Haydn Porteous has warned first-time participants in the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open not to be distracted by the beauty of the Heritage Golf Resorts layout, saying this track can have a mean bite when the conditions allow for it.
Porteous bought property at Heritage two years ago and while he admits that he doesnâ€™t visit the Indian Ocean nation often, he has familiarised himself with the track when he has been down here.
â€œI must say, itâ€™s quite difficult to work on the game when you are at a place like this, he confesses. â€œI think every player can say that and weâ€™d rather be spending a bit of time on the beach rather than practising and doing what weâ€™re supposed to do here.
â€œThe wind is the first thing to look out for,â€ says Porteous, â€œif you get it on a good day, you want to shoot something worth talking about. But, when itâ€™s windy, it can play very tough and I think then the course can show its teeth.â€
How does one go around this layout in order to shoot a good score, then?
â€œThe game plan will differ between what we get weather-wise,â€ he says, â€œif we get a windy week, itâ€™s going to be a long and tough week. If we get a pretty flat, calm week, I think the scores are going to be really good.â€
Coming to Mauritius at the back of what was not really a trophy-laden season in Europe, Porteous isnâ€™t too worried about the state of his game, and cannot wait to tee it up at Heritage on Thursday.
â€œI wouldn’t say that Iâ€™ve had the worst couple of seasons in Europe,â€ he argues, â€œI think Iâ€™ve been really consistent but I just have not been able to find the low one in me just yet, but you know how golf goes, it just takes one good shot to change everything.â€
Like many Sunshine Tour players plying their trade abroad, Porteous is delighted to return to warmer weather conditions ahead of his Christmas break.
â€œEurope is tough,â€ he says with a grin, â€œsometimes the weather throws a few curve balls at us and no top of that, it is quite intense, so to come here and chill out and just remember why you play golf and enjoy it, is quite nice and refreshing. Itâ€™s nice to come out here and not treat it as a major.â€