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Sean_A

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2016-17 Winter Tour: Celtic Manor TWENTY TEN COURSE New
« on: November 06, 2016, 07:07:07 AM »
The Celtic Manor Resort is the brainchild of Sir Terrance Matthews.   Hard on the M4 near Newport, the resort eventually became a 2000 acre three course golf destination which was very appealing to golfers that enjoyed nothing more than a bog standard Florida or southern Spain sojourn.  Not willing to rest on his laurels, Matthews pushed for a Ryder Cup in Wales at Celtic Manor.  His bid for the first bespoke Ryder Cup venue was approved for the 2010 matches.  The idea was to engage European Design to design the course using the flood plain of the River Usk.  From an engineering perspective, this was an incredible undertaking loaded with challenges.  The first order of business was stripping the hillside where hole numbers 16-18 are routed to move enough fill to raise the valley floor about 10 feet.  Second, to connect the valley holes to the upper holes a foot bridge was constructed over Bulmore Road.  Third, a bridge which now leads nowhere was constructed to access the practice ground. There are many more issues which had to be tackled simply to meet the modern demands of hosting a Ryder Cup, but let us get to the course.

There are a total of nine new holes designed by R McMurray.  On the flat valley floor are the opening five holes.  The 14th starts the transition out of the valley with 16-18 on the high ground left of the valley.  Nine holes from the RTJ Jr Wentwood Hills course were extensively re-shaped to make up the remainder of the Twenty Ten Course.  These holes are 6-13 and the controversial 15th. With a daily tee yardage of nearly 6600 yards and ten holes featuring water, the Twenty Ten is pure he-man golf which could only have been envisioned as suitable for the very best players.   In short, there is no harkening back to classic design, this course is as modern as it gets.

The opening two holes are not terribly memorable, but the reader does gain a clear idea of the valley land and bunker style.  Below are approaches to each par 4.


 

The first short hole is decent.  We played in quite poor weather with heavy air, perhaps this is why the 165 yards seemed to play much longer. 
 

I quite like the greensite for #4, one of five two-shotters playing about 400 yards. 
 

The last of the new valley holes is a ball breaker.  The hole jiggers right around bunkers then over water to the green.  Strangely, folks missing their tee shots well right are rewarded with a clear shot to the green without having to cross the greenside water.  The concept is totally befuddling. 




Moving back to RTJ Jr country, a much more straight forward water hole awaits.  This is an extremely penal design, but a hole which I really like because the penal aspects were clearly on display.


The green is quite good in that those choosing to play long so as to take the water out of play face a downhill putt/chip.


More to follow.

Ciao
« Last Edit: August 07, 2022, 07:09:18 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, Malone, Cruit Island & St Pats

Thomas Dai

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Re: 2016-17 Winter Tour: Celtic Manor TWENTY TEN COURSE 1-6
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2016, 09:57:09 AM »
Nice introduction to this photo-tour. The first 6 holes form a strong start to a round, especially when like the day of this round, the wind is blowing from the east (normally it's from the west) and there's drizzle in the air.

It'll be interesting to see how comments arise as I posted a general thread about the course a while back - http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,56683.msg1317773.html#msg1317773 - and was along for this round.

Atb

Robert Thompson

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Re: 2016-17 Winter Tour: Celtic Manor TWENTY TEN COURSE 1-6
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2016, 11:26:40 PM »
Sean: I played this with Ian Andrew just before the Ryder Cup. I thought it a bit of a mess, and probably wouldn't rate being included in the Top 25 parkland courses in Toronto. But the Ryder Cup has little to do with course quality -- it is about who can write the biggest cheque.


People should drive past this and head straight to Porthcawl, and Southerndown, or go play your place, Burnham and Berrow.
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Sean_A

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Re: 2016-17 Winter Tour: Celtic Manor TWENTY TEN COURSE New
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2016, 04:13:52 AM »
ATB

I am not exactly sure what is meant by "strong start", but I reckon the opening six offer very little in the way of inspired design. There is nothing which sets these holes apart from any one of hundreds (likely) of courses. 

Robert

I am not saying folks should play 2010 over many other choices with far more character, but "a bit of a mess" is harsh.

2010 TOUR CONT.

The 7th is a straight forward par 3 of some distance.  On the 8th, we are finally given a bunker scheme which properly impacts play for folks that can't carry the ball 275+.  We must choose between carrying the right bunker, or making sure we don't reach the a left bunker cutting off the line to the green.  The angle is best behind the left bunker, but the shot is likely blind. 
 

