Major winner Tom Lehman to join MCB Tour title contest

Former Major Champion and Ryder Cup Captain Tom Lehman will join a star-studded cast in Mauritius when he makes a welcome appearance on the European Senior Tour for the 2011 season-ending event, the MCB Tour Championship from 9-11 December.

Tom Lehman

Tom Lehman

American Tom Lehman is the highest profile entry for this year’s MCB Senior Tour Championship at Constance Belle Mare Plage, Mauritius.

Lehman said, ‘I have always wanted to go to Mauritius and getting this opportunity is something that I am looking forward to with much excitement and anticipation.

I can’t think of a better way to finish the 2011 season than by competing in the MCB Tour Championship in Mauritius.’

The 52-year-old from Scottsdale, Arizona, will be the first winner of the British Open Championship to appear in what has been the most prestigious professional tournament on Mauritius for the last 18 years.

Constance Belle Mare Plage attracts top players

Over the years, Belle Mare Plage has played host to a number of promising young golfers who have gone on to make their mark at the highest level.

Legend golf course, Constance Belle Mare Plage

Legend golf course, Constance Belle Mare Plage

Players such as Ian Poulter, Graeme McDowell, Gregory Havret and Jamie Donaldson – the last winner of the original Mauritius Open – have all experienced the delights and the frustrations that the unique Legend course can deliver.

In 2009, when the European Senior Tour arrived on the island, it was the turn of more established names in the world of golf – the likes of Sam Torrance, David Frost, Costantino Rocca, Jose Rivero and Manuel Pinero – to take centre stage.

But Tom Lehman will be the biggest winner to have visited Mauritius in the tournament’s history.

Lehman will undoubtedly start as favourite for the MCB Tour Championship, but with most of the top 60 Seniors Tour order-of-merit competing, plus defending Tour champion Mike Cunning, Lehman is certain to find the rivalry intense.

Find out more about the MCB Tour Championship

  • Watch this space for more information about the tournament, and don’t miss our daily blog posts during the championship – keeping you up-to-date with all the latest action.
  • If you missed our previous article, find out who else is playing this year at the 2011 MCB Tour Championship
  • Visit the official MCB Tour Championship website.

Article written by Neil Webber, golf journalist.

Golf: MCB Senior Tour Championship 2011

The countdown to this year’s season-ending European Senior Tour Championship in Mauritius is well under way. Constance Belle Mare Plage is preparing to add another chapter to its distinguished history.

Legend at Belle Mare Plage

Legend at Belle Mare Plage

The 54-hole MCB Senior Tour Championship takes place from 9-11 December 2011. It provides the climax to a week-long programme of golf competition that includes a pro-am and a number of amateur tournaments.

Who’ll be playing this year?

The closing date for entry to the tournament is late November. Among those who have already confirmed their attendance are:

  • David Frost – last year’s MCB Open champion
  • Roger Chapman – runner-up
  • Peter Fowler – current European Senior Tour order-of-merit leader
  • Mike Cunning – the winner of the 2010 Tour Championship
  • Sam Torrance – successful Ryder Cup player and captain
  • Carl Mason – the Senior Tour’s leading career earner
  • Boonchu Ruangkit – last season’s order-of-merit winner
  • Kevin Sturgeon – 2009 MCB Open champion.

In addition, Welshman Mark Mouland, a recent winner in Portugal in his first year on the Senior Tour, will be relishing a return to the Legend course where, in 2002 and 2003, he won the Mauritius Open in its original format as an end-of-year invitation event.

History of the event

Legend golf course

Legend golf course

It’s just 2 years since Constance Hotels Experience and the Mauritius Commercial Bank joined forces to stage the first of 2 hugely successful Senior Tour events on the Belle Mare Plage Legend golf course.

This year, the partnership is hosting the lucrative MCB Senior Tour Championship - the season’s finale. Entry is restricted to the leading earners on this year’s European Senior Tour and past winners of a major or seniors’ major.

Adding extra interest this year will be the presentation of the prestigious John Jacobs Trophy to the player who finishes top of the Senior Tour order-of-merit.

Twelve months ago that honour went to Boonchu Ruangkit from Thailand, but this year’s recipient may not be decided until the final putt has been sunk in the Tour Championship.

