European Golf Design - Designing for The Ryder Cup
The development of the Twenty Ten Course at The Celtic Manor Resort involved various challenging factors for golf course designers, European Golf Design.
Roddy Williams, European Tour Editorial Staff
The development of the Twenty Ten Course at The Celtic Manor Resort involved various challenging factors for golf course designers, European Golf Design, not least the creation of a golf course that was capable of testing the world’s greatest players. But the Twenty Ten Course wasn’t just built for the participants.
As Ross McMurray, project architect for European Golf Design, explained; “We wanted to create the best possible venue for those attending this year’s Ryder Cup. So as well as building tees and greens, bunkers, fairways and lakes, all the extra elements needed to stage a major golf tournament with an attendance of over 40,000 people had to be catered for. This included creating good spectator viewing areas, providing space for tented villages and refreshment areas, building dedicated platforms for hospitality units, incorporating space for all the media and television requirements, and ensuring practical and safe public access. Obviously this was quite a task and needed close coordination during and after the planning stage between ourselves, Celtic Manor Resort, The Ryder Cup staging department and the many other consultants involved on the project.”
To satisfy spectator viewing over the finishing stretch, where excitement during The Ryder Cup is traditionally at its peak, the last three holes have been designed to sit within dramatic amphitheatres on the side of the Usk valley overlooking the golf course. From here many thousands of visitors to The 2010 Ryder Cup will have unrivalled views of all the action, not only on these holes, but across the golf course.
Above the spectator areas 25,000m² of platforms were constructed for the hospitality units, running along much of the length of holes 16, 17 and 18. This is where thousands of corporate and other guests will be entertained and who will also be able to enjoy unfettered views of the golf as well as some wonderful panoramas of the Usk valley and the surrounding countryside.
The creation of the last three holes involved cuts up to 10m deep through rock and on the 18th hole alone some 350,000m³ of material had to be removed. This vast amount of dirt and stone was then used to build up and raise flatter, poorly drained areas at the bottom of the valley to accommodate the main tented village as well as the first five holes alongside the River Usk.
Ross McMurray commented; “We were aware that at previous Ryder Cup events one of the biggest issues for spectators and hospitality guests was the provision of unrestricted views to the golf. We were determined with the design of the Twenty Ten Course to ensure we used the site’s natural features to their full potential to create the best possible viewing experience for all those who attend this year. I’m sure the atmosphere over the last few holes will exceed anything seen before at previous Ryder Cup’s and will hopefully set a benchmark for future venues.”