Private Maldives island opens ‘world’s most exclusive’ golf academy

Private Maldives island opens ‘world’s most exclusive’ golf academy
By Adam Lawrence

Signature designer José María Olazábal has unveiled a new golf academy, featuring a nine hole par three course, at the Velaa Private Island resort in the Maldives.

The island, home to 48 villas, is part of the Noonu Atoll, just north of Malé, the Maldivian capital. Owner Jiri Smejc and his wife Radka acquired the island with the intention of creating what they call ‘the most private place on earth’.

The course comprises six green complexes; all surrounded by bunkering and water features. Nine tee options give guests a range of hole choices at a variety of lengths, with the option for guests to book private tuition and reserve the academy for exclusive use at select times.

“I have never seen such a luxurious location,” said Olazábal . “I have had the pleasure of working on some remarkable projects, but what Jiri and Radka have created here is simply awe-inspiring. Through careful use of the landscape guests can hit all the shots imaginable, from mid-irons to wedges and short game. With six greens and nine tees we have been able to also create an exciting and challenging nine hole par three layout.”

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