Having been 10 years since the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor and as the European Tour is playing for a second week as part of the UK Swing, some of Team YGT reflect on their own rounds at Wales’ most famous course.
Andrew Harding, Co Founder of YGT
It’s hard to choose just one favourite memory for playing Celtic Manor, so I’m going with two…
The first and more recent was playing with YGT’s John McGuffie against Lewis and Matt from Celtic Manor. John had a few pints before the match and no one was expecting much of a performance from him. But he started with 5 birdies on the front and we won 6&5!
The next has to be when I had the chance to play in the Wales Pro Am with Jose Maria Olazabal. It was the same year he was Ryder Cup Captain. That was incredible in itself, but our team also managed to score 14 under par on the Twenty Ten course to win the event. Such a surreal day!
YGT Rory, Digital Content Creator
The resort has 3 awesome courses so it’s hard to know which one to talk about first. The Roman Road and Montgomerie Courses are superb “resort” style courses. They are worth the trip alone, but the Twenty Ten Course offers something you don’t get from many others.
Firstly, the “membership for a day” thing is a really nice touch, Engraved bag tags, concierge service and club cleaning all make you feel pretty special when you visit. Then there’s the chance to tour the Ryder Cup locker room. Where the best player’s in the world got ready for battle during the 2010 Ryder Cup…who wouldn’t want to take a selfie beside Tiger Woods’ personal locker??
The actual course… any day you have a hard time picking out the signature hole on a course; you know you’ve had a good day. It’s long, it’s tough, there are more water hazards than you can poke a 7 iron at. It’s so much fun and certainly one that will stick long in the memory. As long as you don’t do a Hunter Mahan on the 16th you’ll have a blast…
Rick Wilton, SEO Manager
Celtic Manor is a great place to visit for a golfer with a family, while I was out playing the Twenty Ten the kids were enjoying the Adventure Golf Courses! They got to play some of the most famous holes in golf including Augusta, St Andrews and Pebble Beach plus taking a raft trip over the water to the dragon’s lair!
A quick bite to eat after the golf and the family was enjoying the views from the treetops on the Forest Jump high and low rope courses. There are lots of activities to keep the rest of the family amused while the golfer is out on the course from Archery, Laser Combat, Treehouse Forest Nets and FootGolf to joining in with dad on the Pitch & Putt!
YGT’s Tommy Eatenton, Deputy Sales Director, UK & Ireland
I’ve been fortunate enough to play the Twenty Ten several times and still find the course poses different challenges each round. From the weather conditions mixing it up, tight ‘Sunday’ Pin positions and holes that tempt you with the risk and reward shots. The Twenty Ten really has to be respected. Take note of my expert tips…
‘Old man par’ isn’t a bad thing on the Par 3s, with water featured on 2 of the 5 holes and a big green on all. My advice; leave the pins alone and find the middle of the green. You’ll walk off with pars and your scorecard will look healthier.
On hole 15, take it from me, there is no advantage of playing out to the left and over the water. Find the gap in between the trees and let it rip! Anything left is dangerous, take it out to the right and you’re on the down slope. Nail it and your putting for Eagle!
Play the 18th as a 3 shot Par 5, you will thank me later. With 470 yards to the end of the fairway from the tee, an up and down will see you with Par and make you a happy golfer in the club house.
We think the Celtic Manor Resort is a must play for anyone heading to Wales. Whether you are solely going to play the Championship course or make it part a Wales Golf Tour – there’s so much fun to be had with your group of friends. It’s also the chance to follow in your favourite players footsteps.
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Collin Morikawa claimed his 1st Major Championship at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco. In winning the 2020 US PGA Championship, Morikawa became the 9th player to win the US PGA on his debut, the first golfer since Keegan Bradley did so in 2011.
Morikawa’s final round of 64 (-6) was enough to fend off the chasing pack including Dustin Johnson and Paul Casey by 2 shots. The highlight of the round came on the par-4 16th. After a sensational drive, where Morikawa drove the green, he was able to hold his nerve and convert his eagle putt from less than 10 feet. This got him to -13 which was enough to secure his first major against an elite leaderboard which saw the likes of Matthew Wolff, Jason Day, Bryson DeChambeau, Tony Finau and Justin Rose all finishing in the top 10.
