Wales host of 2010 Ryder Cup offers great golf and more

By Katharine DysonSeptember 11, 2008, 4:00 pm
wales 2010 course
Befitting its name, the Twenty Ten Course at Celtic Manor Resort will host the 2010 Ryder Cup

You might think that the dismal situation with the U.S. dollar, the airline mess, the fact that Autumn in England can be teeming with left-over summer heat and tourists, and the horrifying notion that Uncle Robin and his 4th bride live in Liverpool would make crossing the pond at this time a very bad idea.
 
But not so fast. This might be the very best idea youve ever had. Why? Wales.
 
A small land about the size of Massachusetts, Wales has more than 200 golf courses and is a rich repository of culture, history, spectacular craggy scenery and castles. Better yet, even though the closest you may get to this years Ryder Cup in Louisville will be on your couch in front of your TV, in two years the Ryder Cup will be held in Wales at Celtic Manor.
 
Then we suggest you get a jump on the crowds to come in 2010 and spend a few days driving on the wrong side of the road, playing some of Wales great courses, drinking hearty ale and wind up with a round at one of Celtic Manors three courses while you can still get on.
 
On the way you can visit some of the countrys countless castles, stay in centuries-old inns and hotels, dine on regional specialties like Welsh black beef, Welshcakes, laverbread (a type of seaweed processed into a pureed spinach-like consistency) and saltmarsh lamb.
 
Heres the plan:
 
From Liverpool, travel through North Wales, then swing south along the west coast, midway turning east to re-cross the country. Then head south to Celtic Manor Resort in Newport where youll culminate your trip with a round on the Ryder Cup venue before heading to London for your flight home.
 
The Golf
Conwy Golf Club
A qualifying course for the 2006 Open at Royal Liverpool, this links course is set between mountains, river and sea. It was the recent venue for the Ryder Cup Wales Seniors and claims a history going back to 1869.
 
Nefyn & District Golf Club
A stunning seaside course in Pwllheli, Nefyn is rated by Ian Woosnam as a favorite and no wonder. He holds the club record of 67. Ten holes run along the sea while the amazing par 5, 12th hole has a blind drive, a blind second shot, a public thoroughfare, a crater-sized pothole and a public house.
 
Royal St Davids Golf Club
From the ramparts of the hilltop Harlech Castle built by Edward I in the 13th century, you get a great view of Royal St. Davids links course. You play in and out of grass-topped dunes between the sea and castle, all the while catching views of the majestic stone walls. And what a pedigree. In 1934, King George V was Patron and the Prince of Wales was Captain of Royal St. Davids.
 
Aberdovey Golf Club
Set in the beautiful Snowdonia National Park which is worth seeing even if you dont play golf, youll find this aged golf links with lineage back to 1886. It sits at the mouth of the Dovey Estuary between the Cambrian Mountains and the dunes of Aberdovey Beach.
 
Celtic Manor Resort
One of Wales newest resorts, Celtic Manor will host the 2010 Ryder Cup. With three unique courses and a gorgeous multi-million-dollar clubhouse and floodlit golf academy plus a 400-bed Five-Star hotel and health spa, Celtic Manor appeals to those looking for a golf resort experience.
 
Unlike Wales traditional links courses like Pennard, a wonderful track so old the cows and horses have right-of-way ' its not unusual to see wild horses galloping across the fairways ' Celtic Manors three tracks are newly minted. The Roman Road, The Montgomerie and The Twenty Ten course were designed to handle tournaments and demanding resort guests.
 
The Twenty Ten Course opening last year and playing a robust 7,493 yards, was purpose-built for the Ryder Cup with a steep hillside rising above the three closing holes to offer spectators views of the closing action.
 
The Roman Road, which opened in 1995 was designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr. and is named after the many Roman roads that criss-cross the landscape while the The Montgomerie crafted by Colin Montgomerie has dramatic tee shots over valleys and breathtaking downhill shots.
 
Things to see & do
Castles: There are literally hundreds of castles, Roman ruins and Celtic forts to visit including Harlech Castle, the gray-stoned Conway Castle and the massive Caernarfon Castle, the best-known medieval castle in the country and venue for the investiture of Prince Charles as Prince of Wales in 1969.
 
The Red Fort Ruthin Castle dating from 1277, offers medieval banquets ' the kind where you eat Tom Jones-style with your fingers ' and things like tunnels, underground dungeons, whipping pit and drowning pool. And you can overnight here too.
 
Lovespoons: While in Wales be sure to buy your honey a lovespoon. The tradition of giving your sweetheart a carved wooden spoon is a Welsh custom going back hundreds of years.
 
