As previously mentioned, I had a weekend planned in Wales as part of a wedding anniversary gift to the wife. We took in a Boyce Avenue Gig at Cardiff Uni which was quite disappointing (they’ve made their name as an acoustic cover band but spent most of the night playing their shitty/average original songs), had a pretty decent burger at The Grill n Shake and spent the night at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport – home of the 2010 Ryder Cup (something they make sure they remind you of at every available opportunity).
We didn’t get off to a very good start as Golfbreaks, the golf travel company I had used to book the weekend, had booked a twin room as opposed to a double room. Golfbreaks blamed Celtic Manor and vice versa. An hour later, we were eventually sorted out with a double room at the Celtic Manor hotel. Check out my Tripadvisor review here.
I tee’d it up on the Twenty Ten course on Sunday with two other guests. The course being the first course to be built specifically for the Ryder Cup. I got to the clubhouse just over an hour before my 12:20 tee off time and that was enough time to check out the locker room which featured loads of throwbacks to the 2010 Ryder Cup. The players’ lockers are still in situ and marked with their names (my locker was next to Davis Love III) and the planning area where Europe planned their victory is commemorated at the entrance of the locker room. The locker room itself is pretty average and doesn’t compare to some of the premier courses I’ve played at like Steyn City and Jumeirah Earth. I also made use of the warm area which consisted of a driving range, putting green, practice bunker/chipping green. Again, compared to other premium courses, the warm area was also pretty average and needs a bit of love (better range balls and a proper chipping green would be a good start!)
Unfortunately, the greens were going through Spring time hollow-tining so it wasn’t the best of times to be playing the course but I still enjoyed going round the course. Some of the holes afforded some spectacular views and I particularly enjoyed the views from the back nine. Be warned if you plan on walking the course, the front nine is fairly flat however the back nine is played over lots of hills and little valleys. The course is challenging…very challenging especially when the wind gets going. The guys I played with were not long with their drives or irons and basically had to play every par 4 like a par 5.
There are a good mix of long and short Par 3s and some really monster Par 5s. The greens are undulating and there is no such thing as a straight putt anywhere on the course. The finishing 18th hole is a brilliant par 5 (look out for the plaque commemorating a 447 yard drive by Nicolas Colsaerts). I enjoyed the famous Par 4 15th hole where I chose to go for the green in one and ended up with a bogey after finding the green side bunker on my drive and three-putting the undulating green.
The Twenty Ten Course at Celtic Manor is well worth a visit. I’m not sure whether it is worth the price they are asking to take on the course though. I would recommend booking a some sort of package at the Resort to play the course as that may be more value for money.
Chmapionship Blue Tees: 7,493 yards/6,581 meters
Club White Tees: 7,008 yards/6,408 meters
Front Yellow Tees: 6,570 yeards/6,007 meters
Ladies Red Tees: 5,654 yards/5,170 meters
Front nine: Two x Par 5s, Two x Par 3s, 5 x Par 4s
Back nine: Two x Par5x, Three x Par3s, 4 x Par 4s