Jack Nicklaus Golf Course on Moorea

Construction is underway on an 18-hole Jack Nicklaus international golf course at Temae near the inter-island airport on Moorea, French Polynesia. Landscaping on the 165 hectare property is well advanced, although the clubhouse has yet to be constructed. The official opening is scheduled for April, 2006 (although this could be delayed until July). The project website has a few photos of the emerging course.

Stage two will involve construction of a 154-room five-star resort hotel next to the course, possibly opening in December 2007. A residential housing estate with 84 rooms and suites is on the drawing boards, and a complex of neo-Polynesian villas may be built on the hillside above the course at a later date. The total investment is reported to be around US$110 million.

This isn't the first attempt to build a golf course on Moorea. In 1991 Moorea voters rejected a proposal to build an Arnold Palmer golf course and Sheraton hotel on territorial land in the unspoiled Opunohu Valley. Moorea residents have long resisted harmful tourism developments, including the construction of highrise hotels, the dredging of lagoon sand for resort beaches, and golf courses which overtax the island's limited water supply. The Temae course will be the first major golf course to be built in French Polynesia in 35 years (the Olivier Breaud golf course on the south side of Tahiti was laid out in 1970).

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