WHEN I VISITED SOUTH WALES for the first time late last year, I was surprised to find it was just under a two hours' drive from London's Heathrow airport to the impressive Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, Wales. The Celtic Manor's Wentwood Hills Course, designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., opened in May 1999. It hosted the 2003 Wales Open in June, and — a real feather in its cap — was chosen to host the 2010 Ryder Cup (in Wales for the first time). The property's two other courses were designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr.

The Celtic Manor has 400 rooms and suites (another 300 will come on line before the Ryder Cup), and its own purpose-built convention facility with 40 function rooms, capable of hosting 1,500 attendees.

The Golf Travel Writers Association has voted Wales, which has more than 200 stunningly beautiful courses, the “Undiscovered Golf Destination of 2003.” With the Ryder Cup on its way to Wales, it may not remain undiscovered much longer.