The 9th too has more interesting bunkering.  Unless one can bash the ball with serious intent, play is squeezed left toward the River Usk...which isn't in play.  However, the fairway is built up well above the river creating a sharpish slope for those who steer too conservatively away from sand. 
 

Not reachable for many in two, the idea is to lay-up for the preferred approach.
 

The wee 10th too is decent golf.  Playing downhill, the green is interesting even if subtle. 
 

After a warming cup of tea and a panini which didn't quite do the job,  we set off on the three-shot 11th...which is largely forgettable.  The 12th, however, is a hole which can cause consternation. From the tee, practically all one can see is trouble.  There is water left and straight-ahead.   The extent of the water blocking the green is only revealed once we reach the driving zone.  There really isn't a practical way to get around the water, a design decision which baffles me.
 

The penny finally dropped once I spied the short 13th.  The Twenty Ten really is 90% about the best players on the planet and offers very little in the way of originality to help endear itself to the average marker golfer.  I am afraid this is a classic example of a cookie cutter design. The 13th.
 
 
#14 is an interesting hole.  One can play straight at the green over water and avoid the water carry on the approach or play left and be faced with the carry later.  Somewhat like the 6th, the green is sloped toward the front making the conservative player pay for his sins.
 

   

For the most part the walk has been decent for modern a championship design, but we now make the arduous walk over Bulmore Road to meet the 15th...a head scratcher for sure.  The hole was designed by RTJ Jr to play as a severe dogleg right with the turning point at an awkward distance.  The club decided to offer an opportunity to drive the green by opening a gap in the trees. This of course creates a slow play zone and gives yet another huge advantage to those who can carry the ball some distance.  The club is in the process of building a new tee hard on the tree line which will eliminate any possibility of going for the green, but make the drive a very prescribed shot.  IMO, we have walked so bloody far to reach this dog's dinner, we may as well walk a bit more and play a longish uphill par 3...it could be the best hole on the property.   
   

   

To reach the 16th requires another awkward walk, but the hole is quite good and my favourite.   A horseshoe of bunkers frames the landing zone, but one can fade a ball beyond the sand to open fairway. The approach is quite attractive playing over a valley to a raised green well protected by sand, but offering a run-up gap.
   

The par threes up to this point failed to impress...more of the same for the 17th.  The final hole is a moderate length par 5 playing over water to a raised table top green which must be well carried or approaches will dribble back to a watery grave.  Again, a design which basically tells the handicap player to stick it where the sun don't shine.
 

Keeping in mind this McMurray/RTJ Jr hybrid had a championship brief to fulfill, I think the concept was doomed from the start.  The archie was stuck between a rock and a hard place!  Any archie would sensibly look to tone down the RTJ Jr so-called heroic design concepts with more playable holes.  However, the result is a course with a dubious identity which probably suits the Doak 4-5 score to a tee...not awful, but if this is what designing for pros looks like...what is the point?  I can understand punters wanting to play a Ryder Cup venue, but for crying out loud, go play Ganton, Walton Heath, Muirfield, Moortown etc.  Your money and time will be much better spent.  2016

Previous stops on The Tour:

Kington
http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,30926.0.html 

Welshpool
http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,63739.0.html

Next scheduled stop: Luffenham Heath

Ciao
« Last Edit: August 07, 2022, 07:12:01 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, Malone, Cruit Island & St Pats

Ben Stephens

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Re: 2016-17 Winter Tour: Celtic Manor TWENTY TEN COURSE
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2016, 05:11:06 AM »
Sean,


A great tour as usual. Personally I am not a fan of the 2010 course it is a missed opportunity and I preferred the Old Wentwood Hills layout even it was a mountain to club but had more interesting holes in my opinion.


The 5th hole is really baffling - since the first time I played it I intentionally played right into the right short of the bunkers because it gives me a far much easier shot to the green :)


I just get the feeling that this course is too repetitive and monotonous with little variation throughout. The bunkers should be smaller or longer and thinner as they take forever to rake if you are in the middle of it and also there should be shorter walks from tee to green.


The closing holes 16-18 are disappointing the original design was for it to be 3 successive par fours but there was a protected area going back to Roman times behind the the 17th green. Hole 16 ruined a spectacular hole - the old 3rd hole on the Wentwood Hills which was a great downhill par 4 with great views of the valley and the River Usk.


