golf wales: Cup stars smoke drives on the ash.
With the facility sitting in the flood plain just over the River Usk from the first tee of the Twenty Ten course, there was a need to raise the level of the land before grassing over the driving range.
Instead of laying expensive primary aggregate with the associated cost to the environment of excavation and transportation, Celtic Manor has teamed up with energy supplier RWE npower, which has provided more than 150,000 tonnes of pulverised fuel ash from its Aberthaw Power Station, near Barry.
The ash is an inert by-product of burning coal to generate electricity and, once compacted, forms an ideal material for construction purposes such as this.
Also housing a substantial television compound, the new practice ground area completes a pounds 16m redevelopment at Celtic Manor which also saw the new Twenty Ten course and clubhouse open in 2007.
Dylan Matthews, chief executive of Celtic Manor, said: "Hosting the Ryder Cup is not just a massive opportunity for Celtic Manor, but for the whole of Wales. It has required a lot of hard work and we have been extremely conscious of the need to find the most environmentally friendly solutions to the challenges we have faced.
"When building the new Twenty Ten golf course we were able to use earth and rock excavated from the closing holes dug into the hillside to build up the level of the land on earlier holes in the flood plain.
"There was no such option available for the new practice ground on the other side of the river so working with RWE npower has provided the ideal solution.
"Using ash in this way means that we can dramatically reduce the amount of aggregate that we use. This partnership is helping to deliver outstanding facilities and help the environment."
ASHES TO ASHES: Gary Gray of GD Environmental, npower's Ian Fox and Russell Phillips of the Celtic Manor survey the ash being used to build the new practice ground for the Ryder Cup