Once upon a time, gimmick balls were about the only things in golf that floated. Then came the famed floating par-3 14th hole at the Coeur d’Alene Resort. Next up: an entire floating golf course.
Seriously. The government of the Maldive Islands is working with the Dutch Docklands International architectural firm to build the world’s largest series of artificial floating islands, according to The Daily Mail newspaper  in Great Britain. And one island complex will contain a regulation golf course.
The motivation for the project is that the Maldives – a chain of 1,192 beautiful but isolated islands in the middle of the Indian Ocean – have an average elevation of only about five feet above sea level. Thanks to the rising seas caused by climate change, Maldives officials believe their entire nation could be swallowed up sooner rather than later, and they’re embarking on a massive plan to replace some of their disappearing islands with a series of manmade, floating ones.
The course (including the islands it’ll be built on) is expected to cost as much as $520 million, and will be created by Troon Golf and the Dutch architecture firm Waterstudio. Not many specifics of the layout have been released yet, but it's likely that the islands containing the course will be built in India or the Middle East, then towed into place about a five-minute speedboat ride away from Male, the Maldivian capital. After the course's infrastructure is in place, the grass, trees and other features will be added.
Plans call for the course to be the first part of the artificial island complex and to be powered by solar energy.
"This will be the first and only floating golf course in the world -- and it comes complete with spectacular ocean views on every hole," says Dutch Docklands CEO Paul van de Camp. "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."