There’s something pretty spiritual playing golf under the watchful eye of a lofty mountain. No matter where you venture on the course you feel you’re being judged by a sentinel that’s seen it all many times before.
Tamarina Golf Club lies on the western coast of Mauritius in the foothills of the Mount Rempart on the Tamarin peninsula, famed since the 1970s as the only surfing beach on the island.
It’s a challenging course, making full use of the undulating terrain with no less than five different tees on each hole, so professionals can take it on at 6,886 metres while mere mortals can put up a worthy fight at 5,624.
Designed by famed golf architect Rodney Wright this is a course that has so many natural features built-in it seems to have designed itself. The mountain aside, the Rempart river canyon snakes its way through the course and is a constant threat. No more so than at Le Barachoise, the par 3 13th., A dizzyingly high tee 154 metres off the yellows has the Barachoise estuary and dense foliage to negotiate before a long thin bunker guards a green tucked away to the right, far, far below. Incredibly, I manage a par, but what a hole.
Another memorable hole is Yemen the 5th at 492 metres off the yellows. A testing par 5 where you have to make a risk/reward choice; go for a dangerous second shot across the yawning river gorge or play it safe and nudge one or two shots along the right side and hope to hole out after a chip onto the green. Brilliant. The 11th Snakes Eyes is not dissimilar, another par 5 and another choice to make; Drive over two bunkers and cut the distance or play it safe and perhaps drop a shot.
I crash and burn carding a 7.
The only other potential hazards at Tamarina are the monkeys and there are numerous signs around the course warning you not to leave any valuables unattended. In my head I see a monkey running across the fairway carrying an expensive driver and the owner shouting “you’re welcome to it You might have a better use for it than me!”
In all there are 50 sand bunkers and 28 grass bunkers and the greens are fast but fair but, health warning, the borrows can be pretty fierce.
There is no doubt the Heritage Golf Club is the island’s main act when it comes to playing the number one course on Mauritius, but even that accolade will be tested when Heritage’s second course La Reserve designed by Louis Oosthuizen opens in 2021. Faced with such stiff competition, Tamarina is still well worth playing perhaps as a warm-up to the main act.
You won’t be disappointed.
Images (c) Tamarina Golf Club and Andy Mossack
Tell me more about Tamarina Golf Club
Tamarina Golf Club, Tamarin Bay, 90022 Mauritius
T: (+230) 401 3006
Rates: 18 holes Rs 5,500 (£114) Golf Cart Rs 2,200 (£45) club rental Rs 1,600 (£30)