'Monty' Tweaking Celtic Manor Course

European Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie has been overseeing renovations of the Twenty Ten Course at Celtic Manor Resort in Wales in preparation for this year's Ryder Cup Matches.

14th Hole at Twenty Ten

The work involves changes to bunkers, rough and greens. The revised track will be tested out June 3-6 during the playing of the Celtic Manor Wales Open, a European Tour event.

Montgomerie has been working closely with Celtic Manor's Director of Golf Courses, Jim McKenzie, to implement some final tweaks to the layout. "We've deepened a number of bunkers with larger faces and the rough will certainly be consistently thicker than it has been in previous years," says McKenzie.

"The greens will also be a lot firmer which is something we've been working toward since the course opened in 2007 and which has always been a high priority for Colin Montgomerie. It means only properly struck iron shots will be rewarded by stopping quickly on the greens.

"The course has now had the benefit of a few years of growing in and I'm confident it's the toughest, but fairest, golf course we've seen for the Celtic Manor Wales Open."

The biggest single revision from McKenzie and his team and has been scooping out a huge swale to the left of the 11th green, increasing the chance of misdirected shots finding the lake or leaving a tricky tight lie from which to get up and down.

"I think it will be a huge advantage for Colin to see the refinements that he has recommended in tournament play before the Ryder Cup," adds McKenzie, former head greenkeeeper at the West Course at Wentworth.

"The most notable change to the landscape of the golf course is the new swale spilling off the left of the 11th. It's made the green a much narrower target, as it should be for a reachable par-5, and will leave players with their hearts in their mouths if they pull their approach shots that way.

"The remedial work has also seen us remodel the greenside bunkers with larger faces on holes 7, 10, 12, 13, 15 and 18. Drainage in these and other bunkers has also been improved."

Europe's Ryder Cup Director Richard Hills says: "We are delighted with the superb progress made on the Twenty Ten Course by Jim McKenzie and his team, in consultation with Colin Montgomerie, ahead of the Celtic Manor Wales Open in June and the Ryder Cup later in the year.

"This is the 11th Wales Open and the third to be played on the Twenty Ten Course and spectators will again enjoy the great viewing opportunities that this excellent golf course offers."

Past champions of the Celtic Manor Wales Open include Ryder Cup stars Robert Karlsson, Miguel Angel Jiménez, Ian Poulter, Paul McGinley and Paul Lawrie.

For more information or tickets, visit www.walesopen.com or call +44 01633 410318. For more information about the Ryder Cup and Celtic Manor Resort, visit www.celtic-manor.com.