If you're into the Ryder Cup Matches, have a bunch of frequent flyer miles and a few spare bucks, here's a chance to join the club that will be hosting the 2010 event.
The Celtic Manor Resort, which hosts this fall's Ryder Cup Matches in Newport, South Wales, is offering an international membership for individuals with primary residences outside the UK.
For an initiation fee of £2,000 (which is about $3,250) and £2,000 annual dues, you can get full playing privileges on The Twenty Ten – the first course in history designed specifically to host a Ryder Cup – as well as four room nights per year in the Celtic Manor's five-star hotel. And if you join before March 31, you can also get one 2010 Ryder Cup season ticket with daily access to the Twenty Ten Club members pavilion and an opportunity to purchase an additional pass.
I haven't technically played The Twenty Ten, but I have played its ancestor course, Wentwood Hills. That's where the 2000 PGA Cup Matches (the club pros' version of the Ryder Cup) was conducted. It was Celtic Manor's willingness to overhaul Wentwood Hills into the Twenty Ten that helped Wales get its first Ryder Cup.
I thought the original Wentwood Hills was a pretty good layout – lots of fun holes and some great views, including one in which you could see nearly the whole golf course. But it probably wasn't tough enough to challenge the world's best, so they brought in architect Ross McMurray, who consulted Wentwood Hills architect Robert Trent Jones Jr., to design nine new holes and incorporate nine revamped holes from the old course to create a 7,483-yard monster for the Ryder Cup. Word is that it has a whole bunch of signature holes.
Celtic Manor has two other courses as well – the original Roman Road (designed by RTJ Sr.) and the [Colin] Montgomerie Course – and International members can play all of them.
There are a whole bunch of other goodies that come with membership as well, and you can check them out at celtic-manor.com.