The resort at Celtic Manor was conceived and developed by Sir Terence Matthews. In the late 1970s, Matthews bought a near-derelict manor house and turned it into a small hotel. The hotel became popular and successful, winning the Egon Ronay Best Hotel in Wales award five years on the trot.Matthews’s long-term vision was a golfing complex and no doubt he thought the piece de resistance was the Wentwood Hills course, which opened for play in September 1999, designed by Robert Trent Jones Jnr but we doubt that even in his wildest dreams could he ever have imagined that Celtic Manor would host a Ryder Cup.
A bit of Augusta, a bit of Florida and a lot of Wales, was how they referred to Wentwood Hills and they were absolutely right. There was a coalition of British and American features, which Trent Jones Jnr described as “a true championship course that combines a hilly landscape with the more traditional links-like features of an estuary. There's great variety here”. But all that was before Celtic Manor became the chosen venue for the 2010 Ryder Cup when a decision was made to create a new course for staging golf’s greatest team event.
In July 2007, the first course to be built specifically for the Ryder Cup opened its tees for play. The course, aptly called “Twenty Ten”, is the result of collaboration between the European PGA, golf course architects and tour pros; the objective was to create a unique Ryder Cup venue.
The new Twenty Ten course measures a beefy 7,493 yards with par set at 71. It features nine dramatic new holes that have been routed through the Usk Valley, as well as nine holes from the former Wentwood Hills course that have been extensively re-fashioned. The new design ensures not only that each hole is an exacting test but also that there is an amphitheatre for great spectator viewing.
The Celtic Manor Wales Open was staged on the Roman Road course until 2007. 2008 saw the event switch to the Twenty Ten course with Scott Strange victorious. The 2009 tournament saw Denmark’s Jeppe Huldahl upstage a stellar field to land the 2009 title and its £300,000 first prize. Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell won the 2010 event. GMac returned to Celtic Manor in October as part of Europe's Ryder Cup team and he beat Hunter Mahan in the final singles match to win the Ryder Cup for Europe. But, speaking to the BBC in June 2010, Celtic Manor owner Sir Terry Matthews cast doubt on the future of the Wales Open… click here for more.
With water hazards on half of its holes and no fewer than six signature holes, Twenty Ten represents a serious test and also plenty of risk-and-reward challenges. Variety is a keyword of Twenty Ten, where a number of holes on the outward nine have a links-like feel before you enter the lake-lined middle section prior to reaching the elevated closing stretch of four holes which witnessed plenty of memorable Ryder Cup drama.
Wentwood Hills was a formidable championship layout but Twenty Ten is perhaps even more frightening, especially if your game is off tune. If you are a lover of all things traditional, then Celtic Manor is probably not for you. But if you are seeking thrills and an exciting and tough challenge, then Twenty Ten will fit the bill perfectly. Celtic Manor are allowing limited public play on the Ryder Cup course, so make the most of it before they close their tees for the sole enjoyment of the new prestigious Twenty Ten Club members.
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Average Reviewers Score:
Having spectated at the Ryder Cup here in 2010, I was very eager to play what looked like a stunning (if slightly American styled) course. However, in the absence of all the stands and crowds I was slightly underwhelmed by the first 9 holes. Although they were mostly good holes in thier own right (with 3,5 and 6 being particular standouts) there was a very open feel to the whole place and it felt like you could see everyone else on the golf course. This is the opposite of what seems to be done on modern designs like Kingsbarns, Castle Stuart, Trump etc whereby you can only see the hole that you are on which gives a much better impression. The back 9 however is superb with each hole being a visual treat and requiring real strategy to play. Obviously this culminates in the famous 18th which is a great final hole, although it is out of reach in two which means laying up with a 4-iron or soemthing after a great drive which is a litlle bit hard to swallow.
Overall it is well worth playing and the condition of the course and the quality of the clubhouse etc is second to none. One irritating point is that buggies cant leave the cartpaths leading to huge delays in walking from the path to your shot if it is on the other side of the fairway. I believe this contributes greatly to the time it takes to get round here. Take my advise and do what we did - take caddy cars.STAG
Our 6 hour trek around 18 holes was a disappointing aspect of what was a memorable experience to follow in the footsteps of the Ryder Cup. We played in April 2011 in the wind and rain but the whole day was amazing. The staff are extremely helpful and the shuttle service to and from the hotel was prompt and reliable. The course it's self was a challenge, not helped by the weather and all in all i would highly recommend this course to any enthusiast. Make a 4 ball if you can or you will be partnered with strangers to make up a 4 ball. They really do need to put a handicap limit on this course though, 6 hours is just too much and we saw plenty of "Hackers" who were clearly out of their depth... Maybe when the post Ryder cup hype wears off the course will actually become even better with a slightly speedier round.
