I had heard a lot about Avalon Golf Estate, which is one of the newer courses on the island so I was looking forward to teeing it up here today. The journey from the Heritage Resort took me through the Hindu place of worship and past two beautiful crafted statues of Lord Shiva and Lord Durga who stand like sentinels to the holy lake called Grand Bassin where people from all over the island make a pilgrimage to twice a year. I can only imagine how spectacular and colourful that must look and well worth a stop off on your journey to the course.
A right turn off the main road brings you on to the Avalon Golf Estate and the impressive modern club house. A quick coffee in the lounge and I make my way over to the practice facilities and to no surprise they have everything you need including practice chipping green with bunkers as well as the range itself and while I warm up a group lesson is taking place on the chipping green.
I am playing with a member today and two other journalists, but itís the views from the first tee that give you a hint of what is to come. Avalon sits in the hills above the ocean offering some wonderful views across the island, itís a beautiful vantage point but when the wind blows you realise just how tough a test this course will be.
The first is played from an elevated tee to a wide fairway and at 404-yards it is the perfect opening hole. The course has four teeing options ranging from 6,910-5,358-yards and a little wedge shot sets up a birdie chance that I duly miss.
As we make our way from the green to the second green I am glad Iím in a buggy as there are some long walks between greens and tees, I am also glad we have a member of the course with us as picking a line on the par 5, 2nd was tricky and his knowledge helped me hit the fairway, but the green here has more movement than a rollercoaster, a good chip sees me set up another birdie chance which my putter decides to decline!
Their fourth is a spectacular hole and a drivable par 4 played from an elevated tee, designer Peter Matkovich has certainly given the holiday golfer a lot of thought, we all love seeing the pros drive those short par 4s in tournaments and now we get to have a go ourselves, itís a great fun hole that also offers the Indian Ocean as a wonderful backdrop.
The first of the four par 3s on the course arrives at the 5th and the design of the holes just seem to be getting better and better, with a ravine to your right full of lush vegetation and trees the hole measures 163-yards to a raised green with a bunker carved into the left as the hill drops away. The other stunning par 3 on this nine comes at the 7th and this time plays over a ravine with one pot type bunker sitting in the front, measuring 170-yards, you do not want to be short!
The course continues with one great hole after another, wide fairways, stunning backdrops, immaculate conditioning and manicuring. I have been hitting driver on every tee and averaging around 270-yards so for you longer hitters you will need to be hitting 3-wood on the 13th as I was in perfect position but anything longer and you will be bringing the ravine into play. Itís another fantastically designed hole using the natural beauty of the land with the green sitting just below the fairway on the other side of the ravine and itís also a green that has plenty of movement and complexes so getting there is only half the battle.
The run home from here is just the icing on the cake, with a reachable par 5 in two at the 15th and for the longer hitters another driveable par 4 at the 17th and to cap off what has been a well-thought-out golf course a risk and reward finish as a fitting finale.
Mr Matkovich I doff my cap and salute you sir, you were given a wonderful piece of land and you certainly made the most of it. Avalon has it all and is yet another must play course on your visit to this beautiful island.
Top Looking down the drivable 4th. Above 7th, 11th and 14th holes