Stars get into swing of things at celeb golf challenge
Celebrities more used to doing a turn on the red carpet are practising their swing today in preparation for a star-studded golf tournament.
Jodie Kidd, Rob Lowe, Chris Evans and Gavin Henson are among the celebrities making up the two teams to be pitted against each other during the two-day event.
Husband and wife, Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas will be playing on opposing sides as the Welsh beauty has been picked to represent Europe while her husband plays for the American team.
Colin Montgomery is captaining the European stars while Mark O’Meara is captain of the US side.
The golf legends will be coaching and supporting their teams but neither will actually be playing in the tournament which is being held on the Roman Road course at the Celtic Manor in Newport, Gwent.
Saturday has been designated a practice day for the players with a red carpet gala dinner planned in the evening.
The game starts on Sunday and will continue until the UK bank holiday Monday.
The teams will be be made to feel at home with luxurious suites at the Celtic Manor Hotel, the host for 2010 Ryder Cup.
Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas will get the all star treatment. The hotel’s most luxurious accommodation is equipped with its own grand piano, private dining room, bedrooms with en-suite marble bathrooms.
The room’s occupants can request butler service or even a pianist or harpist should they require a little evening entertainment.
Each celebrity has nominated their own charity to which they will donate any prize money and their share of the proceeds from ticket sales to the event which will be broadcast on Sky One throughout the weekend,.
The Douglases have chosen local charity, the Noah’s Ark appeal which raises money for Cardiff’s children’s hospital.
The concept is the brainchild of presenters Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly - Ant and Dec - who are both keen golfers.
Europe team member Chris Evans said he had been spending time getting to know the green in an effort to gain an advantage.
He said: “I’ve been here since Thursday practising on the green, its half the battle I think and it could make the difference of three or four shots.”
Chris, who has been playing golf since the age of 11, said all the players had some experience of the game.
The former presenter who is representing the European side said he had no idea what the competition was going to be like.
“I’ve not really seen the Americans in action yet so we need to know what their handicap is before we know what we are up against.”
But he promised spectators would not be short of entertainment.
“The craic is fantastic, I could hear (Peter) Schmeichel and (Ian) Wright shouting at each other from two holes away and that was during practice so who knows what it will be like during the game.”
There will be no late nights for Mr Evans as the team are under strict training orders from their captains and coaching started at 7am.
“We might have a few beers but we are staying within the confines of the hotel.”
But ex-wife Billie Piper, who is currently filming BBC series Doctor Who in nearby Cardiff, will be paying him a visit.
“She called me on Thursday and I think she’s going to come up. I don’t know if she will be watching the game though, it depends if she is working or not, she might be filming.”