Shangri-La Maldives to Introduce the First Golf Course

Maldives Promotion House – Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa Maldives has announced that they will be introducing the first full-sized golf course in the Maldives on 27th of this month.

According to Shangri-La the golf course will be made up of nine holes and will cover a space of seven-and-a-half hectares. The golf course is to be built on the southern end of Villingili Island, a part of the island that has been left undeveloped.

According to Minivan News who interviewed the resort, most holes par three and average 123.4 yards in length, and are set amongst the island’s natural vegetation including 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,” Shangri-La’s Assistant Communications Manager, Cristina Acenas said. “It is accessible to beginners but advanced golfers will also enjoy it.”

They further noted that the environmental impact would be kept to a minimus. The golf course will use salt tolerant Paspalum grass for its greens which thrives on available grey water and natural environmental factors existing in the Maldives. Seashore Paspalum is used on golf courses worldwide and is said to be the most environment-friendly among the types of grass used for golf courses.

Acenas also explained that treated grey water from the island’s sewage treatment plant would be pumped into an irrigation dam constructed on site, thus no fresh water or fresh desalinated water will be used to irrigate the greens, minimising waste and the carbon footprint associated with operating a full-sized golf course. The site will also be subject to a biannual terrestrial monitoring by environmental consultants to assess fauna, flora and the impact of the course on their habitat.

The golf course is also said to be located near a turtle nesting habitat where and turtles can be seen coming to the surface all year round on this side of the island, especially on the ocean side from holes six to nine.

Approval for the course was granted by the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Housing and Environment, following an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) submitted to the Environment Protection Authority (EPA).

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