The 18-hole course might sound like the kind of energy-guzzling project you’d see off the coast of Dubai, but it’s intended to have zero footprint on its environment. It’s powered by solar energy — a resource that the Maldives has plenty of, lying as it does just north of the equator. The development will also employ sustainable desalination and water-cooling techniques.
The course will be made up of a series of floating platforms containing two or three holes each, linked to one another and to a series of surrounding hotels by underwater tunnels. Waterstudio.NL designed the project, which is being engineered by floating-architecture expert Dutch Docklands. Troon Golf is on hand to offer its expertise in the design of the course itself.
The Republic of the Maldives is a series of coral reefs, with the highest point in the entire island chain sitting just 2.3 meters [7.5 feet] above sea level. As such, climate change and the associated sea-level rise are likely to have a significant impact on the country. Its president, Mahamed Nasheed, has announced that he’s looking into plans to purchase new land in other countries to house inundated refugees.
To fund that, the Maldives government is looking for ways to further increase the revenues it generates from tourism — which is the single largest contributor to the country’s economy. The planned floating golf course will be located five minutes from Malé International Airport, making it an easy stop-off for people awaiting connecting flights.
The project will cost $500 million and is due to be completed in 2015.