Glenelg - South Australia - Australia

Glenelg Golf Club,
James Melrose Road,
Novar Gardens,
South Australia 5040,
Australia


  • +61 (0) 8 8295 5274

  • David Brand

  • Cargie Rymill, Vern Morcom, Neil Crafter

  • Shane Robinson


First used in 1927, the course at Glenelg Golf Club has been developed in three main phases. Mr Herbie (Cargie) Rymill originally laid Glenelg out upon sandy marshland with nine holes in play but this course was quickly doubled in size within twelve months of opening.

The layout was redesigned by Vern Morcom in 1947 – due to the loss of some land for the new Adelaide Airport – and this configuration served the members well for the following half a century before a major makeover was instigated in 1998.

Architect Neil Crafter, ably assisted by Glenelg member Bob Tuohy, embarked on a seven year scheme to remodel bunkers, create new tee boxes, modify fairways, enhance or replace green sites and upgrade irrigation throughout the course using sand already on site.

Today’s Glenelg course has been completely transformed to keep pace with the demands of the modern game and the set of holes around the turn – where Pine Hill features prominently in the routing between the 8th and 13th holes – are probably the strongest of any on the scorecard.

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Reviews for Glenelg

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Description: Today’s course at Glenelg Golf Club has been completely transformed to keep pace with the demands of the modern game and the set of holes around the turn are probably the strongest... Rating: 7.8 out of 10 Reviews: 6
TaylorMade
Thomas Jones

Glenelg is a seriously good golf course. Packed in a tight parcel of land in an area wealthy with golf, Glenelg is not to be missed. I put Glenelg up there with the best courses I have played; courses that consistently rank in the top 10 in the country. While to some that may seem rather generous, I honestly found it to be one of my favourite golfing experiences to date.

Upon entering the property it is clear that the place is both well loved and meticulously maintained. It is here where Glenelg excels. The finishing touches are present on every component of the course; from the revetted bunkers to the wetlands to the islands of rough interspersed amongst the short grass. All of these different types hazards, while being in great condition, make for varied and challenging penalties. This is a course that tests the range of golfers short game skills when greens are missed.

The design of the course demands accuracy and shot shaping ability, especially off the tee. Holes bend both ways, often around revetted bunkers that are true hazards, placed right where you want to hit it. The greens are heavily protected. Different routes around hazards exist, but the room for error is generally small, especially as the preferred line generally involves challenging a hazard. Big scores lie everywhere at Glenelg.

Highlight holes are plentiful, but I particularly enjoyed the back nine. After playing 3 courses in 2 days, nearly every hole on the back sits firmly in my memory. They are varied, interesting and intriguing. The finish under the clubhouse is a spectacle. I left exhilarated; can highly recommend.

July 20, 2022
8 / 10
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3Putt

Winston Churchill spoke of ‘a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma’ - he was describing Russia but the same epithet could well describe Glenelg Golf Club. The previous reviews are pretty much on the mark apart from the 6-ball rating which is extraordinarily generous. It generates quite a bit of discussion and most either like it or dislike it - there is not much middle ground. I tend towards the latter camp.

GGC is one of the quintet of fine courses in the western suburbs. It is only about a kilometre from the sea, is built on a sandy foundation but it is by no means a links-style course.

You can read a thumbnail of its history in the introduction. It is always in good condition and off the back markers can play long. The bunkering is exceptional - they are genuine hazards and round killers.

Now, a little diversion: if there are 2 ‘4-letter’ words in the lexicon of Australian golf, they are ‘kikuyu’ and ‘poa annua’. GGC was originally grassed with kikuyu but, as an example of the commitment to change and the fierce loyalty of the membership, a programme was developed to eradicate it - a big call and today the fairways are well maintained couch grass, known elsewhere as ‘Bermuda’.

[OK guys, I recognize the quality and status of Riviera and Torrey Pines and most South African courses but here in Oz there are not many - perhaps Concord in Sydney although in recent times they have reduced its extent too.]

The routing of the holes is good although I think it has been changed from Morcom’s original design. I note that Crafter has been consulted but having a member, no matter the pedigree, involved too can be a dangerous thing.

So I hear you ask, what’s the issue? To be blunt, the ‘modernisation’. The course now has [lateral water hazards] red/yellow penalty areas in play on some eight or nine holes. In addition, some of the redesigned holes are quite strange. The previous correspondent described the 12th as a memorable hole and, to my mind it is but for the wrong reasons. The driving choices are great but the green is, apparently, a copy of the 3rd at Royal Adelaide: for me it doesn't work. This course does not need the frippery it has been saddled with. The best holes on the course are those without any p-a’s. viz 2,3,4,6,7,10,11. As I said, enigmatic.

The clubhouse balcony looks out over the southwest of Adelaide, a fantastic view and a great place to enjoy a drink after the round. The staff are welcoming and helpful.

