The following edited extract is taken from The Golf Courses of Vern Morcom by Toby Cumming:
“Angaston Golf Club’s links was opened on 11 May 1914. In the 1950s, the club moved to Kalimna, a few kilometres north of Nuripoota. In 1957, Vern offered to lay out the new course for 100 guineas. As it transpired, Vern didn’t send the course plans until February 1959; his poor health stretched into 1958 and was compounded by the shock of his wife passing away in late October. He also forwarded a report for construction, individual green sketches, and his completed coloured layout plan, which is dated 2 April 1959.
The name has since changed from Angaston to the Barossa Valley Golf Club, but today’s layout is remarkably faithful to the Morcom plan. As it happened, the sand scrapes that were formed initially remained in use throughout the 1960s, 70s and 80s. This may explain why many of today’s green complexes bear little resemblance to Vern’s pencil sketches. Rather than being overly built, most merge quietly into the existing contours.
There has been some experimentation with switching the nines, but they are now played in the intended order. While the approach to 18 can be affected by the setting sun, flipping the nines meant the drive on 10 became the opening tee shot, easterly towards the rising sun. Built on a rise, the clubhouse presides over a site that combines beautiful scrubby bushland with the occasional glimpse of the world-famous Barossa vineyards.
There is a terrific mix of holes in the first five, each one exuding privacy and space, with just the right amount of rise and fall, and shots played in all directions. From there, things get more compact and the holes in the eastern section (11th-17th) occupy less interesting, flatter ground.”