My choice out of the three Celtic Manor courses would be the Roman Road without doubt the best and most interesting of the three. I last played at the Celtic Manor 2 years ago on the Monty course which was £14 a round which was great value but the course is very boggy in places and it was not a good course in my opinion as there are too many bad holes as opposed to some great holes.
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Tony_Muldoon

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Re: 2016-17 Winter Tour: Celtic Manor TWENTY TEN COURSE
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2016, 05:12:39 AM »
Played it before the alterations and then attended the Ryder Cup. Although itís more than a dozen years since, I recall my round was in beautiful autumn sunshine and not the dreak you encountered, or the monsoon that washed play away at the Ryder Cup.  All 3 being examples of October weather? Suffice to say I had a warm feeling from playing there and do enjoy RTJís heroic challenges but only on a once and done basis.  (NB an RTJ course is a much rarer thing in Europe. IN 200 + courses Iíve only managed 5.)
 
I do recall the start before the changes as being quite interesting.  What was lost was an all world view from the back of a Par 5 green (the sixth) which showed you the valley where the rest of the course was.  The drop was so severe that it had to go before the spectators could come.  The new final 3 holes were a slog without clubs!
 
They offer deals and I can see why a GB golfer might want to tick this one off. There are worse courses.
 
 
Does anyone know what has happened to the Ďthirdí course there?  It was a fun executive length with some wild downhill holes. Itís the only course Iíve ever enjoyed from a cart which was needed to play it after walking the old original one.
 
I also found the second course ďRoman RoadĒ to be a pretty solid 5 with less extreme holes.  Both the other two courses were part of a weekend deal.




PS Were all 3 RTJ jr originally?  in which case I've only played 2 RTJ's and I think they had slighly more interest in the greens)
« Last Edit: November 08, 2016, 05:33:15 AM by Tony_Muldoon »
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Adam Lawrence

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Re: 2016-17 Winter Tour: Celtic Manor TWENTY TEN COURSE
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2016, 05:36:33 AM »
I played Roman Road in a corporate event some years ago, not long after I had finished five weeks of radiotherapy because my brain tumour had started to regrow. So I said to the organiser, I will walk but I don't know how I will get on; he said, well if you need a cart at halfway you can pick one up.


It took us two hours and fifty minutes to play the front nine. I was exhausted, but mostly frustrated at the dirge like pace of play. Took a cart for the second nine, so at least I was not quite so knackered, but the pace of play didn't improve. We eventually abandoned the round on 17 as the daylight had completely gone.


I'm afraid I have no time for Celtic Manor. I am very well aware of what Terry Matthews has done in terms of investing in his native area, but just wish he had done it a little more sensitively. Ross McMurray did the job he was asked to do on Twenty Ten; but I wouldn't want to play it. And judging by the amount of email I get advertising special offers at CM I am not the only one. The hotel is OK I suppose, once you're inside it. Driving down the M4 once I christened the place the 'Welsh Lubyanka'.
Adam Lawrence

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Thomas Dai

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Re: 2016-17 Winter Tour: Celtic Manor TWENTY TEN COURSE
« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2016, 06:11:14 AM »
By 'strong' Sean I meant tough, hard, challenging, difficult to score on even after warming up with free range balls and using the short game practice area.

Whatever one thinks about the 2010 course itself and whether those thoughts are purely golf architecture based or have other perceptions, it must be appreciated that the 2010 was built for a purpose........and only partly a golf purpose. The whole complex is about many different aspects. For example the Nato conference in 2014 was held at CM and there are joint ventures with the Welsh Assembly apparently due to come along. There's a bigger picture than just the 2010 course.

Is the 2010 course a classical architectural masterpiece? No. It is an example of how course design, construction and maintenance has moved in the last few decades in the UK and what can be achieved with drainage? Yes. Would folks who post herein prefer to play Royal Porthcawl or Southerndown or other South Wales coastal courses rather than the CM-2010? Almost undoubtedly. However, knowledge and experience, either good or bad, can be gained from playing various sorts of course including one akin to the 2010.

As to the course itself. It's long and it's tough/hard/challenging/difficult. The fairways and green surrounds play dry - there is a great deal of drainage under the fairways but only a few manhole covers are visible. There are a lot of fairway bunkers of the staggered left-right-left-right or right-left-right-left sort on many holes. The fairway bunkering is of the "hit it in a fairway bunker and it's a wedge or maybe a short iron recovery" variety. The sand is very heavy. Angles in golf are always important and at the 2010 the playing angles seem particularly important. There are some fine, challenging holes, like the par-3 3rd and the par-4 14th. There are lots of roll-offs and chipping areas around the greens. Up-n-downs are not easy and 3-putting is quite easily achieved. Green to next tee walks are long and on the latter holes quite severely sloped.