Myself and two friends played this course last week. The service by the staff was second to none, and certainly made to feel like it was a very special occasion. The practice area next to the first tee is first class. However we all felt there were some dissapointing points:
- We had to play off the yellow tees which made the course way too short
- Some of the greens had recently been corred, and generally the greens were not quick
- 5hrs 45mins to play, we waited on nearly every hole. I think the main issue for this was some of the rough was just way too high, there was no need for this.
- Some holes felt quite dull, sometimes it felt like we could of been at any new course in the country
Overall the experience is very good, it just doesn't quite have the same feel as one of the many great old British courses around, and for £155 I won't be back for quite a while!
Played the 2010 course in early october as a gift from friends.My first thoughts were that the staff were very friendly and helpful and the clubhouse superb.The course i found that if you stayed on the fairway and missed fairway bunkers,then most golfers of mid handicap and below would not find it too difficult.Overall impressed,but glad i did not pay inflated green fee.Ps playing Turnberry soon so will be able to compare the merits of both courses.
Found the course in August 2011 in great condition and excellent service form both the golf and hotel staff. A tough golf course which you have to play for the Ryder Cup memories, but will not be returning until the pace of play is improved as our round took nearly five and half hours.
It takes 3 1/2 hours to get to the halfway hut. We had to go back the following day because we forgot something (golf clubs)(!) Anyway we had 36 holes at The Newport Golf Club, they held the Ryder cup on the wrong Newport course, this course is much better, 36 holes for £25 on county card, this was a real golf experience.
An excellent course surrounded by fantastic facilities and staff. Unfortunately we played after ryder cup took place and although they have done a huge amount of work, nothing can be done about the british weather! the course was very very wet indeed, however keep the ball on the fairways and you wont have a problem, easy. The whole experience was superb, little touches like putting your name on the lockers (next to the ryder cup players) just added to the day. The greens are simply brilliant and the course is a very tough test for any golfer. I cant wait to go back in the summer.
Played the 2010 course early August 2010. Overall impressions were very classy. If you are in to all the customer service where you get the meet and greet, engraved name tag, clubs cleaned and shoes polished - all complimentary, then this place has it in spades. The course itself was in marvellous condition, as you would expect just 7 weeks before the Ryder Cup. Greens were so smooth and incredibly quick, while bunkers were everywhere! The front 9 was slightly disappointing in that it was not visually dramatic, although they were some very well crafted holes (4th & 5th especially). The rough was a little bit tame but I was told they are growing it up for the Ryder Cup which should make a stronger premium on accuracy. My playing partners and I couldn 't help feeling that there will be a lot of birdies on the front 9 (which I suppose is no bad thing). The back 9 is where it starts to get very interesting. There is a lot more water and you get the feeling it is more risk/reward which is exactly what you would hope for in a matchplay event. The 14th is a marvellous hole while 15 and 18 should also provide plenty of excitment. Some of the pro tees are so far back and there were at least 2 par 5s well over 600 yards including the last hole which should provide for some bombing from the big hitters.
It was very expensive at £170 per round but a huge amount of money has been invested in the course and infrastructure so it was not a surprise. If you get the opportunity to play the 2010 course, I would urge you to play it as the back 9 in particular is great fun.
2010 is destined to be a classic once they complete the conditioning for the Ryder Cup. A beautiful course and a brutal test, especially when the wind is up. There are classic holes at every turn. In particular holes 5,6, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, and 18.
12 to 14 could become Wale's own Amen corner if the wind blows on Sunday.
I think this will be a top 20 course in the British Isles once it has some decent exposure.
