The Celtic Manor Resort will encourage more beginners to take up golf after adding Caerleon Golf Club to its portfolio of golf facilities.
Celtic Manor has taken over the running of Caerleon Golf Club on a 25-year lease from the owner, Newport City Council, and has immediately set about improving the condition of the nine-hole municipal golf course, driving range and nine-hole pitch-and-putt challenge.
Caerleon offers something for everybody with the main course providing a strong challenge for accomplished golfers. The pitch-and-putt course, built with a Ryder Cup legacy grant, is perfect for beginners and families, and offers Celtic Manor something new for visitors.
Celtic Manor Resort Director of Golf Courses Jim McKenzie said: “We have three 18-hole championship courses for experienced players at Celtic Manor, and a Golf Academy and Adventure Golf for complete beginners.
“What we were lacking was something to bridge the gap between the Adventure Golf putting challenge or just hitting balls on the driving range and our championship courses, which are quite a big step up.
“The pitch-and-putt at Caerleon with nine lovely little holes is the ideal place for youngsters and beginners to start playing proper holes of golf. The nine-hole municipal course provides another stepping stone but it’s a good challenge for all golfers and has a strong membership.”
McKenzie and his greenkeeping team have been busy since Celtic Manor took on the operation at Caerleon in April.
“There were bunkers without rakes, missing tee markers and broken flags which have all now been replaced,” added McKenzie, who was awarded an MBE in recognition of his team’s heroic efforts to pull off the wettest Ryder Cup in 2010.
“Alan Quarterman and the team have successfully added definition and a certain style to the greens and fairways with criss-cross patterns and cutting them down to half the length they were when we took over.
“These are short term fixes, however, and we are looking at carrying out further agronomic work, drainage studies and aeration work towards the winter. The course is by the river and vulnerable to flooding but we are looking to reduce the amount of water on the course and increase playing opportunity in the winter.”
The feedback from existing members and regular pay-and-play visitors to Caerleon has been very positive and welcoming.
McKenzie said: “Caerleon allows you to walk onto the course in your jeans with a few clubs and a couple of golf balls in your pocket. This relaxed and welcoming approach encourages inexperienced golfers to give the game a try, without the pressures of playing the world famous courses we have at Celtic Manor.”
The Caerleon course also has its own clubhouse which sells drinks, refreshments and light meals as well as golf essentials.
Visitors staying at The Celtic Manor Resort will have access to shuttle transport to and from Caerleon Golf Club at certain times of the day and a family activity combining golf at Caerleon with a visit to the Roman Museum is also available.
Pay-and-play day guests are also welcome at the club, with summer green fees starting from £8 for adults and £4 for juniors on the main course, and £4 adults and £2 juniors on the pitch-and-putt course. For more information visit celtic-manor.com or call Caerleon Golf Club on 01633 410572.
The Celtic Manor Resort www.celtic-manor.com