Comments on two holes -

15th - just a horrible hole. Playing up the left fairway it's a looong way to the turn of the dogleg and then a nasty short iron shot from a downhill lie to a very raised green. Hitting through the gap in the trees directly at the green makes more sense even for short hitters even if the next shot is played blind and from the rough. Only bombers will reach the green. This could be a great hole and a great spectator viewing hole too but at the moment it's simply vile. Cut all or almost all the bloody central trees down. Make it a loooong par-3 or short par-4. It already has a wicked stadium green with a whole bunch of internal contour.

18th - how do you stay on the green? The pond in front is full of ProV1's! that have rolled back down the shaved bank into the pond. Dozens of them, and all just out of reach. The front of the green slopes also towards the pond. Playing to the green after laying up is, unless your outside circa 150 yds, going to be from an appreciable downslope. Peach a shot with spin and land it on the front of the green and it'll spin back and trickle down the bank into the pond. Hit to the middle or back of the green when the pin is upfront and putting into the pond is a possibility. Argh...

Another aspect worth commenting on is the pace of play which was very slow made worse by the yellow tees being 6,500 yds, which is too long for most of the players we watched playing, and the fact that buggies cannot be taken on the fairways (there are buggy paths alongside each hole). Park the buggy, grab the wrong club, walk across the fairway, hit shot, return to buggy, drive a short distance and repeat several times. Funny how buggies don't have rearview mirrors, perhaps this is why buggy users don't let faster walkers through!

Great golf course? No. Worth experiencing once (or twice)? Yes.........if you eat steak all the time how do you know how nice (or unpleasant) fish or fowl or vegetables etc are?


atb


PS - given the drizzle and later darkness the photos have come out nicely. Well done.




« Last Edit: November 08, 2016, 06:24:34 AM by Thomas Dai »

Ben Stephens

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Re: 2016-17 Winter Tour: Celtic Manor TWENTY TEN COURSE
« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2016, 06:21:21 AM »
Played it before the alterations and then attended the Ryder Cup. Although itís more than a dozen years since, I recall my round was in beautiful autumn sunshine and not the dreak you encountered, or the monsoon that washed play away at the Ryder Cup.  All 3 being examples of October weather? Suffice to say I had a warm feeling from playing there and do enjoy RTJís heroic challenges but only on a once and done basis.  (NB an RTJ course is a much rarer thing in Europe. IN 200 + courses Iíve only managed 5.)
 
I do recall the start before the changes as being quite interesting.  What was lost was an all world view from the back of a Par 5 green (the sixth) which showed you the valley where the rest of the course was.  The drop was so severe that it had to go before the spectators could come.  The new final 3 holes were a slog without clubs!
 
They offer deals and I can see why a GB golfer might want to tick this one off. There are worse courses.
 
 
Does anyone know what has happened to the Ďthirdí course there?  It was a fun executive length with some wild downhill holes. Itís the only course Iíve ever enjoyed from a cart which was needed to play it after walking the old original one.
 
I also found the second course ďRoman RoadĒ to be a pretty solid 5 with less extreme holes.  Both the other two courses were part of a weekend deal.




PS Were all 3 RTJ jr originally?  in which case I've only played 2 RTJ's and I think they had slighly more interest in the greens)


The Roman Road (Robert Trent Jones Senior early 1990s) was the original 18 hole championship course - there was a 600 yard par 5 15th hole but had to split into 2 different holes because of the hotel location it was a good hole gone :(


The Coldra Woods (Robert Trent Jones Senior early 1990s) was the original executive short course which amalgamated with the remainder of the Old Wentwood Hills course holes that was not used for the Ryder Cup to create the Montgomerie course which is a disappointment in my opinion and destroyed the best hole on the whole complex - the old 15th on the Wentwood Hills now split into 2 holes - Holes 5 and 6 on the Montgomerie - the 6th tee is in the wrong place because the green is blind and slopes the wrong way from the tee.


The Wentwood Hills (Robert Trent Jones Junior or RTJ2) was the third course built in the late 1990s/early 2000's and was a host of the Wales Open but did not go down well with the pros because of the steep hilly walk down and back. Looking back I still think it was a better course overall than the 2010. 