Me and my golf buddy have played all three CM courses and have enjoyed them all. Strangely, we found the Montgomerie the most satisfying. Of the three Ryder Cup courses we have played, I would rank the K Club highest by some margin. We enjoyed the 20/10 which is in perfect condition and very challenging, but can't seem to get as excited as some others. I was particulalry irrritated to leave my 150 yard 7 iron approach to the 18th just short, causing my ball to pitch at the top of the hill and roll back down into the water. I couldn't understand this as I had connected straight and true and would have expected the ball to land beyond the pin if anything. When I gave my sob story to the member of staff who was watching, he gave me a knowing look and said that the 150 marker was in the wrong place by mistake! It was more like 170 yards. I was pretty hacked off with this as it wrecked my chance to halve the match. On a far more positive note, the staff in general were absolutely awesome. Nothing too much bother and a thoroughly wonderful weekend experience. Great food and facilities as well. I'd definitely go again.
The 150yd marker is not in the wrong place. From 150 the green is elevated above you by about 10m. The knowing look was probably, "I've heard it all before"
Managed to play on this course even though we were scheduled to play the Montgomerie course, this was down to a particularly helpful staff member who, on chatting to, was able to secure a 2 ball for myself and my wife. We loved the course, although the only downside was that they had just hollow-tined the greens in preparation for the Welsh Open. Playing the risk-reward holes was a real treat and can't wait to see the pros take it on during the Ryder Cup. A must play for any Ryder Cup enthusiast.
Hi, when did you play the 2010 course at Celtic Manor as i am looking to play there in March and dont want to play on Hollotined Greens.
Thanks Richard Moores (PGA)
Great experience. Great value for money at £80 when compared to other similar venues. Course was in fantastic condition, especially the greens which putted beautifully. Pace of play was also very good with a marshall keeping everyone moving and asking some of the 4balls to let 2balls through. I have played the Brabazon, Oxfordshire and Woburn in the past few weeks at the Twenty Ten wins hands-down in terms of condition and layout. A couple of small gripes/ warnings.... 1, It is a looooong walk with lots of gaps from green to tee 2, We were only allowed to play off yellow tees which shortened the course to 6500 3, Despite a dry summer the fairways were very wet... probably best to avoid in winter 4, The last 4 holes don't fit in with the rest of the design of the course which made the finish a bit weird. The best holes are situated from the 6th to 14th which is great for Ryder Cup match-play but means you don't get the BIG finish you might be looking for. Overall - highly recommended
Great course with one tough memorable hole after another. There's too many great holes to single out, it will make for exciting viewing when the Ryder Cup comes here. It is a tough course with loads of bunkers and of course water plays a massive part on many holes. The course was in very good condition and doesn't need too much more work to be ready for next year. The service off the course is also fantastic, play here if you get the chance.
Great course and i thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. Clubhouse superb and so is the service. Course is very difficult even playing off the yellow tees on a perfect scoring day. Can't wait to see the pros play off the blue tees on a misty morning. Accuracy and distance control required to put any kind of score together. Definately worth playing so that you can make that all important comparison when the Ryder Cup comes to town.
Play it if you can - enjoy !!
The best golfing experience you can hope for. It’s not just that this is in astonishing place to play golf, with countless risk and reward holes, beautiful views and involving challenges. The overall experience is what raises the 2010 course above its competitors. The staff are the friendliest and most professional you will meet in the UK, with none of the pretensions or snobbery that afflict so many golf clubs. If you are fortunate to play here you will have your car valet parked and your clubs will be taken to the practice range while you are shown to the changing rooms. Here you will find a locker reserved with your name on it and a complimentary 2010 shoe bag inside. The services and clubhouse are first class, with everything you could hope for available in the resort. The 2010 course itself is immaculate and an excellent contrast to the Roman Road. I’d suggest playing the two courses on consecutive days for a truly memorable break. Play now, before Ryder Cup fever takes hold!
I visited the 2010 course at Celtic Manor so exited that I couldn't sleep for 2 days beforehand! I was not let down! We arrived at the wrong clubhouse the lodge by accident and the concierge was so pleasant and organised that we had transportation in 3 minutes to take us down to the 2010 clubhouse. Then having arrived we were greeted as Sir, Gentleman, etc, but not in a too formal fashion, it felt welcoming. The Clubhouse itself is fantastic however be aware it is expensive! The course however was brilliant. We were told by the starter that the course had undergone a lot of work and we should be wary that in places it was in poor condition… far from it! There were about three new bunkers which were nearly healed and about three fairways had undergone work but they too were playable and all the greens were in good condition. A brilliant course with many excellent holes (3,5,6,9,11,12,13,14,15,18) my favourites. Only the 4th and 8th were average! Well worth a visit but I would advise high handicappers to think twice before challenging the 2010 and should maybe try the Montgomerie or the Roman Road.