Ile aux Cerfs, Mauritius
A land of clear-blue seas, whitesandy beaches and towering mountains, Ile aux Cerfs is one of the few places on the planet deserving of the term ‘paradise’, even before you factor in the golf course.
Spread across 87 hectares of untouched land off the east coast of Mauritius, the island is famed for those white, sandy beaches, its turquoise lagoons and the sort of high-grade resorts and restaurants you associate with paradise islands.
The main attraction and star of the show, however, is the Bernhard Langer Signature golf course that snakes up and down the southern half of the island. Blessed with an undulating topography, volcanic rock outcrops, lakes and gullies, plus a wide variety of tropical trees and plants, it’s fair to say Herr Langer has had harder days at the office.
As you’d expect, Ile aux Cerfs GC features significant bodies of water. All 18 holes have views of the Indian Ocean, some coming close to the shore, others offering tantalising glimpses through tree clearings, while the nine lakes bring wet peril into play at regular intervals.
Ratcheting up the drama nicely, three of the 18 holes require tee shots across sea inlets, the player’s attention split between finding the fairway and the almost impossibly white sand and ridiculously turquoise water. Ordinarily, dumping even a single golf ball in the wet stuff can elicit feelings of rage and regret. When you’re playing in paradise, however, not so much.