The 2010 course (Ross McMurray EGD) as currently stands but I am not a fan of it that I have declined an invite to my local golf society trip to it :) .

Sean_A

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Re: 2016-17 Winter Tour: Celtic Manor TWENTY TEN COURSE New
« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2016, 06:38:15 AM »
ATB

I agree, the 2010 isn't an awful course, but it is insipidly bog standard.  When given a world stage opportunity with tons of dosh, I would have hoped for something a load more original.  That said, I fear there were too many constraints to have a good go at building something of lasting merit.  But then, it seems when archies do push the envelop with creative designs for pros then many get all huffy...see Erin Hills and Chambers Bay.  Its a very tough ask for an archie to create a truly appropriate level of flat belly difficulty which can handle large crowds while still getting 15 cappers around in 4 hours with smiles on their faces.  When I look at Trump Aberdeen (which hasn't been tested yet!) from purely this PoV, its easy to see how much Hawtree got right. 

Ciao
« Last Edit: November 08, 2019, 07:54:32 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, Malone, Cruit Island & St Pats

Jon Wiggett

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Re: 2016-17 Winter Tour: Celtic Manor TWENTY TEN COURSE
« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2016, 12:25:20 PM »
I have never had any desire to visit this place as for me it stands for so much that can go wrong with the game and Sean's tour certainly has not altered this. I am amazed that it is possible to spend such vast amounts of money and end up with such a mediocre result. I hope the hotel is at least up to scratch.

jeffwarne

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Re: 2016-17 Winter Tour: Celtic Manor TWENTY TEN COURSE
« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2016, 12:50:26 PM »
ATB


I agree, the 2010 isn't an awful course, but it is insipidly bog standard.  When given a world stage oportunity with tons of dosh, I would have hoped for something a load more original.  The 2010 looks and feels like it could have been designed on a computer. But then, it seems when archies do push the envelop with creative designs for pros then many get all huffy...see Erin Hills and Chambers Bay.  Its a very tough ask for an archie to create a truly appropriate level of flat belly difficulty which can handle large crowds while still getting 15 cappers around in 4 hours with smiles on their faces.  When I look at Trump Aberdeen (which hasn't been tested yet!) from purely this PoV, its easy to see how much Hawtree got right.  The quality difference between these two courses is so wide that it can't be properly measured.


Ciao


Curious why given the wealth of choices within a reasonable drive you ended up at CM.(no doubt the long walk of CM would allow more time for windshield time to broaden the choices ;) )
Hopefully you were in good company.
To be fair it would seem a decent choice if it were 80 degrees and you were stuck in the architectural wasteland of Florida or Portugal.
Can't even imagine comparing Trump Aberdeen to CM as one was located upon one of the best sites ever in golf.
That said I'm unlikely to ever make the comparison anyway as I'm unlikely to play either for different reasons.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2016, 12:52:26 PM by jeffwarne »
"Let's slow the damned greens down a bit, not take the character out of them." Tom Doak
"Take their focus off the grass and put it squarely on interesting golf." Don Mahaffey

Robin_Hiseman

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Re: 2016-17 Winter Tour: Celtic Manor TWENTY TEN COURSE
« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2016, 01:12:50 PM »
Sean was there on a comp as my guest.
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jeffwarne

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Re: 2016-17 Winter Tour: Celtic Manor TWENTY TEN COURSE
« Reply #13 on: November 08, 2016, 01:22:04 PM »
Sean was there on a comp as my guest.


Good company? check
"Let's slow the damned greens down a bit, not take the character out of them." Tom Doak
"Take their focus off the grass and put it squarely on interesting golf." Don Mahaffey

Sean_A

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Re: 2016-17 Winter Tour: Celtic Manor TWENTY TEN COURSE New
« Reply #14 on: November 08, 2016, 01:47:44 PM »
ATB


I agree, the 2010 isn't an awful course, but it is insipidly bog standard.  When given a world stage oportunity with tons of dosh, I would have hoped for something a load more original.  The 2010 looks and feels like it could have been designed on a computer. But then, it seems when archies do push the envelop with creative designs for pros then many get all huffy...see Erin Hills and Chambers Bay.  Its a very tough ask for an archie to create a truly appropriate level of flat belly difficulty which can handle large crowds while still getting 15 cappers around in 4 hours with smiles on their faces.  When I look at Trump Aberdeen (which hasn't been tested yet!) from purely this PoV, its easy to see how much Hawtree got right.  The quality difference between these two courses is so wide that it can't be properly measured.


