In a previous article I have described our lucky stay at Tamarina Golf & Spa Boutique Hotel in Mauritius.
During our weekend at the Tamarina Golf & Spa Boutique Hotel, e decided to have one and a half hour family golf initiation with the Golf Academy, led by Silvia Knauber. This academy offers its courses at Tamarina Golf Club, which is perfect for an introduction to golf, especially with children.
It was a first for Laurent, Raphaël, Victor and me. The children were really excited to discover a new sporting activity to do in Mauritius. Since neither Laurent nor I play this sport, we never thought of initiating the children.
The Tamarina golf course is particularly beautiful, with its panoramic view of the Yemen and Tamarin mountains, as well as the Rampart River, which flows into Tamarin Bay.
The course is 18 holes, very well maintained and green.
Our course is scheduled for 1:30 pm. It is summer and the sun is particularly hot. Fortunately, we have the cap and sunscreen and a good wind is blowing, otherwise we would have burned in the sun. We are very kindly welcomed by Denesh, one of the teachers of the Golf Academy, at the Tamarina Golf Club. We all take the golf cart to the green. The children are delighted to get into this small vehicle, reserved for the less sporty: the others are asked to walk. And here we are, all ready for this new adventure…
We start by listening carefully to the safety instructions and golf rules. Raphael is immediately brought back into line, too hasty and too eager to get started. Let us not forget that the rules of golf courtesy require a correct and respectful attitude towards other players.
Fortunately, Denesh is an excellent teacher and knows how to deal with children: Raphael did not take offence at Denesh’s remark and immediately agreed to our instructor’s request. The latter is currently teaching 50 children.
Before starting Denesh wants to know what is our “guiding eye”. What’s that third eye that has developed on our front? It is actually a technical term: most athletes, left-handed or right-handed, have a brain preference that gives them an advantage. The eye plays an important role in controlling posture because it gives information to the brain about our balance and how we feel internally.
However, it is possible to be right-handed and have the left eye as a guiding eye or vice versa. It is very important to know this, because it allows you to slightly change your posture to better adjust your shot.
Raphael, Victor and I are right-handed and all have our guiding eye on the left, which is apparently hereditary. Ouch, I thought I only passed on good genes to my children! 😂
By the way, take a few seconds and do the test (very simple and fun) to determine your guiding eye. Place an object at 5 meters, look at it with both eyes, then close one eye, reopen it, and close the other eye. By closing one of the eyes, you will have the impression that the object has moved: optical effect. This is the one, your guiding eye.
Once our guiding eye has been determined, we are ready to choose our clubs and putts; we can start our first golf lesson. The delights of this first golf initiation with the family are now within reach. It must be emphasised that, with its green fields and the peaceful atmosphere of the Tamarina Golf Club, our family golf initiation promises to be a real moment of happiness.
When, for the first time, you come to initiate yourself to golf, full of motivation and the desire to learn, as we do, there are two things to remember:
Before taking action, the instructor explains the rules of the game and the technical basics of golf while walking along the course. Then we started with putting on the green. The goal is to roll the ball to the hole. This training is essential because it allows us to learn the right posture, bad habits being difficult to correct later on. We spend about 20 minutes doing it, correcting ourselves and starting over and over. The boys remain very diligent and attentive from the beginning. This pleases me as this is an activity they like!
Then we are invited to a team exercise, Victor and Laurent against Raphaël and me. The goal of the game is to put all white balls into the hole followed by the black ball before the opposing team. Laughter, clumsiness and surprising strokes of luck: it’s an enchanting moment! Victor and Laurent finished first, to our great despair.
Of course, the goal is not to make us pros after an hour and a half of family golf initiation, but rather to give us the desire to come back. For any golfer who is just starting out, the greatest satisfaction he will have is, of course, to be able to try out on the course from the very first lessons. And what better setting than Tamarina Golf offers us for this initiation!
Once thefair is over, we are invited to find out what swing is, each of us being given sufficient space and balls to train as we please. Golf swing is the movement of the arm to provide maximum energy when hitting the ball with a club to get it to the desired distance. Back-swing is the rotation of the chest and not the arms backwards. Mastering swing and back-swing cannot be learned in just a few minutes, so be careful with the air-shot, this shot in the void, above or beside the ball. This is a typical beginner’s mistake. To avoid these you need to have a proper distribution of weight both at address and through the swing, which can only be acquired with proper training.
To be perfectly honest, I realize that I’m really not good at this sport. On the other hand, the boys perform very well. Raphael and Victor even ask me to stop playing football next year in order to play golf instead. It is clear that a simple introduction to golf can reveal new passions!
Personally I find this sport, which is practiced by the elderly as well as by the very young, does a lot of good to the body and mind, while bringing together discovery of nature and conviviality. In this way, over time, we acquire absolute self-control, allowing perfect coordination of balance and movement. In addition, it allows you to oxygenate your body through long walks and repeating swings. It also teaches us respect for the opponent and fair play, two qualities that will have positive repercussions throughout our lives. We must not forget another very positive aspect of this sport, the possibility for everyone, the strongest and the least efficient, to measure themselves in the same tournament through a very subtle handicap system. That is why I do not hesitate to recommend this activity to visitors passing through Mauritius, but especially to Mauritians who want to play sports with their families.
In the end, we really enjoyed this golf initiation at Tamarina Golf & Spa Boutique with the help of the Golf Academy. The welcome and supervision were perfect as well as the wise advice and patience of our instructor Denesh.
L’Ile Maurice est mondialement reconnue pour ses magnifiques terrains de golf au standard international. Depuis quelques temps déjà L’Ile Maurice accueille des tournois internationaux tels que :
• The Mauritius Golf Masters, at the Anahita Golf Course built to USGA standards (the only one in the Indian Ocean). It is the professional golf tournament sponsored by Canal + in Mauritius.
• The Mauritius Commercial Bank Open tournament hosted by Constance Belle Mare Plage along two kilometres of white sandy beach in the Eastern coast of Mauritius.
• The Afrasia bank Mauritius Open at the Anahita Golf and spa Resorts. The first tournament in international golf to be tri-sanctioned by the Sunshine Tour, European Tour and Asian Tour has established itself as one of the largest sports event in the Indian Ocean.
Golf in Mauritius is not a recent activity. The Mauritius Gymkhana Club is the oldest golf course in Mauritius. It is also the fourth oldest in the world and the oldest in all the Indian Ocean. It was founded between 1834 and 1844 for British Officers serving in Mauritius. Since then a dozen 18 holes courses have been created all around the island.