Course History Timeline

This brief document has been prepared to assist members in understanding how and when the course has been developed and redeveloped over the ensuing years since its opening in 1927. In essence there have been four major developments over those years:

1926 – the original layout by H.L. Rymill.

1947 to 1960 – revised layout by Melbourne golf course architect Vern Morcom due to the resumption of land for Adelaide Airport.

1978 to 1984 – replacement of all greens on the course

1998 to 2004 – major redevelopment of the course staged over 6 years, included the introduction of ‘Santa Ana’ couchgrass on fairways and the elimination of Kikuyu.

Since the completion of the redevelopment in 2004 some ongoing minor works have been implemented including bunker rationalization, new tees etc, but no new greens were constructed in that time. A new spare hole, the 19th, was added in 2016.

The current Course Enhancement Plan implementation works propose to re-turf all the greens that have not been re-surfaced since the 1998 – 2004 redevelopment.

Similarly the irrigation system was only partially renewed in that redevelopment and is now in need of a full replacement. From a maintenance sustainability viewpoint it is also proposed to implement a significant bunker redevelopment program that will substantially reduce the number of bunkers on the course from 91 down to 66, a 27% reduction.



  • Company established
  • Kooyonga founder & course architect H.L. ‘Cargie’ Rymill engaged to design the club’s new 18-hole course on 174 acres purchased by Glenelg Golf Links Ltd
  • Construction of the new course commenced in September

1926 Looking S.W. towards Glenelg form Pine Hill


  • Clubhouse construction commenced in February
  • First 9-holes opened for play in April
  • Official Opening 21st May
  • Glenelg Golf Club officially formed on 15th June


  • 18-hole course opened for play in March


  • Victorian golf course architect Alex Russell invited to inspect the course and give He suggested additional land be obtained but his scheme was never implemented

Looking north over Pine Hill and the Clubhouse 18th green is in the foreground, 1930


  • 13th hole lengthened by 100 yards with new green
  • New 11th green, Practice Putting Green and 1st tee built and opened in 1940


  • New 14th & 15th greens constructed
  • Tree planting comprising Norfolk Island Pines, Tamarisks, Almonds, Cedar and Golden Cypress commenced across the course
  • Land at Camden bordering the 1st hole proposed to be purchased (Practice Fairway land)


  • Bulldozer used to make course alterations to 2nd, 3rd, 6th, 7th, 8th and 13th holes
  • Trees removed on 12th and 14th holes to improve line of play
  • New Adelaide Airport proposed and discussions held with the Federal Government as to the amount of club land to be acquired. Holes impacted would be 9th and 10th and it was agreed to seek submissions from golf course architects


  • Vern Morcom engaged to advise on modifications to the course, with his scheme far more comprehensive than just modifying the holes directly affected by the airport land take and his plans were adopted. It was proposed to concentrate on the first 11 holes initially
  • 200 trees removed from the site of the new 10th hole (current 9th) and work commenced to build the new hole
  • Land sold to the Federal Government as part of the new Adelaide Airport


  • 14 acres of land at the east of the course up to Morphett Road was swapped for an 8 acre parcel adjoining the 1st hole for use as a practice fairway
  • The new airport drain cut off the old 9th green at Christmas time


  • New 3rd, 9th & 10th holes in play, while new 5th and 8th greens seeded
  • Plans to move 4th green to avoid balls going into new houses
  • Scheme outlined for new holes 11 to 16 to be constructed in one stage


  • New 7th green, 7th & 8th tees completed
  • New 5th green to be ready for Ampol Tournament held in August
  • New Practice Fairway completed
  • New 11th, 13th and 16th holes had been graded


  • New 14th and 17th greens seeded
  • Course reconstruction nearing completion


  • 15th, 16th 17th and 18th fairways grown in
  • 16th and 17th holes opened for play in March
  • New 12th fairway constructed and trees removed
  • New 13th and 14th holes constructed
  • Vern Morcom visited the course to inspect progress after an absence of some two and a half years and was reportedly very pleased with the work. He gave a detailed report on his suggested modifications


  • New 6th and 10th greens constructed and various bunkers and tees built
  • Practice Fairway extended in length to cater for wood shots
  • 400-500 new trees planted
  • Kikuyu removal on 2nd fairway and replanting with The Department of Agriculture were consulted on the removal of Kikuyu from the course

Jim Ferrier tees off on 4th hole 1953



  • Completion of 2nd hole according to Morcom’s plans


  • New 1st and 2nd greens opened for play


  • New 11th hole and new green under construction
  • New bore drilled and new Buckner irrigation system installed on back nine holes
  • Bulldozer work on parts of holes 4 and 5