Ciao


Curious why given the wealth of choices within a reasonable drive you ended up at CM.(no doubt the long walk of CM would allow more time for windshield time to broaden the choices ;) )
Hopefully you were in good company.
To be fair it would seem a decent choice if it were 80 degrees and you were stuck in the architectural wasteland of Florida or Portugal.
Can't even imagine comparing Trump Aberdeen to CM as one was located upon one of the best sites ever in golf.
That said I'm unlikely to ever make the comparison anyway as I'm unlikely to play either for different reasons.

Jeff

If it ain't expensive I'll try most courses and it isn't as if Celtic Manor is a million miles away.  As Doc says, it was a freebie, but I would pay a much reduced green fee to see the course again...as I say, 2010 is not a bad course...I am likely the wrong target market.

Ciao
« Last Edit: July 14, 2018, 07:17:34 PM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, Malone, Cruit Island & St Pats

Thomas Dai

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Re: 2016-17 Winter Tour: Celtic Manor TWENTY TEN COURSE
« Reply #15 on: November 08, 2016, 03:04:47 PM »
Folks generally, although maybe not those with GCA inclinations, seem to like the 2010 as tee-time sheets appear pretty full. And if there was no 2010 course for them to play on then the usual South Wales GCA favourites written about herein would be considerably busier which would mean less easy access to the others for those with GCA inclinations, ie us!


The whole Celtic Manor complex, not just the 2010, is not the greatest piece of land to build any course on let alone one which had to fit into a bigger scheme. As Sean says above " Its a very tough ask for an archie to create a truly appropriate level of flat belly difficulty which can handle large crowds while still getting 15 cappers around in 4 hours with smiles on their faces"

Lots of things to consider...price point, availability, location, conditioning, ego, list ticking, golfing likes and dislikes, who's paying etc......but hey I know folks who don't like links courses or the rural and rustic low maintenance courses that many of us herein seem to appreciate. Each to their own.


Atb

Jon Wiggett

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Re: 2016-17 Winter Tour: Celtic Manor TWENTY TEN COURSE
« Reply #16 on: November 08, 2016, 06:12:16 PM »
Thomas,


I would assume that CM does most of its trade through selling package deals for the whole resort and hence the busy tee sheet. That does not mean there could not get better quality for their buck though. I agree that there are many (possibly more) golfers who like the offer than not but it certainly is not near the top of my list (or middle fore that matter)


Jon

Adrian_Stiff

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Re: 2016-17 Winter Tour: Celtic Manor TWENTY TEN COURSE
« Reply #17 on: November 08, 2016, 06:38:05 PM »
I have never had any desire to visit this place as for me it stands for so much that can go wrong with the game and Sean's tour certainly has not altered this. I am amazed that it is possible to spend such vast amounts of money and end up with such a mediocre result. I hope the hotel is at least up to scratch.
I would probably agree 100% with this except that my/yours/the gca opinion is the minor one.  It kinda hurts but you have to face up that 9 out of 10 want to go here not Machrahanish Dunes. The £$£$£ tell the truth and we can sniffle and zig all we want as long as we accept the people vote  we can move on and stay in our cocoon.
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Jon Wiggett

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Re: 2016-17 Winter Tour: Celtic Manor TWENTY TEN COURSE
« Reply #18 on: November 09, 2016, 03:34:17 AM »
I have never had any desire to visit this place as for me it stands for so much that can go wrong with the game and Sean's tour certainly has not altered this. I am amazed that it is possible to spend such vast amounts of money and end up with such a mediocre result. I hope the hotel is at least up to scratch.
I would probably agree 100% with this except that my/yours/the gca opinion is the minor one.  It kinda hurts but you have to face up that 9 out of 10 want to go here not Machrahanish Dunes. The £$£$£ tell the truth and we can sniffle and zig all we want as long as we accept the people vote  we can move on and stay in our cocoon.




Thomas,

I would assume that CM does most of its trade through selling package deals for the whole resort and hence the busy tee sheet. That does not mean there could not get better quality for their buck though. I agree that there are many (possibly more) golfers who like the offer than not but it certainly is not near the top of my list (or middle fore that matter)

Jon


Adrian,


whilst I agree with the 9 out of 10 preferring to play CM and not MD it is not the architectural difference that is the reason for this. The majority of golfers playing at CM are enticed by the whole package of fame of golf course, location, non golfing facilities and package deal. The architecture has very little to do with their decision.


