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 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 is a thinking players course. Some holes are tight off the tee, and fairway bunkering may mean a decision between laying up or taking on the bunkering, doglegs etc..
This is not a grip it and rip it type course, but rather a course for the modern era- where length can be useful- but not the only answer. The accurate player who plots his way around the course can compete at Glenelg.
Notable holes include:
- the short par 4 first hole- with pond in play off the tee do you lay up?
- the short par 4 fourth hole- heavy fairway bunkering here cannot be ignored...
- the dogleg par 4 eighth hole with awkard tee shot toward the pond, and pine trees to the right
- the outstanding uphill par 3 eleventh hole- a tiny green with a fortresss like defence.
- the par five twefth hole- an elevated tee to a long curling fairway and a truly wonderful green complex protected by a dune.
- the picturesque par 3 sixteenth hole
Glenelg largely flies under the radar, but is one of my favourite golfing venues in Australia. We rate Glenelg a Travelling Golfer "must play!"
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