Since turning pro in 2019, Collin Morikawa has enjoyed a very fast start. Nothing up 3 PGA Tour victories, 2 2nd place finishes and 9 Top-10 finishes. He also enjoys a rare accolade where after 29 events played, he’s made 27 cuts. With 3 PGA Tour victories, he’s now won more times than missed the cut, something few golfers will enjoy given the leap that is often made between an amateur joining the pro ranks.
2020 has been a stand out year for Morikawa, particularly since the PGA Tour season restart. In the 7 tournaments since June, he has enjoyed a 2nd place in The Charles Schwab Challenge, 1st at The Workday Charity Open and US PGA Championship. These victories and solid results has seen him claim 1400 FedEx Cup points in these three results alone, leaving him now 2nd on The FedEx Cup list.
Early Life, Amateur Career and College Golf
Born on 6th February 1997 in Los Angeles, California. Morikawa is the son of Debbie and Blaine Morikawa. His amateur golf career peaked in 2018 as he reached the mantle as the number 1 amateur golfer in the world.
Morikawa’s amateur golf accolades included a host of college wins while playing for the University of California, Berkley and the Western Junior and Northeast Amateur. Having studied at university during 2015 – 2019, Morikawa was able to win no less than 5 times as well as represent the United States in some of the marquee amateur events. These included The Arnold Palmer Cup Team in 2017 and 2018, The Walker Cup in 2017 which was played at Los Angeles Country Club, and The Eisenhower Trophy in 2018 which is considered The World Amateur.
Morikawa’s Golfing Records
• At The 2020 Farmers Insurance Open, Morikawa was paired with Tiger Woods, in doing so, he was the 1st golfer to have played with Tiger on the PGA Tour who was born after the 14-time Major Champion had turned pro
• Morikawa made 22 consecutive cuts on The PGA Tour after turning pro. This is second only to Tiger Woods who managed 25 after turning pro.
• His Major Win at Harding Park was just his second start in a Major. It was also a debut win in the US PGA Championship.
• His 1st Major win saw Morikawa top the stats on Proximity to Hole, Driving Accuracy and Strokes Gained Putting.
• His closing rounds of 65 and 64 (129) is the lowest final 36 holes in major history.
• He joins Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus who won their first US PGA Championship at the age of 23.
With a bright future ahead of this hugely talented golfer, Collin Morikawa looks set to set more golfing records and assume the mantle of one of the world’s best golfers.
Your Golf Travel host and organise a wide variety of golf tournaments including The US PGA Championship. For more information on these packages, similar visit our Tournaments Section of the website.
It’s an exciting week for the European Tour and double exciting for British Players as the UK Swing begins. It’s a new set of events throughout the summer right here in England and Wales.
The first event is a firm favourite and has been on the circuit for a number of years – The British Masters. This year it is returning to Close House near Newcastle, the home of our friend and Chief Holiday Officer Lee Westwood.
Unfortunately, the events in the UK Swing will be behind closed doors due to Covid19 but maintaining health and safety for players and spectators is a priority.
“The UK Swing is a great thing for the players as they are all desperate to get out and play. I think the break in competitive golf has made them aware of how grateful they need to be for what they have. What they were used to doing, day in day out was taken away from them. I think the break has made the players appreciate how good they have got it. How wonderful their job is, playing golf around the world.”
“British summer is a special time and although spectators won’t be at these events in person, we’ll be able to enjoy them on TV. To see the players at some of these brilliant British venues including The Belfry, Forest of Arden, Celtic Manor and Hanbury Manor, is just fantastic. It’s a great way to celebrate the courses a little closer to home. It all starts at Close House, which was a brilliant British Masters last time it was there. Hopefully, the weather holds up and we should be in for a cracking UK swing.”
“A few of the players played in Austria recently and having won the Austrian Open, Marc Warren will be buzzing heading to Close House. Westwood has a massive advantage because it’s his home course but he’s hosting which comes with responsibility. He knows Close House so well, so he could be tough to beat. He also had a great start to the year winning in Abu Dhabi, although that feels like such a long time ago now!”
“I think a big part of this new UK Swing needs to celebrate what the European Tour have done. The testing for Covid19 is very thorough. There is a bubble for players – once the players are in it they can’t leave. Things like going to restaurants or going to the shops, the players are not allowed to do this. The European Tour are trying really hard to protect people because safety comes before anything else.”