  • New 11th hole opened for play in March
  • Roadway across the 5th, 6th and 8th holes to be closed


  • New 18th green and 5th tee constructed
  • 1st fairway raised

Aerial view of the 13th green (now 12th) from 1958


  • New 18th green opened for play
  • New 4th green constructed and seeded
  • Vern Morcom visited and expressed his satisfaction in the course reconstruction and was amazed at the improvement since his last visit


  • New 12th green built and seeded
  • 12th and 13th tees reconstructed
  • Bob Tuohy appointed as the Club’s Playing Professional


  • New 12th green opened for play
  • Lake constructed at side of 18th green
  • Low-lying areas on 1st, 3rd, 4th and 18th fairways raised
  • New 4th tee proposed to return it to a par 4

8th Tee, Alec Gemmell, 1963


  • Lake formed in front of the 9th tees and lake between 5th and 6th fairways widened and deepened
  • Removal of Kikuyu proposed
  • Vern Morcom visited the course and gave various recommendations


  • 18th green and fairway brought into play
  • Practice Green built on Practice Fairway
  • Major Clubhouse renovations
  • 500-600 trees planted during the year


  • New bore drilled
  • Re-bunkering of the course to the Morcom scheme was completed


  • Peter Thomson visited and gave a preliminary report on possible course His fee for a full report and plan would be $1400


  • Thomson prepared a detailed report and plan but it was resolved not to proceed with the major aspects of his scheme
  • 9th and 16th greens lifted and reconstructed

10th Green looking north west 1970


  • Minor works as part of the Thomson plan were implemented by his associate Michael Wolveridge


  • Raising of 8th fairway and new 8th green constructed to a design by club professional Murray Crafter and his brother Brian (Neil Crafter’s father)


  • Murray and Brian Crafter to attend greens committee meetings to advise on the course
  • 6th green replaced and extended


  • New greens nursery established between 15th and 16th holes
  • Lakes on 1st and 6th holes connected up with underground pipe for drainage
  • Quotes obtained for new automatic watering system


  • New Toro automatic irrigation system installed at a cost of $64,300
  • New 2nd and 4th green and extension of 4th tee constructed


  • 5th, 10th, 17th and 18th greens were replaced and opened for play
  • 175 trees planted by working bee


  • Greens replacement program proposed by course superintendent Darrell Cahill, with the replacement of 11 greens that year, and these would be back in play by April 1980. This involved 10 temporary greens in play, with the use of the short hole


  • Five new greens designed by Brian and Neil Crafter, being the 2nd, 5th, 10th, 11th and 15th greens and were in play early in 1982

1st hole view to the Clubhouse, March 1981


  • New Crafter designed 18th green constructed including new fairway bunkering


  • New Crafter designed par three 16th hole and 17th tee and green constructed


  • New 6th and 8th hole fairway bunkers constructed and in play
  • Kikuyu eradication progressing. 

4th hole before redevelopment, 1990


  • New nursery constructed left of 13th hole
  • 9th and 10th fairways returfed in Wintergreen couchgrass and those greens repalced


  • New Clubhouse constructed, opening in February 1997


  • First stage of course redevelopment works commenced in November, with Neil Crafter & Bob Tuohy as architects in association, on 4th, 5th, 6th holes and new par four 13th and par three 14th New turf revetted bunkers constructed and Kikuyu removed and replaced with ‘Santa Ana’ couchgrass. Existing par three 7th hole incorporated into extended 6th hole and a new par three hole, the 14th, constructed on the back nine.


  • New holes back in play
  • 2nd & 14th greens reconstructed, including various bunkering works


  • Works on 2nd, 4th, 7th and 10th holes undertaken


  • Works on 3rd, 5th, 9th, 17th and new chipping green undertaken


  • Works on 11th hole, 12th carry and 18th green and approach

3rd hole, November 2002


  • Works on 1st and 8th holes and other holes


  • Final works on 12th, 13th, 15th and 16th holes to complete the redevelopment


  • Minor course works


  • Course Enhancement Plan prepared by Neil Crafter & Bob Tuohy
  • Some minor works undertaken from this plan in ensuing years

Chipping & putting green renovations, July 2014


  • New spare 19th hole constructed in vacant land between the 4th, 5th and 6th holes


  • Minor ongoing course works


  • Course Enhancement Plan from 2011 reviewed for an updated version


  • Course Enhancement Plan updated by Club and Neil Crafter of Crafter + Mogford Golf Strategies, with Bob Tuohy and Ryan Van der Veen architects in association


“A Record of the Development of the Links at Glenelg Golf Club 1926 – 2002” by Peter Norman et al., 2002
“Links With A Past: A History of Golf at Glenelg” by A. Bertram Cox, 1981
Neil Crafter’s personal records