Not just for the boys
Model, TV presenter and golf enthusiast Jodie Kidd on her relationship with Celtic Manor Resort.
So much of my golfing history happened at Celtic Manor. I played in two All Star Cups here, where we played the Ryder Cup format and I played in the Celebrity Cup more recently. I also held fundraising golf events for my Foundation here a couple of times, so I know these courses very well. Celtic Manor and I are very close. And I was here for the Ryder Cup in 2010.
Every time I come here I have the most wonderful time. The hospitality is amazing. I love Celtic Manor because I’ve gone through some enormous events here – with thousands of spectators plus a live TV audience. I’m an amateur golfer but I love to put myself into very scary situations like that. After going through these huge events you really bond with a place so I absolutely love it here. It’s brilliant.
The Twenty Ten is a really tricky course, and you’ve also got the Montgomerie and Roman Road. That’s why I’m such a big fan. You’ve got slightly easier courses, slightly tougher courses. There’s something here for everyone and the Golf Academy is fabulous.
Playing in these big events can be a nerve-wracking experience. Golf can often go really wrong and it has done a few times when I’ve been taking part in events. I remember one of the All Star Cups where we had Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas here representing Europe and the USA. We had something like 25,000 people around the course, so teeing off at the first was like the final hole at Augusta. The whole fairway was lined 10 deep. So of course I shanked it straight into the crowd. Once you’ve done that on live TV it can’t really get any worse, so you tend to relax a bit.
Golf-wise, Celtic Manor is right up there with the best. They wouldn’t have had the Ryder Cup here if not. The Twenty Ten is fabulous. It’s tricky, it’s long and testing but it can be more forgiving for an amateur golfer. Playing places like Carnoustie or St Andrews is wonderful, but it can be incredibly tough for an amateur. Here you can get round. You may not get around with best score, but you can still have fun. This is the first time I’ve played The Twenty Ten since the Ryder Cup was staged here, so it’s great to be back.
This article is based on a feature in the current Wales Golf guide. To get the full story, order your own copy here.