Are you pleased to see these events added to the European Tour Calendar? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.
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Par 3’s – they come in all shapes and sizes. Do you have to carry the ball over water, a bunker or a ditch? Does the green slope off to the side? Are you teeing off from an elevated tee? There are so many features that can be used to make these shorter holes stick out in your memory. Here’s a list of The Best Par 3’s In Scotland.
Named after the small village of Maidens, which lies on the fringes of the course, the hole provides some of the best views and scenery in golf. With the stunning backdrop of the Mull of Kintyre and the Isle of Arron, the hole is located in a perfect spot for a scenic par 3. It finishes a stretch of holes from the 4th that hug the coastline of the Firth of Clyde. The most noteworthy trouble on the hole comes in the form of the gigantic sheer-faced bunker on the left. You should aim towards the right side of the putting surface as the natural slopes will collect the ball towards the heart of the green, leaving you with a couple of putts for par.
The views are stunning from every angle from every hole at Kingsbarns, and after playing you will be willing to go back for more.
The hole gets the name, “Rocky Ness”, as the green is on a piece of land which necks out into the sea. This gives a unique experience to the golfer lucky enough to get the chance to play it. Regardless of where the pin is positioned the ball should be aimed towards the sand trap at the back left of the green. This will allow the ball to feed down the slope toward the middle of the putting surface. The tall trees on the left of the hole will more than likely block out the wind, so take note. Take plenty of club and don’t look for the sucker right side of the hole, as anything flying in this direction will almost certainly end in trouble.
The 11th is often referred to as the shortest par 5 in Scotland due to the sheer difficulty to walk away with a par 3!
Located on the historic Old Course, this hole is not just one of the best par 3’s in Scotland, but it’s one of the greatest and most celebrated par 3’s in world golf. Even the slightest breeze makes this a very tricky hole. The “Hill” and “Strath” are the typical St Andrews style bunkers that must be avoided and a green which slopes severely to the back means accuracy is the key to success on the 11th. Wherever the pin is positioned the trick is to hit between the two bunkers and try to score a 3 on this very demanding hole.
Sitting on a raised beach some 40 metres above the level of the shores, the 11th hole provides some unforgettable panoramas of the Scottish coastline.
The longest par 3 on the Castle Stuart Course is certainly no walk in the park. This tough hole is made considerably more difficult by the prevailing wind. This can grab your ball and turn it harder to the right harder than one might think from the tee. This difficult hole means that there’s certainly not an easy finish to the Castle Stuart Course. Most professionals would be more than happy to walk of the putting surface with a 3, however the stunning view more than make up for the tricky finish at the Castle Stuart.
There’s no doubt that the sweeping views of the Ochil Hills and the peaks of Ben Vorlich and the Trossachs will provide you some great memories of this fantastic hole to take home.
The name “Het Girdle” means hot griddle or skillet. With the suggestion being that an imperfectly struck shot may slide off the putting surface just as oil may slide off the hot plate. The elevated plateau green is well protected so there is little margin for error in hitting your tee shot. The putting surface is long and thin with an upward slope front to back, therefore making it sensible to finish short of the pin to leave you with an up hill putt.
Do you have any courses to add to our list for The Best Par 3’s In Scotland? Let us know below!
For more information on Scottish Golf Breaks please visit www.yourgolftravel.com or call free on 0800 043 6644.
Revered by many as one of the toughest courses on the Open rota, Royal St George’s Golf Club or Sandwich as it is known by many provides a stern test for all who are fortunate enough to walk on its fast running fairways.
Although The Open is no longer taking place this week and has been moved to 2021, the fantastic condition of the course was put to good use, hosting the first ever Ladies Professional tournament at Royal St George’s – the Rose Ladies Series.
The venue has held The Open Championship on 14 previous occasions and so we take a look at the course and where we think the Open will be won and lost.
Those seeking to make their score at Royal St George’s should do so in the opening 12 holes with the best chance of birdies coming at holes 2, 7 and 12. While this can change very quickly with the wind, the par-4 2nd hole measures 426 yards and plays slightly uphill. Many professionals will take a 3-wood for position in the right hand side of the fairway to give the perfect angle to the elevated green. Those achieving a pin-high shot will be rewarded with a relatively straight putt and a good opportunity to get their round under par.
