Celtic Manor Resort: An In-Depth Look at the 2010 Ryder Cup Course

Ron FurlongAnalyst IISeptember 29, 2010

NEWPORT, WALES - JUNE 06:  The prize presentation is pictured during the final round of the Celtic Manor Wales Open on The Twenty Ten Course on June 6, 2010 in Newport, Wales.  (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)
Warren Little/Getty Images

At the Celtic Manor Resort in Wales, nine holes of the 2010 Course, as it is known, are from the older Wentwood Hills course, and the other nine holes were built by European Golf Design in 2006.

The new 18-hole layout was constructed specifically for the purpose of hosting the 38th biennial match between the U.S. and Europe.

James McKenzie is the Director of Golf at Celtic Manor, and he recently told Reuters just how ready the golf course is for this event.

"We feel really excited about the venue as a whole," he said. "We have put together an extraordinary amount of options so you could go out and play a different course each of the three days, or in each of the five sessions.

"We've got seven classic match holes that can be played in a number of different ways, depending on whether it's foursomes, fourballs, singles, and whether you find yourself a couple of holes up or a couple down."

McKenzie is originally from Helensburgh, Scotland, and is a 13-year member of the Golf Course Superintendent's Association of America, and has been overseeing Celtic Manor's golf courses for 19 years.

According to Celtic-Manor.com, McKenzie has deepened a number of bunkers with larger faces and scooped out a large swale to the left of the 11th green, as suggested by European Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie.

He will have the poa annua/bentgrass rolling about 11 on the Stimpmeter, and the bentgrass/fescue rough cut at about 3 1/2" tall.

The 2010 Course is a par-71 and will play 7,493 yards. Montgomerie is hoping the somewhat tight fairways and thick rough might favor his Euro squad over the long-hitting but erratic-driving Americans.

Guys like Bubba Watson, Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods are all long hitters, but not always the most accurate. Europe has tried to shape the home course to suit their team.

There are water hazards on half the holes, and the one on the 18th hole should be particularly

interesting. There is a pond in front of the green, and players will have decide whether to try to carry the water with their second shot or to lay up and play a third shot from a tricky downhill lie to the raised green.

Many of the earlier holes on the course have a links feel, while the back-side of the 2010 Course tends more toward the highlighting of the water features.

The web-site for Celtic Manor says the course has six signature holes; I'm still trying to figure that one out.

The matches start on Friday, with foursomes and fourball matches. The same schedule for Saturday, and then Sunday features the singles matches.

28 points are available, and the U.S. squad needs 14 points to retain the cup. The Euros need 14 1/2 to take the cup from the Americans.