Montys stamp already placed on Celtic Manor


NEWPORT, Wales – While all the focus is on Celtic Manor's Twenty Ten course this week, there are two other 18-hole courses at the resort, including one designed by Europe's Ryder Cup Captain Colin Montgomerie.

The Montgomerie Course opened in 2007 after extensive renovations to an existing layout, and in my opinion, is much more fun to play than Twenty Ten for the mid-handicapper.

Twenty Ten offers the experience of playing a tournament-worthy course in immaculate condition and a dramatic closing stretch, built with 50,000 spectators in mind. But the first 14 holes are pretty flat and while there are scenic valley views, the hole designs themselves feel like they could be placed anywhere in the world.

It's a design for the pros – not us. But Celtic Manor has the traveling duffer covered, too.  For an even better taste of the Welsh countryside, hit the shorter, more severe Montgomerie course. Holes tumble up and down and around severe pot bunkers, feeling much more like traditional heartland than the modern Twenty Ten.

The Monty's par-5 3rd hole may be the best on the property – a 600-plus-yard hole that runs downhill about 200 feet to the green.

The course is just a par 69, under 6,400 yards, so everyone will have a chance at a couple birdie holes. It's also about half the cost of Twenty Ten, so play it twice.

I played the Montgomerie shortly after opening in 2007, click here for the course review.