If you are in Adelaide, the line-up would be Kooyonga [note member bias]/Royal Adelade, Grange West, Grange East, Glenelg but, hey, we live [sort of] in a world of choices. Come and play and decide for yourself. I do agree though, we are spoiled for choice!

December 17, 2021
6 / 10
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Scarlett

A lovely parkland members course in suburban Adelaide, situated just over a kilometre from the sea but blessed with a rolling sandy base that allows elements of links golf to feature. A tee time was reasonably easy to organise as a visiting members guest on a weekday, although the club reportedly has a strong membership so it's recommended to book ahead and be flexible. The value was excellent.

Some of the land was relatively flat, with a central rise used very effectively on some of the holes, but even those holes without the benefit of undulating terrain were shaped and routed well. Bunkers were numerous, but sensibly located and didn't detract from the design, rather they were a constant feature that required thought but not endless negotiation. The turf had a links like spring to it and the conditioning though the green was excellent.

My favourite holes were the par 3 11th with some daunting front bunkers, the downhill par 5 12th to a spectacular greensite and the relatively short, but dog-legged par 4 15th. The routing flowed well and whilst the overall site could be considered quite tight, it didn't feel constrained.

After a week of golf in and around Adelaide, I'd say the magnificent Royal Adelaide and the thrill-ride that is Grange (East), were better courses than this, with Grange (West) just slightly behind. However you look at it, the golfers of Adelaide are spoilt for choice.

December 20, 2020
7 / 10
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Tyson Flynn

Had a trip to remember so far on our January holiday from Canberra to Adelaide, visiting and playing in Regional NSW, VIC & S. A Having already played / ticked off some more Top 100 listed courses. It was the beginning of a simply superb week of golf on "The Red Belt " Adelaide's version of the famed Victorian Sandbelt. Glenelg GC. The fairways are the best I've played on for some time and the conditioning of the course was of a very high standard despite the weather they've had in the last 12 months the greenkeepers said. Typically tight (ST always plays off the black or Championship Tee boxes) British Isle inspired tee boxes generally open up to wide fairways. Amazing bunkers are a big feature of not only this course but all the Redbelt, both pot and greenside are aesthetically pleasing on the golfer's eye, but it is where Glenelg falls behind those ranked inside the Top 20 ranked courses at the moment and requires some TLC. I loved the layout and the routing.

April 30, 2019
8 / 10
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Peter Wood

Glenelg Golf Club was formed in 1926. Cargie Rymill laid out 9 holes in sandy marshland which opened for play in 1927. A year later a further 9 holes were added.

In 1947 the loss of some land to the new Adelaide airport caused the club to reconfigure the course and Vern Morcom was appointed to redesign it.

In 1998 Neil Crafter and Bob Tuohy commenced a remodelling program which took many years, and changed the look and feel of Glenelg Golf Course - Photo by reviewer Glenelg completely. Crafter and Tuohy cleaned out excessive foliage, modified or replaced greens, added new tees, and completely overhauled the bunkering introducing revetted faces on many, but not all of the 'pots'.

Glenelg is now a busy private club with a strong membership. The fact that a high percentage of those members are lower handicap golfers probably says something about the course. Glenelg is not overly long, but it can be demanding!

The routing ensures that the golfer is met with wind from different quarters, and kept on his toes. While the course is sand based, a number of the holes are framed by pine trees and others more linksy in feel. However the bunkering is a constant throughout the course.

Some quibble that the bunker styling varies throughout the course- which it does- but I don't have an issue with it. Crafter and Tuohy were simply ahead of their time in using the appropriate bunker type for the lay of the land. Turnberry in Scotland has just been through a spectacular renovation in anticipation of another Open Championship, and has taken a similar path with bunker variation.

In fact I think the bunkering at Glenelg is outstanding, both in placement and style- and adds to the challenge of playing Glenelg.

Glenelg largely flies under the radar, but is one of my favourite golfing venues in Australia. We rate Glenelg a Travelling Golfer "must play!"

Peter Wood is the founder of The Travelling Golfer – click the link to read his full review.

January 16, 2019
8 / 10
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Neil Jamieson
I was told about this course by some colleagues. They rated the "new" Glenelg as the best course in Adelaide and one of the very best in the country. I can only concur. It is in magnificent condition, has a brilliant layout that is very strategic and calls for every club in the bag. As the pro shop assistant said to me, you can't just bash it around Glenelg, you have to think your way around the course. There are many traditional bunkers with revetted faces, fast, true and subtle greens, four very different and testing par 3s and a string on five par 4s that will test anyone. I asked why the course was (only) rated no 54 and was told that many of the judges from the various publications had not seen or played the course. Those that had rate the course very highly and so they should. Don't miss this one.
May 16, 2011
10 / 10
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