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It's all in the detail for Terry Matthews
Celtic Manor owner puts the finishing touches on his Ryder Cup dream
So, the owner of The Celtic Manor Resort in Wales, The 2010 Ryder Cup host, is in Louisville on the look out for the details that make a difference.
"The table numbers at the gala dinner were high," he says. "Which meant everyone could see them and find their table easily. When you're moving large numbers of people around, little things like that can make the difference between a good event and a great event."
The big advantage Matthews has over Valhalla and previous Ryder Cup venues is that he is painting on a blank canvas. He started acquiring and developing hundreds of acres of farmland near the City of Newport in South Wales in the 1980s with The Ryder Cup already in his sights.
By 1999, he had built three courses and a major hotel and convention centre. Then, in 2001, when Celtic Manor was bidding to host The 38th Ryder Cup, he committed himself to creating another, completely new lay-out with its own clubhouse.
"It's the first time anyone has built a course from scratch for The Ryder Cup, and we had The European Tour all over it from the outset giving advice on the best way to make the most of the site," he says.
Located in a picturesque valley, at a point where the River Usk meanders across flat land between the Welsh hills, the new Twenty Ten course makes the most of the natural setting. In particular, the closing holes run along one side of the valley with the hillside rising above to give spectators a superb view.
The course opened officially earlier this year and the players at the Celtic Manor Wales Open were fulsome in their praise. Darren Clarke, a veteran of several Ryder Cups, said: "I think it's going to be a fantastic Ryder Cup venue. There's so much room for movement of tees that they can make it much more of a risk and reward course -- which is what The Ryder Cup is all about."
Padraig Harrington, winner of three Major Championships in the last two years, liked the design of the greens. "There are plenty of run-offs so the ball spills off the greens and gives you plenty of options," he said. "It's a lot more testing and brings more imagination to it compared to just having heavy rough around the greens."
Though the course itself is finished, there is one crucial part of the jig saw to put in place. Next spring, work will start on constructing a 320 foot bridge across the river to give access to another vast expanse of land that will serve as a new practise range and a television compound.
The task isn't straightforward. The valley is very sensitive archaeologically, with an abundance of Roman remains, and the river itself is a site of special scientific interest.
To avoid disturbing the otters going up and down, the bridge has to be a single span with foundations set back from the bank at a spot where there are no ancient treasures.
Having spent a fortune surveying every inch of the land, Matthews is now focusing on how the bridge will be lowered into place. And one thing's for sure, no detail will be missed.