Drives: The drive through Snowdonia National Park has a stark beauty with lots of huge rocks, plunging ravines and wild open vistas of the mountains while the drive from Royal St. Davids to Aberdovey takes you along Wales rugged and magnificent coast.
 
Trains: Wales is known for its great little trains like the famous Blaenau Fjestinniog Railway and the Snowdon Mountain Railway, which chugs to the summit of Snowdon.
 
Villages: Betws-y-Coed south of Conwy is surrounded by mountains and dense woodlands, your quintessential Welsh village. Also stop in the Italianate coastal village of Portmeirion, the creation of architect Sir Clough Williams-Ellis and the coastal hamlet of Pwllheli, so pretty it has been preserved by the National Trust.
 
Places to Stay
Gwesty Portmeirion Hotel: Opened by Clough Williams-Ellis in 1926, this resort village is a living fantasy with spires rising above the sub-tropical woodlands. Certainly the design and furnishings define the term eclectic. Try the brasserie-style restaurant at Castell Deudraeth. www.portmeirion.com
 
Bodysgallen Hotel, Llandudn: Wonderful gardens surround this grand country house hotel revealing spectacular views of Snowdonia. Very elegant digs. www.bodysgallen.com
 
Castle Hotel, Conwy: Youre in castle country, why not stay in a castle, in this case a 15th century coaching inn in the heart of the walled town of Conwy. Good hospitality, good golf, great bar. www.castlewales.co.uk
 
Celtic Manor Resort: One of Wales newest golf resorts, besides a variety of accommodations in the 330-room Resort Hotel and the traditional 19th century Manor House, there is The Forum Health Club and Spa and a hydrotherapy pool along with a variety of places to eat and drink like The Patio restaurant, the Cellar Bar, Residents Lounge, The Olive Tree and Merlins Bar. www.celtic-manor.com
 
Maes-y-Neuadd: This 14th century stone country house just north of Harlech and Royal St. Davids, is surrounded by walled gardens and sweeping lawns. The inn has 16 rooms, all differently furnished. Expect superb breakfasts and dinners created from fresh produce and local fish and meat. Relax with a brew in the cozy bar with its ancient inglenook and recesses full of interesting curios. www.neuadd.com
 
And remember if someone greets you with, bore da smile and return, And good morning to you. The lyrical Welsh language is enthusiastically embraced by those who value their heritage.
 
Links
www.britishopengolf.co.uk
www.rarebits.co.uk
www.walesgolfvacations.com
www.conwygolfclub.com
www.nwt.co.uk
www.nefyn-golf-club.com
www.royalstdavids.co.uk
www.aberdoveygolf.co.uk
www.ruthincastle.co.uk
 

Katharine DysonKatharine Dyson is an award-winning freelance travel, lifestyle, golf and guidebook author based in the northeast.
 

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  • Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

    He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

    Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

    Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.


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    In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

    Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

    Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

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    Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

    By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

    ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

    The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

    They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

    Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

    Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

    Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

    ''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

    The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

    In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

    Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.

    Rose wins; Aphibarnrat earns Masters bid in Indonesia

    By Will GrayDecember 17, 2017, 1:59 pm

    Justin Rose continued his recent run of dominance in Indonesia, while Kiradech Aphibarnrat snagged a Masters invite with some 72nd-hole dramatics.

    Rose cruised to an eight-shot victory at the Indonesian Masters, carding bookend rounds of 10-under 62 that featured a brief run at a 59 during the final round. The Englishman was the highest-ranked player in the field and he led wire-to-wire, with Thailand's Phachara Khongwatmai finishing second.

    Rose closes out the year as perhaps the hottest player in the world, with top-10 finishes in each of his final 10 worldwide starts. That stretch includes three victories, as Rose also won the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open. He hasn't finished outside the top 10 in a tournament since missing the cut at the PGA Championship.

    Meanwhile, it took until the final hole of the final tournament of 2017 for Aphibarnrat to secure a return to the Masters. The Thai entered the week ranked No. 56 in the world, with the top 50 in the year-end world rankings earning invites to Augusta National. Needing an eagle on the 72nd hole, Aphibarnrat got just that to snag solo fifth place.

    It means that he is projected to end the year ranked No. 49, while Japan's Yusaku Miyazato - who started the week ranked No. 58 and finished alone in fourth - is projected to finish No. 50. Aphibarnrat finished T-15 in his Masters debut in 2016, while Miyazato will make his first appearance in the spring.

    The results in Indonesia mean that American Peter Uihlein and South Africa's Dylan Frittelli are projected to barely miss the year-end, top-50 cutoff. Their options for Masters qualification will include winning a full-point PGA Tour event in early 2018 or cracking the top 50 by the final March 25 cutoff.