Blog 117 – Links Lady Bay

Course 17 for 2021, Links Lady Bay, SA

This is a serious golf course from the tips

Nomadic_golfer : April 2021

Par 72, 6400m, green fee $55, Slope 140

4 par 3s from 126-197m, 10 par 4s from 299-428m, 4 par 5s from 509-526m

Situated between Normanville and Yankalilla on the Fleurieu peninsula, 1 1/2 hours south of Adelaide, is this links-style, resort course overlooking Lady Bay. The full 18 holes, designed by Jack Newton, opened in the year 2000.

This is a serious golf course: links-like, it’s long, large greens, lots of pin options that really impact how each hole plays and lots of bunkering. It is an excellent design, full of mounds and run-off areas and holes running in all directions to ensure you get every wind direction in your round on this very exposed piece of land. The greens have many no-go zones depending on pin position and there are ample opportunities to get you in a spot on the green where you need to chip over a bunker’s edge. Fairways are firm and undulating and in good condition, mostly generous in terms of width which is needed on this exposed track. Again, pin positions would determine the best angle of attack and the best side of the fairway to hit.

Bentgrass greens are large (one double green) and in good nick in April – medium pace. The par 3’s are an excellent quartet; the long (197m) 17th gets a lot of kudos as the signature hole with a wide front opening to a large sloping green and deep bunkers and the shortest one (15th at 126m severely uphill and surrounded by bunkers) also took my fancy with club selection in the wind, vital. While there are 3 par 4s over 405m, there are some excellent short 4’s also: 4 is a must hit fairway, with plenty of no-go spots on the green; the bunkering and undulations on 10 create a beautiful scene as the tee shot runs slightly downhill before a steeper rise to the green sets it all out before you; and 13, with OB left, a shallow green and bunkers everywhere, makes an excellent trio of short 2-shotters.

Despite the course’s length, there is plenty of thinking to do on lines, trajectories and risk/ reward. The par 5 7th is strong from this viewpoint (while not the most aesthetically pleasing, and non-links like); a very wide fairway where the left side provides the shortest direct route but a miss is most severe. The second shot must negotiate a large dam on the right with the easiest approach from the left and any second shot needs a definitive plan; it’s either a lay up well back or a hard push of the green button.

Overall, this a tough track, lots of variety and on a windy day could be really difficult. The course is ranked in Australia’s Top 40 Public Access courses by all 3 ranking publications.