Blog 120 – Kooyonga

Course 20 for 2021 – Kooyonga, Adelaide SA

Grand old Adelaide lady with a few new touches remains a gem

Nomadic_golfer : April 2021

Par 72, 6127m, green fee variable, Slope 125

4 par 3s from 145-191m, 10 par 4s from 297-396m, 4 par 5s from 449-494m

This HL Rymill Adelaide sandbelt classic that has hosted 5 Aussie Opens (the last in 1972) remains a gem. It is characterised by 4 fantastic par 5s that are reachable but pose significant risk, 4 par 3s that are both challenging and spectacular, while there is great variety in the shape and length of the 4s. The bunkering is fantastic (with local Neil Crafter doing some recent remodelling) cutting into the edge of the greens and creating some magnificent scenes with the large and plentiful fairway bunkers. Fairways are framed by the gums and other natives that Rymill planted.

The large bentgrass greens were in excellent condition; firm and on the quick side, more grainy than I have ever experienced here (must be season-related) while the couch fairways were in first class condition. Fairways are generally wide and offer conservative bail-outs in a number of cases.

My favourite holes are: 2 (short par 5 with risks to tackle both off the tee, as the tight left line is the shortest way home, and with the 2nd shot, as the fairway narrows severely for the approach before opening up at the green); 7 (spectacular 150m par 3 over a valley to a 2-tiered green with steep drop-off at the front and a tricky centre-back bunker that frames the hole); and 12 (350m par 4, set on the least interesting piece of land but an unusual angle on the tee shot with trees moving diagonally away on the inside left at driving length to a shallow, elevated green with steep drop-offs everywhere).

Overall, an excellent golfing experience on a course that has been ranked regularly in the country’s top 25 over the years, where you need plenty of variety in shape and trajectory and a solid, nerveless short game to score well. Aesthetically pleasing and beautifully maintained.

L to R: looking back down the long par 3 15th, approach to par 5 16th, tricky par 4 17th green