Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wales - Home of the 2010 Ryder Cup - Part 2 of 3

There is more to golf at Celtic Manor than just the Twenty Ten Course. The Robert Trent Jones, Jr.-designed Roman Road Course has enough elevation change and highly contoured greens to challenge the best players. At 6,515 yards, it’s long enough, too. The Montgomery Course is a 6,371-yard par 69 layout that features punitive pot bunkers and a few other delights added by designer Colin Montgomery, who happens to be the captain of the European Ryder Cup team this year.

Dining at Celtic Manor is as adventuresome as the golf. The top spot is The Crown, where the prix fixe menu features seared scallops, curried sweetbreads, and cauliflower panna cotta among the many options and amuse bouches are served before every course. For less formal dinners, the Olive Tree has a sumptuous buffet of contemporary European cuisine each evening and the Rafters in the Twenty Ten Clubhouse presents dishes based on local Welsh ingredients. The Lodge Brasserie overlooks the 18th green on the Roman Road Course and the Patio at the Manor House has a relaxed setting and traditional Italian fare.

You have a wide range of places for drinks, too, led by Merlins Bar in the Resort Hotel with its comfortable sofas, snooker table, and terrace overlooking the rooftop gardens. That’s the place for afternoon tea, too, if you prefer something a little more civilized for your after-round libation. The Manor House has the Cellar Bar, a plasma-screen-filled sports bar, as well as the Lounge Bar with its historic theme d├ęcor.

Need to un-kink after your round? Head for the Forum Health Club in the Resort Hotel with its 34-station gym, 20-meter pool, whirlpool, saunas, steam rooms, and luxurious marble changing rooms. For the ultimate in un-kinking (or a place of refuge for the non-golfers in the group), the Forum Spa offers the latest in therapies including massages and facials, hydrotherapy, and manicures and pedicures. For total indulgence, try the Rasul Mud Ritual, a 45-minute exfoliating experience. There’s another full gym and spa in the Lodge, too.

If your game needs a little tune up (or a complete makeover), take advantage of the Celtic Manor Golf Academy. Its staff of teaching professionals gives lessons in state-of-the art swing studios, practice greens, and short play areas, then let you practice what you learned in the 28-bay two-tier driving range.

When you want a break from golf, take advantage of the 1400 acres of parkland surrounding the resort for a hiking or mountain biking adventure. The concierge will also help you schedule a half- or full-day of clay pigeon shooting, salmon fishing in the River Wye or fly fishing on the River Usk. Horseback riding is available, too.

Dave Donelson, author of The Dynamic Manager's Guide To Advertising: How To Grow Your Business With Ads That Work
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