Preparation for 2010 Ryder Cup

Opus was involved with the Ryder Cup from inception, including developing the course to run along the Usk Valley.

It was agreed that a new course would be purpose built. From its inception, we were involved with the development of the concept for the Ryder Cup course which was to run along the Usk Valley.

A number of challenges faced the design team during the planning stage, as half of the proposed course is situated within the flood plain. The river corridor is protected environmentally as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a Special Area for Conservation (SAC). The protection relates to a number of fish species that migrate up the river and otters that inhabit the banks.

We carried out detailed mathematical flood modelling of the river which has the second highest tidal range in the world. This was necessary to demonstrate that the removal of flood cells to permit construction of the course would not have a negative impact on the flood protection regime within the lower Usk Estuary. We did a detailed environmental impact assessment, including associated engineering advice, to support the planning application.

Drainage was a significant aspect of the design. The previous course built at Celtic Manor was heavily reliant on an imported water source for irrigation, which created a high financial burden. So we designed a drainage system to collect surface water and irrigation runoff to be impounded in lakes, only discharging surplus flows to the River Usk estuary. This became the primary source of irrigation water. Designed this way, the lakes become richer in wildlife and are considered a positive contribution in terms of habitat creation.