Were MD architecturally made in the style of CM it would have less golfers than now but were the reverse true CM would still be as busy. The fact is that MD's style was one of, if not the main driver of the whole concept which is why it ended up as such a high quality product. CM was firstly about location , then surround package concept with the golf course architecture coming a distant last and it shows in the mediocrity of the design. Its like paying enough for a Ferrari but getting a mid range Fiat.


However, this does not matter in the scheme of things and it does not take away from the benefit CM has had to Wales tourism (particularly golf) and that it is successful from a business point of view when looking at visitor numbers which I suspect were higher priorities than architecture.


Jon


Adam Lawrence

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Re: 2016-17 Winter Tour: Celtic Manor TWENTY TEN COURSE
« Reply #19 on: November 09, 2016, 04:09:41 AM »
Jon is right. Comparing two courses, one right next to the M4 and the other at the far end of the long and winding road, and drawing conclusions from that about what sort of golf anyone prefers, is a bit crazy. Insofar as CM is a success (and I would like to see the entire resort's P&L, not to mention balance sheet, before making any assumptions about that) it is down to location and the Ryder Cup.


What Celtic Manor has undeniable done is been the catalyst for a transformation in Welsh golf. If you talk to Roger Pride, the long time marketing director of the Welsh tourist authority, you'd understand how important a role it played, simply by being there and by bringing the RC. The authorities took that and built a huge campaign entitled 'Golf as it should be' around it, promoting not CM but golf in Wales generally. It was massively successful, and now, ten years and more on from the start of that campaign, Wales has a thriving golf tourism business, where before it basically had none.
Adam Lawrence

Editor, Golf Course Architecture
www.golfcoursearchitecture.net

Principal, Oxford Golf Consulting
www.oxfordgolfconsulting.com

Short words are best, and the old words, when short, are the best of all.

Ryan Coles

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Re: 2016-17 Winter Tour: Celtic Manor TWENTY TEN COURSE
« Reply #20 on: November 09, 2016, 05:26:53 AM »
What transformation?


Things still seem pretty bleak over the bridge golf wise to me. Certainly by the desperate offers I see.


Seems they spent of tonne of money looking to create a golfing legacy from the Ryder Cup and the resulting boom and that it never quite materialised beyond the high end and the high end always did ok anyway.


In proportion, more courses have closed in Wales than anywhere else.


I think even Matthews has taken his ball home to Canada but I could be wrong on that final point.


« Last Edit: November 09, 2016, 05:30:02 AM by Ryan Coles »

Sean_A

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Re: 2016-17 Winter Tour: Celtic Manor TWENTY TEN COURSE
« Reply #21 on: November 09, 2016, 06:19:42 AM »
It is interesting that just prior to playing 2010 I spoke with my sister-in-law's new beau.  Unusually, he is a golfer, but that is a different story!  He just played the 2010 and talked about three things which he found impressive:

1. The course is a serious test.

2. The course is separate from the remainder of the resort, so suggests it is special. 

3. The clubhouse is very comfortable, spacious and has some history on display. 

Adrian is to a large degree correct.  This is a visual world and the courses shown weekly on tv or now very rarely the old classics we read about and drool over on this board. I don't think many golfers of the newer generation or new to the game are informed by print media to a large degree.  They are informed by tv, the internet and social media.  Golf is not much different from internet shopping...see...want...buy.  If folks don't know about old classics its hard to make the trip.

I suggest that if folks hang around the game long enough, they will eventually learn about the work of ODGs, but this will become more and more scarce.  With the slow death of mags and old boys falling off the twig, there is now very little on offer as alternative sources of info to compete with mainstream tv/social media unless one falls into the "right" social media hands. 

Classic and renaissance architecture has made a strong movement in recent years, but unfortunately the movement is also strongly associated with high price golf in far flung destinations.  In the end, time will tell if this style of design is successfully transported to more mundane destinations and at prices which are sustainable on any great scale.  I am not hopeful because this would require a golf boom and I don't forsee this happening in traditional stronghold golf populations.  The only thing remotely close to a boom has been in Asia and to my eye it looks much more like the Celtic Manor model design wise, but not that much different cost wise from the other side of the coin.

Ryan...what do you think of 2010?

