Within the south-west Indian Ocean region, Mauritius is undoubtedly the leading golfing destination, with a dozen or so quality courses and facilities to suit all levels and preferences. It was the Heritage Golf Club, one of the most attractive and in the most beautiful of settings, that had the privilege of hosting the second edition of the Indian Ocean Amateur International Golf Tournament in May 2012.
photos : jean-pierre vidot | rogers image bank
Some of the best players in the Indian Ocean region gathered at the Heritage Golf Club on the Domaine de Bel Ombre (Domaine de Bel Ombre) over four eventful days from Wednesday 16 to Saturday 19 May 2012, for the second edition of the Indian Ocean Amateur International Golf Tournament.
While it was the Reunion Island contingent that carried off the trophies in both the men’s and women’s categories, everyone felt that what made the event special was the wonderful natural setting and the exceptional playing conditions. “I was incredibly impressed with its splendour,” Jean Marie Hoarau told us. From Reunion Island, he is the President of the Commission de Golf de l’océan Indien (CGOI), the body that organised the competition, which aims to promote golfing exchanges across the islands in the region.
Located adjacent to two luxury hotels, the Heritage Awali Golf & Spa Resort and Heritage Le Telfair Awali Golf & Spa Resort, as well as to the impressive Villas Valriche residential estate, the magnificent 18-hole championship course provides golfing enthusiasts with a real challenge. It is a varied and technically demanding course in the South-West of Mauritius, lying between the lagoon and the hills in an undulating landscape interspersed with lakes, streams and tropical trees.
A prime British property website, primelocation.com, has listed the Heritage Golf Club and Villas Valriche amongst the 20 best residential golfing estates in the world – in fact, the golf course is the only one listed in the region. It has received several awards and was recognised as the best on the island by the members of the International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO) in 2010. The inter-island competition, named for the occasion the Rogers Indian Ocean Golf Challenge, took place on this gem of a course, which was designed by the South African architect, Peter Matkovitch. Sponsored by Rogers, in association with its subsidiaries, the BlueSky travel agency and Heritage Resorts (the Veranda Group’s luxury label), the event brought together 44 golfers from Madagascar, Reunion Island and Mauritius. It was a Match-Play and Stroke tournament, with four rounds and a final.
As Rogers’ CEO, Philippe Espitalier-Noel explains, “There were three reasons for Rogers allying with the CGOI. In the first place, our Group has a notable presence in the region and one of the main aspects of our strategy is expansion there. The firm’s renowned local and international brands are, in fact, represented in a dozen countries, including in the two other islands participating in the competition. We also have one of the most beautiful golf courses in the south-west Indian Ocean region, and the tournament has also helped to increase the visibility of the Heritage Golf Club.”
“In golf, as in other sports, the real competitor stands out as one who always wants to do better. It’s the same desire that has driven Rogers for almost 115 years. We are acknowledged pioneers in many business sectors in Mauritius. We also bring our innovative spirit to the exploration of new possibilities, here and elsewhere,” added Kaushall Ramlackhan-Angelucci, Rogers’ Chief Communication Executive, in her speech during the event’s closing ceremony at the Chateau de Bel Ombre. The sport, introduced in Mauritius more than a century back in British times, has similar values to a business enterprise – precision, a friendly atmosphere and the pursuit of perfection.
The event brought together 44 golfers from the Indian Ocean region.
Promoting Golf in the Indian Ocean region
Set up in May 2010 to promote golf in the region, the Commission de Golf de l’océan Indien (CGOI) organised that year the first edition of the Indian Ocean Amateur International Golf Tournament, won by Reunion Island. The association organises an inter-island competition in even years, alternating it with an inter-club event in odd years. The next inter-club tournament will also be held in Mauritius, in 2013.
The Rogers Indian Ocean Golf challenge was a stroke and Match-play tournament.
Heritage Golf Festival 2012
The 7th edition of the Heritage Golf Festival, organised in association with the national carrier, Air Mauritius, will take place from Sunday 25 November to Sunday 2 December 2012. This Pro-Am, played over four rounds, three of which will be at the Heritage Golf Club, will welcome some fifteen teams from France, Belgium and Switzerland. Each team will be made up of three amateurs and a professional from such circuits as the European Tour, the Challenge Tour or the Alps Tour, or a golf Pro
Outre un somptueux parcours de championnat de 6 498 mètres, par 72, l’Heritage Golf Club dispose d’une académie de golf, avec un professionnel certifié PGA. Idéal pour apprendre ou s’entraîner, elle comporte un double practice sur gazon et une zone d’approche au tracé unique. Les golfeurs y bénéficient d’un apprentissage additionnel grâce à l’utilisation de support vidéo et d’analyses sur ordinateur (en option). Par ailleurs, le parcours par 3 offre l’opportunité de créer une expérience de golf inoubliable sous les étoiles. Lors de ces sessions nocturnes, le parcours est éclairé par des bâtons lumineux et des balles phosphorescentes sont fournies aux joueurs pour tester leurs compétences dans l’obscurité de la nuit.
Besides its impressive 7,106-yard, par-72, championship course, the Heritage Golf Club has a golf academy with a PGA-certified Pro. Ideal for beginners or for practice, it has a driving range and a 9-hole, par-3 course. In addition, video and computer analysis sessions are available. The par-3 course is also the setting for an unforgettable golfing experience – during night-time sessions, the course is lit by marshalling torches and players are given phosphorescent golf balls to test their skills in the obscurity of the night.