Heading off to the Maldives for a tropical island vacation doesn’t usually conjure up images of wide open fairways and perfectly manicured greens. However, if you are a golfer, this is what dreams are made of. There are four short golf courses in the Maldives and the essence of each is captured below.
Velaa Private Island
Velaa Private Island in the Noonu Atoll of the Maldives is unique in that it is individually owned. The golf course on Velaa Private Island was designed in collaboration with Spain’s two times Master’s winner Jose Maria Olazabal. Opened in 2014, it focusses on the short game, having 9 tees playing to six greens, dodging 7 sand traps and a beautiful lake. While it has a 9 hole par 3 layout, don’t be mistaken into believing this will be a walk in the part. Expect a challenge but with practice you’ll go home having improved your iron play. Relaxing in the Maldives offers time to unwind and do something you love. There’s no better opportunity to improve your golf than here. The professionals at the high tech Velaa Golf Academy will assist you with individual golf lessons, working on weak areas of your game so you return home with renewed confidence and enthusiasm.
Shangri La Villingili
Lying just south of the equator and a 5 minute boat ride from Gan International Airport on Addu Atoll you will find an authentic tropical Island upon which lies Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort, Spa and Golf Course. Fairways are lined with palm trees; the course is nestled in 7.5 spectacular hectares of lush vegetation and is surrounded by the azure blue waters of the Indian Ocean. This 9 hole course is made up of 6 par 3 and 3 par 4 holes over 1111 yards. It is the longest golf course in the Maldives. Each of the holes is named after marine life that are common to the archipelago. The pro shop is equipped with golf merchandise and offers club and shoe hire, so you just need to arrive.
Kuredu Resort established the first golf course in the Maldives and is a fun place to practice your short game. It’s a 6 hole pitch and putt course where every hole is a par three. Kuredu also have a full size driving range, so your drive won’t get rusty while you are away. You can sharpen up your skills before playing the course by chipping and putting on the practice green. If you are a beginner, Kuredu is the ideal place to practice and their helpful staff will give you the coaching you need.
On 1st November 2009, the first 9 hole golf course was opened in the Maldives at the Meeru Island Resort and Spa. What makes this course unique is that artificial turf has been used for the greens ensuring consistency all year round. The 9 holes are played over 480 yards. There are 9 tee boxes and 6 greens, each of which feature a number of different flag positions, increasing the challenge of the course. Expect to have to avoid various sand traps and a water hazard along the way. Meeru also features a driving range and practice green.
Regardless of your level of golf, while you may not get the full championship 18 hole golfing experience, playing in the Maldives will certainly improve your short game and that is so often where games are won and lost.