Above: The uphill tough par 3, 11th hole with its narrow green and front bunker.
Itís Day One of the Tunisian Festival of Golf and we turn up at the well-appointed Citrus Golf. From the moment you arrive, everything is taken care of Ė from the guys at reception, the professional in the shop, to the team who look after you in the locker rooms and the caddies on the course. Youíre on holiday and these people are here to make sure you have a great time.
Itís great to see up-and-coming destinations learning by our mistakes, Citrus Golf boasts two 18-hole courses, two practice ranges, two chipping greens, two putting greens, a green to practise your bunkers shots, and last but no means least a spectacularly well-designed par-3 executive course. Everything you could ever want from a golf club.
So, Day One and itís Texas Scramble just to knock off the cobwebs and get to know some of the other competitors, two of whom are from Belgium Ė Victor and Nadine Ė plus a retired English doctor. They all turn out to be great people and a pleasure to play with.
The course certainly makes the most of its position, taking in some beautiful views of the surrounding mountains and sea, and the opening hole is a gentle uphill dogleg left with bunkers either side of the fairway in the landing area to catch any wayward shots.
Les Oliviers is a perfect course to get your golf holiday off to a great start. The fairways are wide and the chances of losing a ball are minimal. But it does bare its teeth on the greens. They are very fast, and with the many different complexes they prove to be very tricky so a good local caddie is highly recommended. The front nine closes with a beautiful dogleg right par-4. Itís a blind tee shot and I recommend you aim to carry the right-hand bunker, which gives you a great look at the green.
When you get to your ball you canít fail to be impressed with the view looking down to the green. Itís at this point you realise the course is about to pick up pace and come into its own.
The 10th plays from an elevated tee. Then you play back up to a very tricky green. This is the second hardest hole on the course according to the stroke index. The hardest was the 9th, but you can decided for yourself. I feel this is the tougher of the two.
I could start to go through all the holes one by one on the back nine as I play each one with the sun on my back amid the many beautiful fragrances that seem to gently float by on the warm Tunisian air. The par-3 eleventh is a tough uphill hole. The tee shot on the twelfth, the long par-4 thirteenth that sweeps round to the left, and the elevated tee shot on the par-5 fifteenth all great holes.
As I walk off the 18th I know Iím in for a great weekís golf. Itís been a harsh winter in England with non-stop rain and that grey damp feeling that seems to just sap the life out of you. As I sit in the bar with a cold beer looking at the sun high in the midday sky, I give a silent toast to the golfing gods. Itís really at times like these that you appreciate how great a game we play.
Don't miss the green on the left at the 2nd
A great finish to the front nineThe second shot to the 10thThe beautiful 17th hole
Looking back up the par 5, 15th hole, its a stunning design in a stretch of tough finishing holes