Ciao 
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, Malone, Cruit Island & St Pats

Adrian_Stiff

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Re: 2016-17 Winter Tour: Celtic Manor TWENTY TEN COURSE
« Reply #22 on: November 09, 2016, 09:18:26 AM »
Jon is right. Comparing two courses, one right next to the M4 and the other at the far end of the long and winding road, and drawing conclusions from that about what sort of golf anyone prefers, is a bit crazy. Insofar as CM is a success (and I would like to see the entire resort's P&L, not to mention balance sheet, before making any assumptions about that) it is down to location and the Ryder Cup.


What Celtic Manor has undeniable done is been the catalyst for a transformation in Welsh golf. If you talk to Roger Pride, the long time marketing director of the Welsh tourist authority, you'd understand how important a role it played, simply by being there and by bringing the RC. The authorities took that and built a huge campaign entitled 'Golf as it should be' around it, promoting not CM but golf in Wales generally. It was massively successful, and now, ten years and more on from the start of that campaign, Wales has a thriving golf tourism business, where before it basically had none.
You can play golf for as low as £12 sometimes on the Roman Road or Montgomery. The Price integrity has been totally destroyed. I get an email every week saying I can play 2 rounds, 1 nights bed and breakfast, evening meal for an amount that gets lower each week! This is the work of some university marketing grad that just does not understand how golf works in a reverse pattern for the higher end golf clubs, stack um high is not applicable. CM is very busy though, I have never understood the bizplan, there was a rumour that CM was sold or being sold after the Ryder Cup and someone asked me what it was worth. I kinda took a few minutes to come up £60-65M, based primarily on the hotel and those numbers. Sir Terry Matthews wanted £1B. You need to be making a million pounds a week for that number.
A combination of whats good for golf and good for turf.
The Players Club, Cumberwell Park, The Kendleshire, Oake Manor, Dainton Park, Forest Hills, Erlestoke, St Cleres.
www.theplayersgolfclub.com

Thomas Dai

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Re: 2016-17 Winter Tour: Celtic Manor TWENTY TEN COURSE
« Reply #23 on: November 09, 2016, 10:22:54 AM »
I would probably agree 100% with this except that my/yours/the gca opinion is the minor one.  It kinda hurts but you have to face up that 9 out of 10 want to go here not Machrahanish Dunes. The £$£$£ tell the truth and we can sniffle and zig all we want as long as we accept the people vote  we can move on and stay in our cocoon.


"Cocoon", nice word to describe things.


You could see things as the 80%-20% rule of thumb as well, with GCA enthusiasts (unfortunately?) being the 20%. I would suggest it's appropriate to sample some of the 80% occasionally to really appreciate the 20%, with the CM-2010 being a recent higher profile example of the 80%.


Atb

Adrian_Stiff

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Re: 2016-17 Winter Tour: Celtic Manor TWENTY TEN COURSE
« Reply #24 on: November 09, 2016, 01:57:10 PM »
Thomas - I think its more like 98-2 if we are talking architecture. People like nice courses and top 100 ticking off but very few people can have the level of understanding that the people on this site have (if they did they probably would be in this group of 1500).


To restate, we are the real minor opinion and most people prefer the Celtic Manor's from the Woking's because CM has 'proper' golf holes (425 yard par 4 holes) they see the drive and pitch holes as negative. They like 600 yard par five holes, they like water to drive over, in, island greens. I don't know how many people I know that have played CM 2010 but we are probably 20 miles away as the crow flies so most of our members, people like it. You yourself mentioned the word 'strong'. Strong is word typical golfers use to describe golf courses, it is not a GCA word really. Strong in GCA language would need twenty or so other words to describe why it is strong.


Condition of the golf course is far more important than the architecture to 90%, but the design has to be without 'flaws' and CM2010 does not have flaws. Painswick, Minchinhampton, Cleeve Cloud are not on the radar of most Gloucestershire golfers possibly even potential for closure, blindness, walkers, no buggies, dung, weeds, greens sloping away, no irrigation don't have the same appeal to the 98%. Fortunately most clubs have a dozen or fifteen architecture junkies that can explain why Westward Ho! is great and champion golf on Painswick Beacon.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2016, 04:24:39 PM by Adrian_Stiff »
A combination of whats good for golf and good for turf.
The Players Club, Cumberwell Park, The Kendleshire, Oake Manor, Dainton Park, Forest Hills, Erlestoke, St Cleres.
www.theplayersgolfclub.com

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