Written by: Libor Ševčík
There is a real paradise, of a golfer's dreams. It's on the island of Praslin, the second largest Seychelles island, and it's called the Lémuria resort.
IN TRANSLATION Lémuria means "Lost Paradise", and if you spend at least a few days there you'll never forget it. Everything a golf lover can usually only dream of is there. A beautiful course in virgin countryside, exclusive lodging right in the complex, a sea that's at least 27° C year-round, first-rate services - all, of course, at a corresponding price.
Professional golfers have called this 18-hole course, built in 2000, one of the most beautiful in the world. However, being the most beautiful doesn't make it the easiest. It was laid out amidst a rolling tropical rainforest, and it's plenty tough to play even with a motorized cart. Its architect and designer, Rodney Wright, who designed the famous Mana Lani course in Hawaii, was set a succinct task by investors: build a course that will challenge players even after two weeks of uninterrupted playing.
He asked French champion Marc Farry for help, and together they more than accomplished their assignment. The course doesn't break any records. It's a 5,521 meter-long par 70, with its longest hole at 480 meters and its shortest 125. The first 12 holes lead you to hope it's just a pleasant stroll along the Indian Ocean coast. Numbers 6 and 8 hint at what you can expect in the last 6. You have to play over a good 150 meters of jungle, and you can neither hook nor slice your drive, as there is water on both sides. During the remaining 6 holes you must twice play over a mountain ridge with a magnificent view, and the course's most beautiful hole, number 15, also awaits you.
You tee off from a cliff, and the green lies below, in an abyss, appearing very small from the great height. This hole is 151 meters long. Precision is important here - there are five places your ball can wind up: the jungle, the lake and the ocean mean you've lost a ball, and a deep sand trap poses complications. Only by hitting the undulating green with your drive do you have a chance at a good score on this par 3. But a poor drive is compensated for by the view of Georgetta, one of the world's ten most beautiful beaches. It's only 50 meters from the green, and is a part of the Lémuria facility. You can reach it in a golf cart, and the ocean waves wil take your mind off the game's mishaps.
The author is the editor of Hospodářské noviny's IN magazine.
Golf resort Lémuria
Lodging prices:Junior suite - CZK 8,570 (person/day with breakfast)Pool villa with two bedrooms for 4 persons at most - CZK 67,830 (per day with breakfast)NB: Prices apply from 1 July to 20 October 2005
The resort is a 15 minute flight from the Seychelles' main island, Mahé.
Trips and stays at the Lémuria resort are provided exclusively in the Czech Republic by:Intercontact Praha, Tržiště 1, Prague 1, tel.: 234 094 100. www.intercontact.cz
Golf Package (7 nights with breakfasts), including unlimited Lémuria course greens fees - starting at CZK 53,760
More information and reservations at:
|Photo: matt carr
general director, Actebis Computer
"My favorite course these days is probably in Mariánské Lázně. It strikes me as a certain golf classic, and meets all my expectations with its rolling terrain, its setting in the countryside, and its layout. I also think the course is good for 'long players' - of which I consider myself one - as well as those who are a bit 'shorter' but rely more on technique alike. Its toughness for long players lies especially in its relatively narrow fairways, where any deviation is immediately punished, so this course has to be played cannily and tactically. And I'm tied to the course by one more rather heart-felt matter: when I started playing golf three years ago and got my green card that was where, in my first tournament, I not only took first in the 'green card' category, I also garnered 51 Stableford points, which allowed me into the world of 'handicap' players.
Royal Golf Club Mariánské Lázně, www.golfml.cz
Opened in April, the brand-spanking new golf shop in Žižkov offers mainly goods from Proger Fazer, with which the shop has a contract granting it exclusive rights in the Czech Republic. On offer are electrically-driven golf bags, made by MGI of Australia, and Banda golf carts for two players. Most of the clothing is from Tommy Hilfiger, and all of the clubs are of well-known brands. There's also a practice tee with a net where you can try out clubs.
Shootgolf, Seifertova 16, Praha 3