There is a contrast between the golfing heritage of Mauritius, the small island east of Madagascar, and the world’s awareness of it, one which is pretty much as vast as the Indian Ocean which surrounds it.
The Mauritius Golf Federation’s website writes, for example, “the founding of the Gymkhana Club in 1849 resulted in Mauritius becoming the fourth country where golf was played.”
It’s a bold claim, one that seems almost impossible to verify, but what cannot be denied is that the very fact golf was played there more than 170 years ago is nothing more or less than slightly astounding and very impressive.
Rasmus Hojgaard enjoys an oceanside solo celebration after winning the 2019 Mauritius Open. Photo: Ross Kinnaird, Getty Images
From those precocious beginnings, however, the sport made little impact on the region until the explosion of resort courses drew golf tourists from predominantly France, Britain and South Africa in the late 20th century.
Tournament golf arrived on the island in 1994 in the shape of the Mauritius ...
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