Wales has largely been overlooked in discussions of golf in the U.K., but that should change when the 2010 Ryder Cup comes to the Celtic Manor Resort, a first for the small country on
England’s port side. Located on 1,400 acres near the southern coast, not far from the capital of Cardiff, the luxury resort offers a number of choices in golf, accommodations and dining, in addition to a shooting school, tennis, mountain biking, two health clubs and two spas.
Owner Sir Terry Matthews, Wales’ first billionaire, spent generously on the resort’s recent refurbishment, which included the construction of the Twenty Ten course and clubhouse—the first layout built specifically for the Matches. With water hazards coming into play on half its holes, the 7,493-yard layout offers plenty of risks and rewards.
Appropriately, European stalwart Colin Montgomerie designed one of the other two courses, a 6,371-yard namesake layout with a linksy feel that’s a good test for middle handicappers. The Roman Road course is a Robert Trent Jones Sr. design on a hillside and gets its name from the ancient thoroughfares that crisscrossed the land.
The main hotel compromises 330 rooms with a rich decor in a neo-classic building, made distinctive by a curled red awning above each window along the front façade. The 19th-century Manor House has 70 traditionally decorated rooms and some history: Among its uses has been as a maternity hospital—in 1980 Matthews, who was born there, purchased it and integrated it into the resort.
To the manor born, indeed.