It sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie, but it’s true. The government of the Maldives has released plans in collaboration with Troon Golf and the Dutch architecture firm Waterstudio to build a $520 million floating golf course. Mark Prigg of The Daily Mail reports that the business venture resulted from the challenge the island nations face in climate change:“With an average elevation of just five feet above sea level the Maldives, with its 1,192 islands in the Indian Ocean, is the lowest country in the world. Amid fears many of the islands will soon sink into the sea, the Maldivian government has started a joint venture with the architectural firm Dutch Docklands International to build the world’s largest series of artificial floating-islands.”
The artificial island resort will include hotels, a convention center, a yacht club, “workers’ islands”, and a floating golf course. The floating 18-hole golf course and conference center complex will resemble a starfish from above. “This will be the first and only floating golf course in the world – and it comes complete with spectacular ocean views on every hole,” said Paul van de Camp, CEO of the architectural firm building the project. The course and conference center are expected to open in 2013 with the entire complex opening in 2015.
At first glance, it looks incomplete without a clubhouse until you learn that the clubhouse will be underwater! Yes, the clubhouse will be underwater along with a system of tunnels to link the network of new islands. Van de Camp describes it as, “You get in an elevator and go underwater to get to it. It’s like being Captain Nemo down there.” The course will be the first completed part of the massive project and will be built within existing circular reefs. This is so guest can dive right from the beach. The islands will also be designed for swimmers, divers and even private submarines to enter them from below, and the Dutch firm designing the scheme has said visitors will be able to rent private submarines that can surface right in the middle of their living rooms.
Environmentalist don’t worry! The islands will reportedly be carbon neutral and will be attached to the sea floor with cables or mooring piles, so as not to disrupt the sea life. There won’t be any environmental cost to the Maldives from its construction either. The islands will be built in India or the Middle East before being “towed” into place off-shore of Male, the Maldivian capital. The proposed site is just a five-minute speedboat ride from Male, giving golfers the chance to make quick journeys to the mainland. Amazingly, the course will even be powered by solar energy which is a resource the Maldives has plenty of – as it’s located just north of the equator. The designers claim the entire resort will be carbon neutral.
So start planning your trip now!