Velaa private island opens world's most exclusive golf academy

Jose Maria Olazabal designed the course

Charlie Lemay's picture
Thu, 6 Feb 2014

Velaa private island opens world's most exclusive golf academy

DEVELOPERS of Velaa Private Island welcomed their designer elect and two-time Major Champion José María Olazábal to unveil the  new Velaa Golf Academy by Olazábal today.

The all-encompassing facility sits proudly amidst an exclusive private island in the Maldives that is home to 48 private pool villas, located in the northern part of the Noonu Atoll, just north of Malé.

The golf course has been crafted to give guests the option to fine tune their game as well as relax and enjoy the experience created by Olazábal’s acclaimed design team.

"I have never seen such a luxurious location,” remarked Olazábal on his visit to Velaa Private Island today. “I have had the pleasure of working on some remarkable projects, but what Jiri and Radka have created here is simply awe-inspiring.

The golf course itself has been designed with iron play very much in mind, a key strength of the Spaniard’s game during his prolific career as a notoriously accurate short and mid-iron player.

“We were given the opportunity to design something completely unique here at Velaa and our clear aim was to integrate the island’s charm and character into the Golf Academy,” elaborated the Major Champion & Ryder Cup legend.

During a site visit with the management team from Velaa Private Island and Troon’s team of agronomy and operational experts, Olazábal stopped to hit some shots to demonstrate how his vision has been realised and showcase his much talked about touch around the greens. 

“I wanted the experience to be appealing for both young and old, beginners and experts. We hope visitors to the island will be inspired by what we have created and the experience enhances their enjoyment of the game that I am so passionate about,” exclaimed the Spaniard.

The course comprises 6 immaculately conditioned green complexes; all surrounded by uniquely shaped bunkering and eye-catching 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.

Regarded as one of the world's most exclusive experiences, quintessentially Maldivian with uncompromised luxury, the paradise island has already made its mark on international high end travellers.

"Velaa is without doubt one of the finest developments we have ever seen and represents the definition of luxury perfectly," commented Bruce Glasco, Senior Vice President & Managing Director, Troon International Operations.