The Legend

The Legend

Not that the Legend course is any stranger to final round drama. It has a long history of producing the unexpected, as Roger Chapman, Welshman Phillip Price and a number of other players will testify.

Results and news from the tournament

During the event, we’ll be posting up-to-the-minute news on this blog and the Constance Facebook page.

Results, reports and features will also appear each day on the official MCB Tour Championship website.

Article written by Neil Webber, golf journalist.

Constance Junior Open Golf Tournament 2011

Constance Junior Open golf tournament winners

Winners of Constance Junior Open

The Constance Junior Open golf tournament took place on Saturday 27 August at the Legend golf course, Belle Mare Plage, Mauritius.

Twenty-two juniors, aged 6-19 years, took part in the annual competition.

The best gross winner, Ludovic Bax, has been qualified to play in the Pro-Am of the MCB Tour Championship from 5-11 December 2011.

Since the event started 5 years ago, the Constance Junior Open has been empowering young Mauritians to take part in the sport. Our golf pros are at hand to help them improve their technique so they reach a good level of play.

Winners of each category

Congratulations to the winners for their great performance in each category.

Ludovic Bax, winner of Constance Junior Open 2011

Ludovic Bax, winner of Constance Junior Open 2011

Ludovic Bax (Winner Best Gross)

Cat 6–9 year old (Girls) – play 6 holes

  • 1st prize – Eva Le Gac (11 points)

Cat 6–9 year old (Boys) – play 6 holes

  • 1st prize – Sebastien Liu Chung Ming (12 points)
  • 2nd prize – Damien Espitalier-Noël (6 points)

Cat 10–12 year old – play 9 holes

  • 1st prize – Romain Bechard (5 points)
  • 2nd prize – Johan Blackburn (4 points)
  • 3rd prize – Valentin Grel (3 points)

Cat 13–15 year old – play 18 holes

  • 1st prize – Yannick Bax (24 points)
  • 2nd prize – Oliver Wong Teng Yuen (15 points)
  • 3rd prize – Dean Thomas (14 points)

Cat 16–19 year old – play 18 holes

  • 1st prize – Ludovic Bax (31 points)
  • 2nd prize – Loic Csizmadia (31 points)
  • 3rd prize – Miguel Sheik-Amoomady (19 points)

Interview with Gert Puchtler, General Manager at Constance Belle Mare Plage

Gert Puchtler

Gert Puchtler

Gert Puchtler is our General Manager at Constance Belle Mare Plage, Mauritius.

Originally from Germany, Gert started in the hotel industry doing work experience as a bell-boy while still at school. He quickly proved his talents, becoming a general manager in Germany at just 29 years old.

1. Tell us a bit about Constance Belle Mare Plage

Belle Mare Plage is one of the longest established hotels on Mauritius. People have been working here for the last 30 years. Staff have contact with guests who have been coming here since the beginning, and special bonds develop between the staff and guests. They see each other as friends.

For example, families who come back sometimes insist that a particular villa master looks after them. Guests bring staff gifts, and some have tears in their eyes when they leave. Guests might come every 3 years – everyone recognises them, and everything is prepared just as they like it.

At Belle Mare Plage we also have two championship golf courses. Golf draws people here – the golf pros at our hotel encourage the guests, and teach them. People feel very comfortable here.

Legends golf course, Constance Belle Mare Plage

Legends golf course, Constance Belle Mare Plage

2. What do you think of hotel standards today?

The sincere service culture isn’t apparent in Europe anymore. It’s more natural to people in Mauritius, owing to their culture and their background of life – it makes them more sincere when dealing with other people.

Staff in hotels who’ve been working for a long time are intuitive. The management encourages and supports this -we teach that you need to ‘read guests’.

When you start out you need to make mistakes – you need to have a guest who isn’t happy, and to learn from it.

Constance has standard operating procedures for complaints but we also want staff to be creative and to think out of the box. We’re trying to implement a buddy system so that younger staff follow someone more experienced.

A guest’s second stay is the critical one – the potential for disappointment is greater because of higher expectation. The first time, guests don’t know what to expect but if on their second visit they don’t have a flower on their bed like the first time, they feel disappointed.

La Spiaggia restaurant, Constance Belle Mare Plage

La Spiaggia at Belle Mare Plage

3. What qualities should someone have if they want to work in this industry?

There’s a higher turnover of younger people these days – the hotel industry demands a lot of time and devotion of your hours. Early morning, late at night, public holidays. Younger people don’t want to do it so much anymore. It limits the kind of life you can live because your social life is limited.

