John Paramor, the Chief Referee at the 38th Ryder Cup, has become the latest influential figure to salute the Celtic Manor Resort’s Twenty Ten Course, both for the way it staged such a dramatic sporting occasion and for the manner in which it withstood the torrential rain that beset this year’s match.
Writing in a Ryder Cup Blog on the R&A’s official website, Paramor painted a graphic picture of the problems caused by the weather and suggested the match might never have been completed without the course’s state-of-the-art drainage system and the sterling work of an army of greenkeepers and volunteers.
“For the two years prior to the playing of the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor, I had been hoping and praying for good weather conditions,” Paramor wrote. “The Twenty Ten course had been carefully re-designed to a high specification and much fairway drainage was installed. I was therefore confident that we would be able to play the Ryder Cup in the first week of October … unless we had a freak storm or dense fog.”
Sadly, Paramor’s worst fears were realised and torrential rain at regular intervals, both before and during the contest, disrupted play and resulted in the first Monday finish in Ryder Cup history. Nevertheless, despite the disruptions, the two sides were still able to produce some phenomenal golf and, ultimately to enhance even further the reputation of one of the most eagerly-awaited events in all of sport.
“This will be a Ryder Cup I will never forget,” Paramor concluded. “The golf was incredible and the atmosphere was magical.”
The Twenty Ten Course at the Celtic Manor Course was the first course ever built specifically to stage the Ryder Cup. Ross McMurray, of European Golf Design, was tasked with the job of creating a golf course that would produce exciting golf and provide sufficient vantage points for crowds of up to 50,000 a day.
“It has been a pleasure and a privilege to be involved, but it was also the most technically difficult project I have worked on” said McMurray. “The golf course needed to both challenge the world’s best golfers and facilitate the huge crowds which attend a Ryder Cup. We had to provide enough space for large hospitality units and ensure that spectators had the best opportunity to see as much golf as possible, particularly over the last few holes where the excitement reaches its peak. I think we succeeded and it’s a blessing that the more technical aspects of the design, such as the drainage, also worked.
“I was delighted at how well the course withstood the terrible weather and I’m even more pleased that it produced such an enthralling finish,” added the designer. “The atmosphere amongst the spectators was amazing especially when Graeme McDowell was battling it out coming down the stretch against Hunter Mahan.
“Everywhere you looked, spectators were on tenterhooks and that’s what the Ryder Cup is all about. The match couldn’t have turned out any better in the end.”
European Golf design was established in 1992 as a Joint Venture between the European Tour and IMG in order to provide a golf course design service for both parent companies and their various tournament and client based golf projects. Since then, the company’s skills have become recognised by many others, not only those interested in tournament golf.
The company has been appointed to assist four of the five countries involved in the bidding process for the 2018 Ryder Cup.
European Golf Design www.egd.com