Meet the main men at Heritage Golf Club: Jonathan Menteath and Blair Harvey

Seamus Rotherick
By Seamus Rotherick April 25, 2024 11:44

Jonathan Menteath, the general manager of Heritage Golf Club, Mauritius, and Blair Harvey, the venue’s director of sales – golf, discuss the facility they work at, which last year opened the Indian Ocean’s first contemporary links, which immediately hosted a DP World Tour event.

Can you tell us a bit about Heritage Golf Club, Mauritius?

Crafted along the southern shores of Mauritius, Heritage Golf Club is the only 45-hole destination in the Indian Ocean. Part of Heritage Resorts, a ‘World Top 25 luxury golf and beach resort’, Heritage Golf Club is fast becoming one of the world’s most sought-after destinations, featuring two DP World Tour hosting courses – the lush, elegant Le Château Golf Course, consistently voted the Indian Ocean’s ‘Best Golf Course’, and the dramatic new La Réserve Golf Links, opened in December 2023 and host of the 2023 AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open, as well as a Leadbetter Golf Academy, the first and only coaching centre of its kind in the Indian Ocean.

The La Réserve Golf Links is the Indian Ocean’s first and only contemporary links, and within days it hosted the DP World Tour’s AfrAisa Bank Mauritius Open. Can you tell us about the course and the event?

As the first and only contemporary links course in the Indian Ocean, La Réserve Golf Links is an experience of pure golfing drama, epitomised by infinity greens, split fairways and far-reaching panoramic views over tropical bays, sandy beaches and the Indian Ocean. Co-designed by acclaimed course architect Peter Matkovich and former Open Champion Louis Oosthuizen, La Réserve Golf Links is inspired by the wild open spaces of the great seaside links. Playing hand-in-hand with nature alongside a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, it has been recently awarded GEO Certified Development status, becoming one of only nine golf courses in the world to achieve this rating.

Within days of its official opening, La Réserve Golf Links made its international tournament debut by successfully hosting the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open, where the course’s co-designer Louis Oosthuizen mastered the links, claiming a two-shot victory to complete back-to-back wins on the DP World Tour.

The course also features a new clubhouse with a focus on sustainability – how does that work?

Designed by renowned architects Perrot & Richard, whose projects include Le Grand Palais in Paris and the Monte Carlo Opera in Monaco, the new clubhouse at La Réserve Golf Links blends harmoniously into its natural environment and spectacular landscape. Using raw, natural resources, the design of the clubhouse reflects the unique characteristics of Mauritius and gives an organic and authentic feel to the building. The architects’ meticulous adherence to environmentally respectful design, construction and operational practices, delivers an efficient and sustainable building with minimal impact on its environment. The standout feature is its panoramic ‘green’ roof terrace, which not only offers members and visitors the spectacular tropical views of the Indian Ocean, but also offers additional rainwater retention and improved thermal insulation.

You both have very different career paths to your current roles with Heritage Resorts, what are they?

Both our roots as members of the PGA have ultimately led us to our roles at Heritage Resorts. Starting our careers within the PGA provided a career platform that created diverse and widespread opportunities. I (Blair) went from wanting to be a playing professional, to becoming a club professional, and eventually finding my place in the management and commercial side of the golf industry.

Blair – what does your work involve?

I lead the sales and commercial agenda for Heritage Resorts and Heritage Golf Club. As part of a strong global sales team, we have a clear strategy and direction on how to grow the golf offering, as well as the other sales activities of our properties.

Blair Harvey

What is the golf industry in Mauritius like?

Blessed with an incredible year-round climate, a wealth of spectacular courses and an average temperature of 25°C throughout the year, Mauritius is known as one of the most beautiful places on earth and has seen an increase in popularity for golfing holidays. Lush natural landscapes with impressive views and spectacular golf courses combine to create the dream destination for avid golfers, making the golf offering in Mauritius a very appealing one, and a reason behind the growth of the industry.

Jonathan Menteath

How important an issue is water conservation for you, and what measures, if any, has the club adopted to ensure a sustainable amount of water for irrigation is used?

At Heritage Golf Club, and the wider Heritage Resorts, water conservation is a very important issue. The collection of rainwater and the onsite treatment of wastewater have meant that recycled water is used for all irrigation needs, from the fairways to the entire resort. In addition to water conservation, Heritage Golf Club takes a leading approach for sustainable golf. La Réserve Golf Links has been planted with native island grasses, creating new, species-rich grasslands on former sugar cane fields, which are encouraging ecological diversity and creating valuable carbon sequestration. Throughout its creation, Peter Matkovich and the Heritage team have worked meticulously to craft a course that has been recognised as a GEO Certified Development, becoming only the ninth course in the world to be given this status.

Much of the western world has seen rising inflation in the last couple of years. Has this had an impact on visitor numbers?

Despite higher inflation rates, which are now stabilising, tourism to Mauritius and visits to Heritage Resorts have only increased. There is a continued willingness from our guests to travel and we are confident that with the ever-increasing quality of the Heritage Resorts experience, visitor numbers will continue to rise.

Do you have any predictions for the global golf industry over the next few years?

The golf industry has seen a turbulent couple of years, however, with numbers playing the sport worldwide up from 2016, according to the latest global participation figures announced by The R&A, the future is looking up for golf.

For us, 2024 will be a benchmark year, providing a more accurate view of the state of the industry. Properties making bold decisions, like Heritage Golf Club launching La Réserve Golf Links, the Indian Ocean’s first and only contemporary links course, are the ones leading the trends and opportunities in the industry.

We are confident that, while developing the club and resort’s status as a high-end golf destination, we will attract discerning international golf travellers, for golf and resort stays, making Mauritius a sought-after golf destination – and our new critically-acclaimed links layout will be ‘the reason people come to Mauritius’.


Seamus Rotherick
By Seamus Rotherick April 25, 2024 11:44
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1 Comment

  1. Fred May 2, 11:47

    Played La Reserve in 2023 while staying at Awali . Just before course officially opened. Clubhouse still under construction.
    Course was spectacular in location, condition and challenging.
    Return to Awali in November 2024 so hope to play the course again and sample clubhouse hospitality

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