Be sure to bring your A-game. Failing that, a lot of spare golf balls.
Threatened by rising sea levels, the entire island nation of the Maldives may be doomed to a watery grave unless it transforms itself into floating developments and man-made islands. Might as well build a floating golf course as its centrepiece, then.
The 5 Lagoons project is the result of a joint venture between Dutch Docklands (the same company behind all the man-made islands in Dubai) and the Maldivian Government. Master developer Dutch Docklands is in control of the design, engineering, financing, construction and sales, and has appointed Waterstudio.NL as the architectural firm.
The $500 million floating fairway is part of their massive plan to create a network of 43 private man-made islands, anchored to the seabed using cables or telescopic mooring piles. The islands will be built in India or the Middle east before being towed to the Maldives and tethered into place, a five-minute speedboat ride away from Male, the Maldivian capital. Each island will be complete with its own beach and yacht moorings; guests will even be able to rent private submarines that surface right in the middle of their luxury living rooms.
The golf course will be the first piece of the floating puzzle to be built. Accessed by a tunnel on the seabed, a series of platforms containing two or three holes each will be linked together and to a series of surrounding hotels by underwater tunnels. Complete with spectacular panoramic ocean vistas and an underwater clubhouse, for some post game analysis. Development is expected to begin later this year and it should be ready for play by the end of 2013 ahead of the full launch in 2015.
As if anticipating a barrage complaints from environmentalists and coral reef enthusiasts, designers of the resort claim its entire construction will be scar-less and carbon neutral. An exclusively green development in a marine-protected area, the entire 27-holes will be powered by solar energy.
They say golf balls are magically attracted to water, as err, unerringly as the eye of a middle-aged man to a woman’s bosom. If this is true, you may want to avoid the enticing curves of this particular Maldivian playground.