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Golf: Sir Terry Matthews-To The Manor Born

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Stan Sutherland
Stan Sutherland
Sir Terry Matthews

Sir Terry Matthews, the businessman who has brought the Ryder Cup to Wales was indeed born at Celtic Manor. However that’s when it was a maternity hospital

‘To the Manor Born’ was a hit British sitcom of the late 1970s, early 80s starring Peter Bowles as Richard DeVere, a nouveau riche millionaire supermarket owner. And whilst Nick Servini in his BBC article, ‘The man who brought the Ryder Cup to Wales’ doesn’t go so far as suggest Sir Terry could be classified as nouveau riche he does refer to one of Sir Terry’s financial breakthroughs, Newbridge Networks which he sold at the peak of the bubble for $7.5 billion. Making him Wales’ first billionaire.

Given that Sir Terry has gone from financial strength to strength, then what’s a mere £100m to develop Celtic Manor and its two golf courses. Woops! Just checked, make that three. Forgot about, ‘The Montgomerie – Designed by Ryder Cup legend Colin Montgomerie with dramatic tee shots over valleys and breathtaking downhill shots.’

Nick writes, ‘Sir Terry puts his wealth down to a combination of persistence and timing. He insists he was never an overnight success and only concentrated on areas of technology that he knew about.’

And the moral of his success story is perhaps contained in the fact that Sir Terry doesn’t play golf. And like the man said, Joey Adams I’m told. “If you break 100, watch your golf. If you break 80, watch your business.”

Can’t say I was all that impressed with the Twenty Ten course while watching the Wales Open on telly. Not many ‘dramatic tee shots over valleys and breathtaking downhill shots’ as far as I could see. So I had to check it out if I’d got it wrong.

Brandon Tucker at World Golf does a good review job on the courses.

‘But the recreational, vacationing golfer will likely enjoy the new Montgomerie Course more than the Twenty Ten, which was designed with the Ryder Cup Matches in mind more than the mid-handicapper.

Though Montgomerie's on the short side in terms of yardage, it still features plenty of sneaky-long holes, especially since the shorter of the par 4s generally play uphill.

Mid-handicappers especially may enjoy the shorter, exciting Montgomerie course more than the newer Twenty Ten course in a lot of ways. It's more than 1000 yards shorter, and its land is more dramatic. It's too sloping for championship golf, but just right for plenty of exciting shots.'

Brandon doesn’t mention the Roman Road course so here’s something from

‘Stunning views are provided from many holes - across the Usk valley to the town of Caerleon (formerly the fortress Roman settlement of Isca) and away down to Newport and the Bristol Channel. Although several sections of the layout are fairly open, your drives will need to be accurate to hit tightish fairways and avoid lush grassy rough, from which balls may not reappear.’

Here’s the link to Nick Servini’s article, Brandon Tucker and

Thought for the weekend from Seve.

"For the public to see the seeming weakness of the U.S. stars could give the wrong idea that things could be easier for the Europeans…"That is a mistake. This is matchplay and this format is where anything can happen."

Guid gowfin' and Ryder Cup viewing at the weekend 



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