TG guide to Cardiff

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Where to play and what to do next door to the greatest show in golf.

WHERE TO WATCH:

If you’re not one of the 40,000 lucky ticket-holders you can always catch the action at a World Cup-style Fanzone in the heart of nearby Newport... minus the vuvuzelas with any luck. It’s Wales’ version of Wimbledon’s ‘Murray Mount’ and the atmosphere will be fantastic when fans pitch up at the city centre’s John Frost Square for the duration of the event. You can watch all the drama unfold live from Celtic Manor on giant screens and there will be plenty of other things going on, including live music, food stalls and mini-golf.

“We want to make the Ryder Cup experience as enjoyable as possible for locals and visitors alike and the Fanzone is going to be a great place to take in the golf,” said Newport City Council Leader Matthew Evans. The Fanzone is certain to be a big hit – admission is FREE and it can cater for up to 2,000 people. Another novel way of watching the crucial final-day singles action in style is by booking a ‘Ryder Cup Sunday’ package with leading golf travel operator Your Golf Travel.com. The company has created Ryder Cup Sunday experiences at more than 50 UK golf resorts, each venue offering golfers a big-screen armchair view of the Sunday action.

“No other event on the golfing calendar inspires such excitement and passion as the Ryder Cup and we’re delighted to offer our customers the chance to make it a truly special weekend,” said the company’s UK product manager Jill de Villiers. Packages include one night’s bed and breakfast in a twin/double room, dinner on the Sunday night and a round of golf on Monday morning. Rates start from £75 per person.

Call 0800 043 6644 or visit www.yourgolftravel.com/tournament-sundays.html

 

WHAT TO SEE AND DO:

If you’re heading for the Fanzone or for Celtic Manor itself, you should also take time to check out the major local attractions… and that certainly includes lively capital Cardiff, just 20 minutes along the M4.

Close to the top of the must-visit list has got to be the Ryder Cup Heritage Exhibition being held at Cardiff’s National Museum (until September 23) and at Celtic Manor between September 27 and October 3. The exhibition tellsthe full story of the Ryder Cup and how it has evolved since its humble beginnings in 1927. It will feature a fascinating and unique collection of memorabilia including signed programmes, team gifts and equipment. “This is a great opportunity for people to get up close and personal with the Ryder Cup,” said Matthew Evans.

The exhibition will take pride of place in the tented village at Celtic Manor but if you haven’t got a ticket you can visit it for free in Cardiff before it moves down the M4.

Here are some non-golf options:

Tintern Abbey. Dates back to 1131 and dramatically overlooks the River Wye just inside the Welsh border.
- Chepstow Castle. Britain’s first stone castle.
- The amphitheatre and National Roman Legion Museum at the historic village of Caerleon.
- The ancient Norman cathedral of St Woolos.
- Tredegar House. This late 17th century red brick mansion is famed for its spectacular interior rooms. 
- For peace and quiet far away from the madding crowds, visit the tranquil splendour of the Brecon Beacons National Park.
- Cardiff city highlights include the magical Millennium Stadium, the National Museum, Cardiff Castle, the Welsh Millennium Centre (a showcase for arts and culture) and the Norwegian church, founded by Norwegian sailors in the 1860s.

 

WHERE TO PLAY:

You can battle it out in your own Ryder Cup at five prestigious links venues on the other side of the Severn Bridge in south-west England. The classy courses are collectively known as England’s Atlantic Links and are guaranteed to provide plenty ofgolfing drama and excitement.

First port of call  off the M5 in this tantalising trail of ancient links is the prestigious Burnham & Berrow – the region’s answer to Royal Birkdale and just an hour’s drive from Celtic Manor. Next up is Saunton, home of the fabulous East and West courses, and Royal North Devon which is England’s oldest links courses and a star member of 2-FORE!-1 so is available for half-price green fees (provided you’ve got a 2-FORE!-1 voucher of course!). Venture further down into Cornwall and you’ll eventually come across the stunning pair of Trevose G&CC (also in 2-FORE!-1) and classy St Enodoc.

“For golfers looking for some fantastic links golf after – or before – the Ryder Cup, the Atlantic Links are the ideal destination in fairly close proximity to Celtic Manor,” says Trevose’s Nick Gammon. “Set against the wild, rugged backdrop of the Atlantic coast offering spectacular panoramas, these championship courses provide memorable but challenging golf.” Average cost to tee it up on the Atlantic Links is around £65 a round. For further information on golf packages around the Ryder Cup contact London Golf Tours (www.londongolftours.com or e-mail simon@londongolftours.com) or visit www.atlantic-links.co.uk