2014 marked the 20th anniversary of Constance Hotels and Resorts hosting the first ever PGA approved event in Mauritius.
12 months on the island has seen its profile in the world of golf grow with the first European Tour, Sunshine Tour and Asian Tour tri-sanctioned event on the island. Allied to the continuing association of the European Senior Tour with the Legends course and it is clear that this has been a breakthrough year for the nation.
It is also apparent that two decades of support, growth and commitment from Constance have been at the forefront of this growth of Mauritius within the worldwide golfing community.
Down the years Constance has seen some of the great names of European golf cut their teeth in its events – Ian Poulter, Graeme McDowell and Jamie Donaldson have all gone on to Ryder Cup glory after performing on the Legends course.
And since the Senior Tour has set up an end-of-season home at the course there has been a procession of legends compete on the Legends course: 1996 Open champion Tom Lehman, eight-time European Tour Order of Merit winner Colin Montgomerie and Ryder Cup superstar Sam Torrance leading the way.
But the Constance commitment to golf goes beyond the desire to showcase the sport and its courses on the professional stage.
It is also important to remember that amateurs thrive on the Legends and Links too. Indeed they even do so in the week of the MCB Tour Championship because the week has a dual purpose: in addition to the MCB title, golfers from across the world congregate at the resort for the Air Mauritius Trophy also, combining with the stars to create a festival of golf.
It reflects the resorts heritage as a venue for golfing excellence. In those 21 years the staff have come to understand exactly what holidaying golfers want from the courses and they can provide it.
The two courses offer plenty of variety and a guarantee of a tee time. The academy allows players to timetable some game improvement, as well as on-course fun. The hotel offers the perfect relaxation between rounds.
Australia’s Peter Fowler, who returns to the course this year hoping to improve on the second-placed finish he had back in 2012, says: “I have to give great credit to Marc Farry, who plays the role of tournament host at Constance Belle Mare Plage to perfection. It’s just a very enjoyable week, and I’ll enjoy it even more if I can manage to play well – or maybe even get a win.”
Amateurs might not always get the win, but they enjoy the welcome and the service that over 20 years of experience has gleaned, making Constance Belle Mare Plage not only central to the growth of golf in Mauritius on a professional stage, but also for golfers of any standard.