Jose Maria Olazabal has visited Velaa Private Island in the Maldives to open what is being described as ‘the world’s most exclusive golf academy’.
The two-time major winner collaborated on the creation of a brand new course and academy on the Indian Ocean islands.
The all-encompassing facility – which is operated by Troon Golf and includes a state-of-the-art indoor studio for fine-tuning swings as well as a short-game target area – sits 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.
Velaa Private Island was born out of the passion for the region of owner, Jiri Smejc, and his wife, Radka, and their desire to create the most private place on earth.
"I have never seen such a luxurious location" - Jose Maria Olazabal
Olazabal, the 2012 Ryder Cup winning captain, was delighted to pay the development a visit to see the fruits of his labours.
"I have never seen such a luxurious location,” he said. “I have had the pleasure of working on some remarkable projects, but what Jiri and Radka have created here is simply awe-inspiring.”
Describing the nine-hole, par-3 golf course, Jose Maria Olazabal added: “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.
“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-3 layout. Together with the high-tech swing studio, complete with all the latest gadgets, golf enthusiasts will have the chance to refine all aspects of their game in the idyllic surroundings. In short, practise in paradise.”
Jose Maria Olazabal’s latest project
To find out more about Jose Maria Olazabal’s work at Velaa Private Island, log-on to www.velaaprivateisland.com