Staff either get into it, live it, love it and stay. Or get into it, try it and don’t like it. Work experience is the best way to see what’s happening at the back of house.

I had a boss who said if you want to achieve something in the hotel industry, at the beginning of your career don’t look at time or money because you’ll always be unhappy if you do.

If you’re good at it, you can achieve something quite fast in this profession. I moved on in my career and by 29 I was made a general manager. That’s very young in Germany for that to happen.

4. What made you pursue this as a career?

As a young child, I was lucky to travel with my family to nice places. I loved it and I always wanted to get into the service industry. My father told me that ‘service’ is key – it makes you a servant or the one who is served. You have to make the choice which one you’ll be.

I tried it, and liked it. I’ve met so many people in my life. I wanted to meet international people – people from different cultures. Germany wasn’t enough for me. I went to great parties and functions when I was younger. In the hotel industry, you meet people you wouldn’t normally meet. I like going to nice places, restaurants, eating good food and wine.

It was a world that I loved, it was clear that I wanted to do it.

Everyday something else will happen – every day you come to work and you don’t know how your day will end.

5. Where do you think the hotel industry goes from here?

Young people don’t want to work that hard. There’s a change in generations of staff and guests. Young people think younger, so it’s good to have that in your staff. But you also need a more traditional service because wealthy older people prefer that type of service.

The analogy is that my father likes classical music. My generation likes dance and techno. There’s a big difference between these types of people, and you have to think how to align these two.

It’s a very important time at the moment, a period of transition. As management you need to be careful how you direct this transition.

6. You’ve travelled all over the world. Where’s your favourite place to go on holiday?

My favourite holiday destination is the southern part of France and I never miss the chance to visit this region whenever I go to Europe.

Luxury golf holidays in paradise

Lemuria Golf Course

Take in the view at Lemuria Golf Course

If you’re looking for a luxury golf holiday in an idyllic location, Constance Hotels Experience offers 3 championship golf courses in Mauritius and the Seychelles.

Imagine having free access to a top quality golf course, while staying at a luxury beachside resort set against a beautiful tropical backdrop.

Mauritius – two world class golf courses

Constance Belle Mare Plage is located on the East coast of Mauritius, along one of the most beautiful stretches of beach on the island.

Golfers at the Legend Golf Course

Golfers at the Legend Golf Course

The Legend Golf Course is an 18 hole course with a par 72. It has superb fairways, and each of the holes has distinctive characteristics set in the heart of an indigenous forest. The greens have been rebuilt using Tif Dwarf grasses to ensure a perfect surface.

The 17th hole (par 3) is in a stunning location and can prove a test for the nerves, looking across the water and trees to the 18th.

Find out more about the holes at Legend and the course map.

The Links Golf Course

The Links Golf Course

The Links Golf Course is the second Constance Belle Mare Plage championship golf course. It was designed by Rodney Wright and Peter Allis, and its 18 hole course measures 5,942m with a par 71. It sits beneath the West facing clubhouse, and is equipped with a practice Fairway.

It’s also the location of the MCB Tour Championship, a key tournament on the European Senior Tour calendar. This year, the championship runs from 5-11 December 2011.

Find out more about the holes at the Links and the course map.

Guests can take advantage of the excellent Marc Farry Golf Academy, where golf pros give individual and group lessons on grip, posture, alignment and ball position.
 
Lemuria Golf Course

Award winning Constance Lemuria Golf Course

 

Seychelles – award winning golf course

Golf enthusiasts can head to the only golf course in the Seychelles at Constance Lémuria Resort.

The award winning 18-hole course is a par 70, and covers an area of 5,556m. It offers a great challenge to all levels of players, professionals and amateurs alike.

Lémuria Golf borders enchanting beaches along the Small Kerlan Cove and Grand Kerlan Cove, and incorporates a series of waterways with margins of endemic palms and broadleaf woodland.

Find out more about the holes at Lémuria Golf and the course map.

Read more about the golfers’ paradise at Constance Lémuria

Book your lessons or tee time online

Registered hotel guests can use our online concierge service to book your lessons at the golf academy in Mauritius, or your tee time for any of the courses: