Well, it’s about time.
As I’ve discussed before, the absence of a proper scale golf course is one of (if not *the*) major inhibitor to prospective high visitors to the Maldives. Today, Shangri-La Viligili has plugged that gap opening the first full sized (well short par 3s…more of an ‘Executive’ course, but bigger than the Kuredu pitch-and-putt) golf course in the Maldives. Minivan reports…
“The nine hole course sits on seven-and-a-half hectares of previously undeveloped land at the southern end of Villingili Island. Most holes par three and average 123.4 yards in length, and are set amongst the island’s natural veggetation including of palms, pandanus and other tropical plants. The course includes a clubhouse, refreshment bar and a pro shop. ‘It’s a recreational course, not a professional course,’ explained Shangri-La’s Assistant Communications Manager, Cristina Acenas. ‘It is accessible to beginners but advanced golfers will also enjoy it.’”
It might not end there if the plans for a fully engineered ‘floating course’ with underwater connections comes to light…
Well played, Shangri-La.
This week marks my 6th anniversary of blogging. I actually first cut my teeth on digital media a number of years prior to the launch of the Maldives Complete blog. I first started writing about “Leadership and Management / Turning Adversity to Advantage.” The traditional anniversary gift for 6 years is ‘iron’,’ so I guess the best place for me to go to celebrate my 6th anniversary would be somewhere I could get out a few 9-irons to practice my swing (not to mention a timely USA’s win this weekend in the President’s Cup).
While Meeru has a conventional driving range (with an adjacent executive course) and Kuredu has 3-par course, Palm Beach has taken the concept ‘out’ a bit. You also might have heard all of those fantastic stories about the proposed floating golf course. Well, Palm Beach has taken the first steps with a ‘floating driving range’. Bobbing mini-greens with flag anchored in the lagoon provide distance markers for a driving cage set up on the shore side.
In so doing, Palm Beach has also created the world’s biggest water hazard. Lest you fear that all of those golf balls should prove a hazard of another sort to marine life, actually the balls are specially made of biodegradable material which breaks down into fish food after 48 hours in the water. You can get 10 for $2, or 100 for $8.
The golf centre also features golf pro Alberto (featured in the picture at top) who will help you on your swing and there are several putting green holes to practice your short game.
The number one reason people don’t go to the Maldives…the perception that there is nothing to do. And within that the myth, the number one ‘thing to do’ that is a ‘show stopper’ for many couples…no golf.
Well, you might not find a Jack Nicholas designed 36-hole links in the country, but if it is a deal breaker then there are some fine possibilities. I’ve already highlighted Kuredu’s 6-hole ‘Executive’ course. But for those who want a bit more whack in their holiday week, then Meeru offers a driving range. 100 balls for $10 and that includes complementary use of clubs. The resort also has a spiffy 9-hole chip-and-putt course to boot. Fore!
In a part of the world where there is not enough space in one place to land a commercial airplane, you wouldn’t expect to find an activity known for vast expanses – golf. While The Beach House has a golf simulator, Kuredu has a full fledged executive 6-hole golf course.
The website describes…
“Kuredu Golf Club is the first of its kind in the Maldives. The Golf course is located on the eastern portion of the Island, surrounded by natural forest and the noise of the ocean. There could be no where more peaceful for the game of golf.
The Golf Club boasts a full size driving range with the option of a shaded area and also hitting from the grass. A large putting green is also available to perfect the short game.
The golf course is a 6-hole Par 3 course with the average length of a hole being 55 yards. With some great characteristics on the golf course it proves to be a fun and ”sometimes” a challenging experience.
Our Head Pro, PGA qualified golf professional is available for tuition on all aspects of the game. All equipment is provided for rental free of charge from the Pro´s Shop, where all bookings can be made. Any teaching course can be set up to suit the individual or group.”