Nicklaus heads for Cape Verde


Sean Dudley
By Sean Dudley

Scotland-based property developer FM Group has unveiled plans for a £682 million (US$1.35 billion) golf resort in the Cape Verde Islands, located in the mid-Atlantic Ocean. The Salamansa Sands project will include a golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus's practice – the first in the islands.

The archipelago is 1,557 square miles, including ten islands and five islets, divided into the windward (Barlavento) and leeward (Sotavento) groups. The six main islands in the Barlavento group include São Vicente, where Jack Nicklaus and his design team will create a par 72 course on the Salamansa coastline. The investment masterplan will also include hotels, spa resorts, a 200-berth marina, and luxury apartments and villas. Construction will begin on the resort early in 2008 and is scheduled for completion by 2015.

Jack Nicklaus said: "Our firm has been very fortunate over the last few years to enter new golf markets all over the world, and have the opportunity to introduce and grow the game by designing a quality facility on which they can learn to play golf. We are proud of the role we play in the impact on the growth of the game, as well as the economic and tourism impact in these countries." The 560 hectares (1,384 acres) site borders the Atlantic, offering spectacular ocean views throughout. The site is also volcanic in nature and has numerous lava flows and formations that may eventually be used in the design strategy of the golf course.