Winter tweaks to the new Twenty Ten course at Celtic Manor are expected to make it tougher for the forthcoming Wales Open and the Ryder Cup.
To be played from 3-6 June, this year’s Wales Open will be the second tournament to be played on the course since its 2007 debut.
Jim McKenzie, Celtic Manor’s director of golf courses, said the winter works would make the course significantly more difficult for both the Wales Open and the Ryder Cup. “We’ve deepened a number of bunkers with larger faces and the rough will certainly be consistently thicker than it has been in previous years,” said McKenzie. “The greens will also be a lot firmer, which is something we’ve been working towards since the course opened in 2007. It means only properly struck iron shots will be rewarded by stopping quickly on the greens. The course has now had the benefit of a few years of growing in and I’m confident it’s the toughest, but fairest, golf course we’ve seen for the Wales Open.”
The biggest single revision has seen McKenzie and his team scoop out a huge swale to the left of the 11th green, increasing the chance of shots misdirected that way finding the lake or leaving a tricky tight lie from which to get up and down.
“I think it will be a huge advantage for Colin to see the refinements in tournament play before the Ryder Cup,” added McKenzie. “The most notable change to the landscape of the golf course is the new swale spilling off the left of the eleventh. It’s made the green a much narrower target, as it should be for a reachable par five, and will leave players with their hearts in their mouths if they pull their approach shots that way.
“The remedial work has also seen us remodel the greenside bunkers with larger faces and similar bunker reshaping has also been done on holes seven, ten, twelve, thirteen, fifteen and eighteen. Drainage in these and other bunkers has also been improved.”