The par-5 7th hole now measures 564 yards, courtesy of an extended tee. The hole however generally benefits from the prevailing wind for the second shot, provided the drive is kept on the correct line across the dog-leg. Ideally the green should be approached from the left hand side for the best chance of getting close to this green.
Following the longest par-3 on the course (11th hole – 242 yards) the par-4 12th offers views across the English Channel and a great opportunity to pick up a shot on par. With bunkers stretching diagonally across the right hand side of the fairway, the hole is more of a visual dog-leg. There’s plenty of room on the left of the fairway, a 3-wood or long iron will leave a short iron into the well-bunkered green. The control gained from the fairway means we will see a lot of birdies here on the shortest par-4 on the course.
The closing stretch of holes from 13 – 18 provide little respite for those attempting to claim the Claret Jug. While the par-3 16th hole measures just 161 yards, as we saw so spectacularly in 2003 with Thomas Bjorn’s bunker strife this is a hole not to be taken lightly.
The 14th hole is an intimidating par-5 requiring a strong tee-shot down the left half of the fairway. With out-of-bounds just right of the fairway and the wind generally pushing drives towards this penalty, this par-5 isn’t the obvious birdie opportunity that many expect. With fast-running fairways being reported at Sandwich, the Suez Canal which runs across the fairway at 330+ yards will come into play for the longer drivers in the field.
The 15th hole, is in my opinion, the toughest hole on the course. With numerous bunkers in play off the tee combined with a small elevated target which is generally being hit with a long iron make the score of par on this hole something many will crave on Sunday afternoon.
Unsurprisingly Royal St George’s provides a stern test for in the 18th hole. The par-4 measures more than 450 yards and requires accuracy and length off the tee to bring the green into play. With the fairway littered with cross bunkers those trying to shorten their approach will find their route blocked. With the green framed by large grandstands and a large greenside bunker on the right, this intimidating approach will be sure to test the best and find a very worthy Open Champion.
There are so many choices to make when travelling for a golf holiday and making a decision really only boils down to what you want from your holiday…
Short, hassle free journeys?
Excellent food, wine and après golf activities?
Well, if your answers to all of the above are yes, the perfect destination might just be a lot closer than you’d think. Simply hop on the Eurotunnel and explore the vast golfing opportunities in Northern France and beyond. With no concerns of fitting all of your golfing gear into your travel bag – think clothes, waterproofs, shoes, balls etc etc – you’ll have more time to focus on the important things such as choosing between red or white wine at the duty free. The Eurotunnel is clearly the only way to go!
With a British design duo behind the course and a fantastic seaside location; Golf de Wimereux holds its own with the age old links courses found throughout the UK & Ireland.
For those wondering what travelling on the Eurotunnel is like, it can be summed up as straight forward. Without doubt it’s the quickest way to travel from within the UK to play a golf course in Continental Europe. With regular departure times from Folkestone, a seamless check in process (30 minutes prior to departure time) it is the obvious choice when travelling to France, or Belgium for that matter, for a bit of golf.
Once you’ve reached Calais (after just 35 mins) the process can’t get much easier. The motorway to the likes of Le Touquet or Hardelot is just a matter of minutes. Once you have gotten going, there are plenty of golf courses within easy driving distance.
I’ve embarked on this trip a few times over the last few years. Le Touquet and Hardelot are both top class destinations for a golf holiday in France which I have played many times. On one of my favourite trips though, I made a beeline towards Golf de Wimereux. After a speedy journey southbound down the motorway, the English Channel came into view. We knew we were getting close and the golfing juices started to flow.
As well as views of the English Channel, Golf de Wimereux boasts many vantage points from which to enjoy views of the tranquil French countryside.
Wimereux was founded in 1901 but it was not until after the Great War that British architects Campbell and Hutchinson revived the course. The fact that the designers were British is quite evident throughout the course. Much of it resembles some of the classic links courses found throughout England and the rest of the UK.
The course is fast and firm and the greens were excellent considering the time of year. Pot bunkers keep you in check with approach shots and the rough is exactly that: rough! Accuracy and good course management are key here but if they are employed well, any golfer can enjoy this course.
Stand out holes include the par 3 2nd and the short par 4 11th both offering truly spectacular views across the Channel to the White Cliffs of Dover. No matter how you are playing, Wimereux is a peaceful place to be and certainly a course to add to the list.
Here’s a #Throwback to that the trip