Kooyonga is a ‘must play’ course for any golfer visiting Adelaide. It is one of Australia’s top golf courses and has hosted 5 Australian Opens, 9 South Australian Opens, 8 National Amateur Championships and more recently in 2018, The Women’s Australian Open.
The challenging layout and sensational playing surfaces provide you with the ultimate golfing experience. The layout is testing but fair. Native trees define the narrow, undulating fairways culminating in well protected greens whose speed and subtle slopes require skill and demand respect. Peter Thomson described Kooyonga from the player’s point of view when he said, “it needs to be played with the head as much as the hands”.
The Kooyonga Golf Club was founded by local golf identity Cargie Rymill. Despite having no formal course design training, Rymill greatly admired and sought to emulate Alistair MacKenzie’s design ethos – so much so that he reportedly carried a copy of the MacKenzie and carefully followed this methodology when it came to course architecture, .
The original site Rymill had to work with featured sparsely vegetated sandhills, and his design firstly set about introducing significant plantings of imported and native trees which these days define the landscape. The course configuration is intriguing with use of consecutive par 5s to open the round and on the back 9 consecutive par 3s. This design characteristic certainly deviates from the MacKenzie doctrine but also indicates Rymill had a quirky, unconventional streak.
Convention is very much adhered to in the use of the site’s considerable elevation changes. Every aspect of your game is tested by the narrow tree and scrub lined driving avenues and generally small undulating and fast greens. Memorable aspects of the design include the narrow but very much reachable par 5 2nd, the gorgeous short par 3s in No’s 7 and 14, and stout par 4s like 6, 10 and 12.