Situated just an hour’s drive south of Adelaide city centre on the Fleurieu Peninsula, The Links Lady Bay makes an excellent addition to any Adelaide golf holiday, but is also a great golf destination in its own right, and the experience is only enhanced by the incredible ocean views on the drive down.
The course features prominently in the bi-annual Golf Digest rankings and deservedly so. It is a championship links test with ever present wind and magnificent views over Lady Bay. Strong enough from the back tees to test the best golfers, yet fair enough to be enjoyed by the average player, The Links Lady Bay also features short holes that would grace any of the most famous links courses in the world – most notably the Par 3 17th. The resort facilities, comprising golf course, accommodation, restaurant and spa are full of charm and quality, reflecting the unique character of the Southern Fleurieu.
Designed as a traditional links, by Melbourne superintendent Graeme Grant in collaboration with John Spencer and Jack Newton, the course opened in 2000. Such was his enthusiasm for the project, Mr Grant reportedly mounted his bulldozer and did not dismount until all 18 holes were shaped! The exuberant designer toiling from sunup to sunset on what he perceived to be a unique and classic links site upon fertile dunes that overlooked the sublime Peninsula coastline.
The site was well suited to links with the fairways constructed of sand hillocks and framed by flowing tall native grasses. The putting surfaces are generous in size and minimally contoured as to not become unplayable in heavy winds. The bent grass manicured expertly to allow a superb roll, the ‘big four’ clubs in Adelaide do not experience better. The bunkering was left to its rugged devices and enhances the sites very natural expression.
Right from the onset, the 356-metre 1st reveals the beauty to come, carved through the dunes toward the green target snuggled in a depression and encased by curvy mounds. The 4th hole, a 339-metre short 4 cannot escape without mention with its elbow shaped green creating havoc with a misdirected approach.
The deceiving 330 metre 10th is another solid expression of a shortish par 4, and the aforementioned 197 metre par 3 17th are the standout holes amongst many contenders on the back 9. Rated No 1 on the card, the lengthy 12th played into prevailing southerlies is the epitome of links artistry, featuring a green almost 30 metres long. At No 13, the layout departs the coastal views and heads inland over a rise with the ensuing 4 holes encased in a valley adjacent to farmland. The best vista is revealed at the 17th tee, overlooking most of the layout with impressive views of the distant ocean.
Links Lady Bay is a fine golf course and probably South Australia’s best modern layout. Escape the bustle of Adelaide – add a day (and overnight) trip to The Links Lady Bay to your Adelaide golf holiday itinerary.