play with a lot of hole-in-one.