The Celtic Manor Resort has submitted a planning application for an extension to its Wentwood Hills course with the aim of strengthening the Welsh bid to stage the 2009 Ryder Cup.
The proposals to be considered by Newport County Borough Council include the creation of seven new holes on new land and two completely redesigned holes, a practice range and the construction of a clubhouse on the site of an existing farm.
The move comes after the Ryder Cup Committee confirmed that the final six holes of the existing course, designed by Robert Trent Jones, would not be suitable for the event. “We are making a number of modifications to those holes for this summer’s Wales Open, but we have been told that the course would still not meet the specific needs of the Ryder Cup,” said Andy Stanton, Wales Open Tournament Committee Chairman and Celtic Manor’s representative on the Wales 2009 Ryder Cup Committee. “The format of the tournament means that many thousands of spectators follow a single match, and we accept that moving very large numbers of people through the final stages of the existing lay out would be difficult. The hilly finish is also not ideal when players have to complete two rounds in a day, as they do in the Ryder Cup.”
Golf course architects, European Golf Design have been appointed to carry out the work. Managing director of European Golf Design, Jeremy Slessor said, ” We are delighted to be involved with such a prestigious project. We believe that the plans will provide a tremendous golf course capable of challenging the world’s best players. Space has been allocated to provide the infrastructure necessary for a modern tournament venue and the topography of the site over the closing holes will create superb natural viewing areas for spectators”
Tony Lewis, chairman of the Wales 2009 Ryder Cup bid, said: “We have put together an excellent case, including a strategy for the development of golf across Wales and an exciting tournaments programme.
“The benefits to Wales of a successful bid would be enormous. The Ryder Cup is third only to the Olympics and the soccer world cup in global media terms. Not only does the event itself bring more than £100m to the host country but there would also be ongoing benefits – starting immediately – from the investment in golf development and tournaments and the boost to golf tourism.
“The Celtic Manor Resort is the only venue in Europe which has been purpose built and perfectly positioned for the Ryder Cup. It’s a location of real vision with superb five star facilities and great access nationally and internationally. The changes to the course are the final piece in the jigsaw and the bid committee is delighted that the resort is willing to make this additional major investment to give us a great chance of bringing this event to Wales for the first time.”
Celtic Manor Resort www.celtic-manor.com