The Success of Golf for Kids at Paradis Hotel and Golf Club, Mauritius

All about Sebastien Ollivier….

Golf with a view

Golf with a view

Step into our lives…  Sebastien Ollivier, the handsome, French 36 year old golf pro who has been at Beachcomber’s Paradis Hotel & Golf Club since 2006 and has built up a superb team of four golf pro instructors to help the guests of Paradis Hotel.

Sebastien Ollivier.... The Golf Pro at Paradis Hotel and Golf Club, Mauritius

Sebastien Ollivier…. The Golf Pro at Paradis Hotel and Golf Club, Mauritius

Sebastien is modest to a tee…. In fact when asked what his highest achievement has been to date he does not reel off accolades of prizes but tells us that teaching a young Mauritian hotel cleaner and ball “picker upper” to play golf to a high level is his biggest achievement to date. In fact the man in question is now one of the most popular golf pros at Paradis Hotel. Sebastien has a scratch handicap so we knew as did the other guests that children are in very capable hands! In fact Sebastien has won 12 Grand Prix Golf Championships when he was an amateur so capable hands is an understatement!

Sebastien has recently launched the Junior Golf Academy at Paradis Hotel and Golf Club, Mauritius and shared some top tips on what he likes to teach children:

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Heading off to golf! Don’t forget hats, sunglasses collared shirts and trainers.. all required to play on this Spectacular golf course.

  1. Teach children a good grip, good balance and good fluidity
  2. Don’t make them try to hit the ball too hard
  3. Have fun with them, encourage and support the children
  4. Show them that where the club goes the ball goes
  5. Come with friends..the golf academy takes a maximum of 6 children in one lesson so this keeps it very affordable
  6. Explain the rules of a round of golf including golf etiquette
Let the lesson begin...

Let the lesson begin…

A drive in the golf buggy to tour the golf course and talk through the rules and golf etiquette.

A drive in the golf buggy to tour the golf course and talk through the rules and golf etiquette

Sebastien – What do you suggest families do if they want their children to try golf?

“Think about booking a one hour lesson for your children with an instructor and see how you go… “

First lesson Sebastien teaches is that concentration is key to control the ball.

First lesson Sebastien teaches is that concentration is key to control the ball.

Sebastien teaches the children top tips in order to build confidence and skill!

Sebastien teaches the children top tips in order to build confidence and skill!

Sebastien commented that year after year children come back and play with instructors who they have played with for 7 or 10 years. Even on holiday at a resort golf course the guests improve. The Junior Golf Academy is a one week programme. It is 3 hours long each day and the children get a picture and souvenir at the end of it. This is good for children aged 6 – 12 but the one hour lesson is a good starting point for children from 4 years up.

Practice makes perfect!

Practice makes perfect!

Sebastian – What is your main goal?

Longer term I would love to see Paradis build a smaller golf course with 3 or 4 holes specifically for children. It would take a 40 to 50 minute journey to play. Watch this space…

What is most impressive about the golf at Paradis?

 

Impressive Views

Impressive Views

The location. Beach and sea around the course which is located on the stunning Le Morne peninsula. Paradis’ Championship course is any golfer’s dream. Set amongst spectacular scenery, the fairways and greens curl along the shoreline of the bay against a backdrop of the majestic mountains. Built within the resort’s grounds, the 18-hole Par 72 golf course stretches along 5,924 metres with much of the creative design attributed to international golf legend, Tony Johnstone.

What’s the cost?

30 minute lessons at the Junior Golf Academy are just £25 per person including complimentary green fees for under 12s. Children enrolled in the Paradis Bob Marlin mini-club will also enjoy a free taster session every Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, with a short introduction to the game by resort’s golf professionals.

Beachcomber Tours (www.beachcombertours.co.uk; 01483 445 621) offers 7 nights from £1,360 per person based on two adults and two children (under 12) sharing a Junior Suite on a half-board basis including Economy flights with Air Mauritius and private transfers. Travel between 01 June and 30 September and green fees on the superb Paradis Golf Course are free for all ages. You can pre book golf lessons before you travel or at the resort

Who knew that Beetroot could be so delicious?

Every job has its perks and as a foodie, being invited to an exclusive dinner hosted by Tom Aikens (headlining act of the London restaurant scene and the youngest chef ever to be awarded two Michelin stars don’t you know), was not only the highlight of my week…but my month! 

Tom Aikens

On behalf of Beachcomber Hotels and Tom Aikens, I was fortunate enough to experience some of Tom’s innovative, creative dishes at one of his stunning restaurants in Chelsea, London. The event was to launch the series of one-off Master Classes Tom will be presenting at the prestigious Beachcomber Royal Palm in Mauritius. For three days only, in March 2013 guests will be able to partake in these classes but also enjoy sit down, private four-course dinners cooked by the celebrity chef over these three nights. 

Tom Aikens Restaurant

To Start: The night began with Jasmine cured salmon with viola flowers, pickled apple & jasmine oil. The combination of the salmon and viola flowers was something completely new to me. It was light, fresh and the salmon… simply ‘melt in your mouth’ delicious. The other guests and I agreed this dish presented to you in Mauritius, on a warm tropical evening with the waves gently crashing ashore would be magical. However, as it was drizzling outside we had to come back to reality. Our main course sounded perfect for the cold British weather. 

Main: After reading the main on the menu, Piglet belly, braised & then roasted with squid & pineapple, I was slightly dubious. I have had both pork belly and squid however never together. As I now know, the two complement each other hugely and it was absolutely delicious, the best piglet belly I had experienced. The small cubes of pork meant it wasn’t too overwhelming and I took my time to enjoy the flavours.

 I wasn’t prepared though for the pudding…

Pudding: The diners at the table quietly told their neighbour that beetroot ‘wasn’t really their thing’. I agreed…to me it tastes a little too earthy… but Tom created something that can only be described as utterly unusual and utterly….flamboyant, ‘Candied Beetroot, yoghurt parfait, sweetened beets and port syrup’.

From beetroot meringue to beetroot sorbet each little beetroot delight was so different from the next… how can you make one vegetable into a desert and create quite so many things from it? (Read this fantastic analysis on Tom’s well known beetroot dessert…http://www.foodrepublic.com/2012/09/27/plate-deconstruction-tom-aikens-restaurants-candie

The Tom Aikens Master Classes will take place at Royal Palm, Mauritius between 25th-27th March 2013 and will include:

•           Two morning master classes with Tom Aikens

•           Champagne on the beach with a joint demonstration of Mauritian cuisine hosted by Tom Aikens and Michel de Matteis

•           Three Four-Course Dinners cooked by Tom Aikens each evening

Dedicated to serving ethically sourced, seasonal ingredients of the highest quality, Tom will be working with the Royal Palm and the island’s local suppliers to re-craft his acclaimed signature dishes and give them a Mauritian-inspired twist.

All for just £150 per participant.  Non-cooking partners are welcome at the evening dinners for no additional charge.

For more information on Beachcomber Hotels visit www.beachcombertours.co.uk visit and for Royal Palm see www.royalpalm-hotel.com.