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Catherine the golf star drives up in a Skoda

by HENRY MELLER, Daily Mail 08:33am 26th August 2005

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Nice car: Catherine swings into town in a Skoda
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They have a series of sumptuous homes around the world, a fleet of luxury vehicles and once declared that a million pounds "is not that much to us".

So there was great anticipation when it was announced that showbiz royalty Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones would be arriving at a Welsh golf course to brush up on their stroke play.

Would it be a chauffeurdriven Rolls that decanted the celebrity couple on to the car park at the Celtic Manor club in Newport?

Might they go for a sportier option such as a Ferrari or a Lamborghini?

Or would they descend from the sky in a helicopter?

In fact, they turned up in a £4,000 Skoda, with 60-year-old Douglas himself at the wheel.

The Y-registered Fabia had been borrowed from Catherine's mother Pat, who lives in Mumbles, near Swansea, where the couple own a newly-built £2million mansion.

Since Skoda was taken over by Volkswagen in 1991, the brand has been transformed from a laughing stock to a byword for value and reliability.

'People here would be embarrassed'

But golf club members were still distinctly underwhelmed by the superstars' mode of transport.

"It really did beggar belief," said one. '"This is a very prestigious club, and to be honest I think a lot of people who play here would be a bit embarrassed about turning up in a Skoda.

"You'd get teased mercilessly about it in the clubhouse. Most people drive a Mercedes or a Jaguar - and yet probably the richest couple ever to set foot on the course arrived in a Skoda."

Catherine, 35, and her husband are taking part this weekend in the inaugural All Star Cup, a celebrity version of the Ryder Cup team event at Celtic Manor.

Although they practised together yesterday they will be rivals in the cup, as the teams represent Europe and America.

Europe will also feature Chris Evans, Gavin Henson, Jodie Kidd and Sir Steve Redgrave, with professional golfer Colin Montgomerie as captain.

Douglas will be hoping that the American line-up, which includes Cheryl Ladd, Rob Lowe and Mark Spitz, with Mark O'Meara as captain, can help him secure the family bragging rights.

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