Normally those hitting the links try to avoid water hazards, but designers of a new floating golf course are hoping golfers actually want to tee-off surrounded by one.
Plans are already underway to build an 18-hole course 250 miles off the southwest coast of India, among the islands of the Maldives. The course will consist of a series of floating platforms that contain two to three holes each, built by world-renowned floating technology company, Dutch Docklands.
No, you won't have to swim to each platform – they'll be connected to one another and surrounding hotels by clear underwater tunnels, similar to those you'd find at an aquarium.
Unlike other floating islands and resorts guzzling energy off the coast of Dubai, course developers call their project a "scarless development" which will have a zero carbon footprint on the Maldives ecosystem. To do so, developers are banking on the islands' sunny locale near the equator to generate energy through floating solar blanket fields. Developers will also employ sustainable techniques to desalinate and cool water.
Because the Republic of the Maldives' highest point of elevation is only 7.5 feet above sea level, the island nation is expected to be significantly impacted by the rising sea-levels associated with climate change. As such, Maldivian president, Mohamed Nasheed has been a staunch investor and activist for carbon-neutral developments.
In 2009, he pledged the Maldives islands would be carbon neutral within the decade. That same year, to publicize the threat climate change poses on his nation, Nasheed presided over the world's first underwater cabinet meeting where participants donned scuba gear and gathered around a desk on the the sea floor.
Nasheed has also announced that he's looking to purchase new land in other countries to resettle Maldivian refugees potentially affected by climate change. To fund those efforts, the government is looking to further boost revenues from the nation's largest economical contributor: tourism.
Managed by Troon Golf, the $500 million floating golf course project anticipates doing just that: bringing a wealth of ecological tourism and investment to the Maldives. The project is due to be completed by 2015.
Illustrations: Koen Olthuis Waterstudio.NL/Dutch Docklands