MUST PLAYS

Golf World (UK) - - FRONT PAGE -

Cherry-pick­ing the best places to play on the planet.

Sell­ing the Sey­chelles as a des­ti­na­tion worth vis­it­ing is one of the eas­ier jobs in life. Surely, we as­sume, you just is­sue a press re­lease, write ‘The Sey­chelles’ in a large font at the top of the page and in­clude a pho­to­graph of one of the sunkissed is­lands that make up this par­adise in the In­dian Ocean. Then hit ‘send’. Job done.

With only a sin­gle 18-hole golf course to its name, how­ever, sell­ing the Sey­chelles as a golfing des­ti­na­tion has never been quite as easy. But what it lacks in quan­tity it more than makes up for in qual­ity.

Con­fir­ma­tion of that will come later this year when the grand fi­nale of the Stay­sure Tour – for­merly the Eu­ro­pean Se­nior Tour – ar­rives at the Sey­chelles’ only 18-hole course, Con­stance Le­muria on Praslin is­land, pic­tured here in all of its be­guil­ing beauty.

The play­ers who tee it up should be as daz­zled by Rod­ney Wright’s lay­out as they will be the is­land as a whole. Routed up and down rolling hills and cut through trop­i­cal forests and man­groves, Wright’s cre­ation has been in ex­is­tence since 2000. And for 18 glo­ri­ous years, those who have played the course have lost their breath to the par-3 15th.

Short but spec­tac­u­lar, framed by the beau­ti­ful white sand of Anse Ge­or­gette and the crys­tal­blue wa­ters be­yond, you’ll tee it up on a rocky ridge and set your sights on a green in the val­ley some 50 me­tres be­low, guarded by a lone bunker front-left. Judged cor­rectly, it sets you up to at­tack Le­muria’s clos­ing three holes. Mis­judge it and you’re in trou­ble, and pos­si­bly the jun­gle be­hind the green.

If any­thing on the prop­erty comes close to that ex­pe­ri­ence on 15, it’s the fi­nal hole. A par-5 of 517 yards, it at­tempts to se­duce you with more par­adise post­card views from an el­e­vated tee be­fore the fair­way snakes off into the dis­tance, hugged by trees to the left and wa­ter down the right.

It’s a dra­matic de­noue­ment that will test even the Stay­sure Tour’s best this De­cem­ber, and test you at the ear­li­est op­por­tu­nity.

Stay at the Con­stance Le­muria Re­sort and the course is free as many times as time al­lows, which only adds to the ex­pe­ri­ence. Stay else­where and con­sole your­self with the fact that it might not be free, but you’ve found par­adise.

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