Cape Verde is poised to become one of golf’s hottest destinations after the PGA agreed to brand an Ernie Els-designed course on the islands. The former Portuguese colony, which lies off the coast of west Africa, will join the PGA’s expanding worldwide portfolio after the Association cemented a deal with Cape Verde Development, who are behind two planned multi-million pound resorts in the country.
The new investment, which will also see two-five star resorts established, will also bring golf, which has been played on Cape Verde for over 100 years, into the 21st century with the three Els-designed courses plus two training academies forming a major part of the high-class development, which is scheduled to open in 2010.
Two courses, including the branded PGA National Course, plus a training academy will be located at the luxurious Calheta Bay development on the island of Sal. The third Els course plus the PGA National Academy will be situated at the equally prestigious Baia das Gatas resort on the island of Sao Vincente, which will be the first of the developments to open.
PGA director of property & development, Robert Maxfield, believes the partnership with Cape Verde Development will put the islands firmly on the golfing map. “Golf has been associated with Cape Verde for more than 100 years but this is a new chapter in the country’s golfing history and it is great that the PGA is at the heart of this developing golf nation.
“The PGA, in partnership with Cape Verde Development, will be developing the PGA National Course and the PGA National Academy, with the emphasis on creating world class facilities. Hopefully it will encourage locals and new arrivals to Cape Verde to experience the game of golf.
“Given the stature of the complexes Cape Verde should certainly become one of the places to play golf.”
The archipelago’s branded facilities will join a high-class elite already part of the PGA stable, including the world-famous Gleneagles and The Belfry, host to an unprecedented four Ryder Cups and the headquarters of the PGA. It will also join illustrious PGA branded partnerships that already exist in Ireland, Scotland, Spain, Cyprus, Turkey and as far a-field as India and China.
The golf facilities will be managed by PGA Golf Management, whose clients include the prestigious St Andrews Links Golf Academy and the award-winning Bayhood No 9 golf course in China.
The PGA, the world’s first professional golfers‘ association was founded in 1901 by legends JH Taylor, James Braid and Harry Vardon. The PGA has 7,500 qualified members, including 1,500 working overseas in more than 70 countries.