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Feature Course

Royal Adelaide Golf Club

Course Review

Description A private club, open to members and invited guests only.
Tapleys Hill Road 
Seaton SA 5023
Club Phone (08) 8356 5511
Club House full facilities
Green Fees A private club, open to members and invited guests only. Members of Golf Clubs from overseas and interstate may apply to the Manager to establish playing conditions. Introduction from home club required.

Course information sourced from non-current edition of The GOLF Course Guide, Click here for details

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Course Details

Holes 18
Length 6619
Golf Digest Ranking (Private Club – not ranked by The GOLF Course Guide) 10
Designer H.L. Rymill, C.L. Gardner, Dr Alister MacKenzie
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Course Review

by ausgolf writer Selwyn Berg



royal adelaide

Adelaide in South Australia possesses some excellent sandhill country - home to fine golf courses most notably Royal Adelaide, Kooyonga, Grange and Glenelg.

left - The majestic Royal Adelaide

The group of holes that are played amongst the red sand dunes and tortured Cypress Pines at Royal Adelaide present exciting and varied shot-making of the highest calibre. The combination of natural undulation with judicious application of strategic Mackenzie bunkering, combined with ever-present sea breeze, creates the perfect challenge.

No visitor to Royal Adelaide will be unaffected by the majesty of the course, the graciousness of the club house and the hospitality of members and staff.

Dr Alister Mackenzie's splendid work at Royal Adelaide stands the test of time, but was nevertheless lengthened and toughened by Peter Thomson prior to the 1998 Australian Open.





Thankfully for the members the rough has since been tamed, but the fairway contouring remains and at 6578m from the blue tees this is a tough test of golf.

Alas, the only original hole to remain unscathed is the 266m third (right). This uphill hole with a blind tee shot is a perfect example of a short par four. The unbunkered green is quite driveable under favourable conditions, but any ball played just a little short must negotiate the narrowest of landing zones. However, two well chosen irons can reward the shorter hitter with a birdie chance - unlike the following three par fours - each over 400m.

The course was subject to much controversy during the 1998 Australian Open. Peter Thomson had added mounds and undulations to the flatter holes, lengthened the course, and reduced fairway widths to such an extent that marshals in golf carts queued to pass in single file. Superintendent Mark Prosser has been growing the rough for nearly a year, so that anything off the short stuff was severely punished.

"The course is brutal. It just beats us up every day" said Stuart Appleby. "If we had to play on this all year I'm sure we'd give it away". Thomson had struck pre-emptively, however, claiming that if Australia really wanted to stage a "major", then we need to present courses like the St Andrews and US Open venues.

Englishman Nick Faldo agreed with Thomson. "I have no criticism of the course, it is just awesome, the most challenging 18 holes I have played on" he said. "Perhaps the extreme rough just off the fairways is probably unnecessary, I thought Mackenzie didn't believe in that". Faldo was right, but ultimately the course proved a fair test of the best golfers for the week, Greg Chalmer's win coming with even par as did the US and British Opens that year. Of course, Tiger Woods did not play.

Rated Top 10 - Australia's Top 100 Golf Courses

Green Fee access - Access to this private club is restricted to members, guests of members and Golf Club Members from Interstate and Overseas upon payment of the applicable green fee. ausgolf can advise about playing Royal Adelaide, or for travel advice please e-mail