Concept image of the underwater tunnels in the $500m golf course. Picture: Koen Olthuis, Waterstudio.NL

Players will have trouble avoiding the water on this golf course – it’s a floating island.

The extraordinary £320m design boasts 27 holes, is set upon three linked islands and features around 200 villas, 45 private islands and a conservation center.

An underwater tunnel leads golfers to different islands between shots, as well as to the clubhouse where a glass elevator goes to a main bar which doubles as an aquarium.

A concept image of the design of the golf course. Picture: Koen Olthuis, Waterstudio.NL

The proposed site is just a five-minute speedboat ride from the capital of 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 idea is the brainchild of Dutch firm Waterstudio who designed the project. It is being engineered by floating architecture specialists Dutch Docklands.

CEO Paul van de Camp said: ‘We told the president of the Maldives we can transform you from climate refugees to climate innovators.

‘And we have a way of building and sustaining this project that is environmentally friendly too. This is going to be an exclusively green development in a marine-protected area.

‘This will be the first and only floating golf course in the world – and it comes complete with spectacular ocean views on every hole.’

‘And then there’s the clubhouse. You get in an elevator and go underwater to get to it. It’s like being Captain Nemo down there.’

More than 80 percent of the 1,190 coral reef islands in the Maldives are no more than a meter above sea level.

As sea levels reach dangerous levels, one option for the government is to build defense walls as they have around Male, while another is to live on floating landscapes.

Designer Koen Olthuis said: ‘We’ll be building the islands somewhere else, probably in the Middle East or in India – that way there’s no environmental cost to the Maldives.

‘When it comes to the golf course, the islands will be floated into position first and then the grass will be seeded and the trees planted afterwards.’

Development on the course 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.

Source Daily Mail

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