I’m not saying it is the best course I have ever played but for sheer exotic island paradise Ile Aux Cerfs has got to be up there near the top. Shimmering sands, aquamarine water, palm trees…and the smell of barbecued fish and getto blasted reggae music wafting up the fairway as you play is seductive and hedonistic – and perhaps not great for the golf concentration, but for sheer delight in life 10/10! Just a short boat trip off the east coast of Mauritius, even the journey to the course is special. But beware – the cost of refreshments is pretty outrageous so head back to your own hotel for the 19th hole indulgences. We stayed at the Belle Mare Plage. Fantastic for golf, excellent food and accommodation and if you are travelling with a non-golfer, there is plenty there for them to do – snorkelling , diving, boat trips as well as just chillin’ in the sun and sipping cocktails.
I happily carry in the winter, as long as it is a light, slim bag ( I have a Sun Mountain) – and I can fit all my favvy clubs in it! So in goes my putter, sandwedge, pitching wedge, 9,8 and 7 iron, my trusty rescue clubs (a 4 and a 6) and my driver. I can also fit in my water proofs in the side zip, and there are two large pouches for balls and other essentials! There’s a slot for my water bottle ( I drink copious amounts when playing – always top up at the halfway hut) and room for phone, tissues, nibbles and gloves. And most importantly it has the legs to stand up on its own. My last pencil bag didn’t and it was horrible having to lie it down on wet or muddy ground! So, what more does a girl need? Okay I slip some lippy in the side zipper.
Don’t ever think just because you can strike a ball well on the range that you can do it on the course!
Be prepared for the shock of all those beautiful soaring strikes, that perfect sound when the club hits the ball square vanishing into thin air.
The fact you have a bucket of 50 balls and a forgiving mat to hit off can give you the illusion of being a golfer!!
When I first started learning golf that was one of the hardest things to accept – the range to course adjustment. What I have learned (and as the Range Queen at our home course I think I am qualified to comment!) is on the course you have to let go – relax and not think anymore than one swing thought. Just hope you have practised enough on the range that there is some muscle memory subconsciously coming into play!
Okay! Yes this is me. Summit of The Eiger 3967m high in the Bernese Alps overlooking Grindelwald, Switzerland in summer 2013. And I promise it is soooo much easier than golf! So much more predictable. So much less frustrating. So much less can go wrong…..that is my opinion anyway. And I have climbed a few mountains – Eiger, Mont Blanc and Matterhorn, so I sort of know! I have been climbing since 2005 and stopped abruptly in 2013 – because I had ticked the last box in my climbing wishes – The Eiger. By the Mittellegi route rather than the North Face (I know my limits) but I only climbed to get to the top. The next stop was Everest and I enjoy life too much to risk that. So when I had the chance to have a few golf lessons in September 2013, I thought okay why not? Really expecting to not really enjoy it. To find it sedentary, slow, plodding, boring. And wow! What a surprise I was in for. The hardest, most challenging, most rewarding yet humbling sport I have ever tried. I would say to anyone who was a sceptic like me – don’t knock it till you have tried it. And you will either love it or hate it. There is not much room for any in between!