Thaxted Park’s first few decades after opening in 1964 were a constant battle for water. But four on course dams and an agreement with the local council provides enough water these days to ensure the playing surfaces are first class.

All the fairways have been gradually been converted to Santa Ana couch, which thrives in this area. The bentgrass greens are also very good. The standard of presentation is being complimented by an improved layout with the redevelopment of the front nine.

Course architects Neil Crafter and Paul Mogford of Golf Strategies have come up with a masterplan for the course, which has predominantly involved widening fairways, creating new fairway bunkers, moving and remodelling greens as well as some tees.

The new holes have certainly raised the bar but one of Thaxted Park’s most picturesque and memorable holes comes late in the round. The 15th hole is a little more than 100 metres from the elevated tee down to the relatively small green that lies just beyond a creek bed. There is a bunker long of the green that comes into play more often than you might expect, while the real beauty of this hole is the amphitheatre setting of the green and the gum trees that surround it.

Green fees – $32 (weekdays); $37 (weekends).

Blackwood Golf Club. PHOTO: Brendan James.


The Vern Morcom-designed Blackwood course covers wonderful undulating terrain in the Adelaide Hills.

Opened for play on the current site in 1963, Blackwood has undergone many changes from Morcom’s original work. Combined with the maturing over more than 50 years of hundreds of trees, Blackwood has evolved into a tight driving layout where a premium is placed on accuracy.

The rolling landscape combines well with the heavily tree-lined fairways to provide a picturesque setting for an enjoyable and challenging round.

Green fees – $40.

Adelaide Shores (Patawalonga Course). PHOTO: Brendan James.

12 ADELAIDE SHORES (Patawalonga Course)

The Patawalonga Course at Adelaide Shores has gone from strength to strength since being redesigned by Neil Crafter and Paul Mogford and has hosted the last seven SA PGA Seniors Championships.

From the well-manicured kikuyu fairways and massive bentgrass greens – averaging 750 square metres – to the beautiful red sand found in each of its bunkers, Patawalonga is a joy to play for any level of player.

Its four par-3s are perhaps the most memorable and enjoyable aspect; the longest of which (No.12) measures 167 metres from the tips.

The par-72 layout stretches to 5,913 metres. But it can play much longer, depending on the direction of the coastal winds.

Green fees – $29 (weekdays); $38 (weekends).



Four Reds is a golfing experience that plays to South Australia’s strengths. It pairs four exceptional golf courses with four exquisite wines to create one memorable holiday.

Visitors enjoy three to six nights based in Adelaide, the capital of South Australia. This vibrant, wealthy city of 1.2 million enjoys a Mediterranean climate and abundant scenery, with beaches on one side and hills on the other.

A prime golfing destination, Adelaide is home to four very fine courses of long-standing repute – courses that are less famous than their eastern state counterparts, but no less challenging, perhaps more accessible and certainly a surprise to those who have not played them before.

South Australia is also a wine-making heartland, producing half of the nation’s wines and home to the world-famous Barossa Valley. It’s responsible for some of the most prestigious vintages ever to grace a table.

Which leads to a very natural pairing...

The Four Reds comprise Glenelg, Grange, Kooyonga and Royal Adelaide, offering a perfect mix of prestige, challenge, scenery and good old fashioned Australian hospitality.

After visitors complete each Four Reds golf course, they are invited to round off their day with a tasting plate of local gourmet produce and a bragging-rights bottle of first class wine.

If a guest’s passion for fine wine rivals their enthusiasm for golf, Four Reds can keep the celebrations flowing with exclusive winery tours of the Barossa Valley.

Four Reds tours and packages are arranged exclusively by Adelaide-based golf holiday specialist, Golf Explorer.

Four Reds offers six holiday packages ranging from three to six nights in Adelaide, including all course fees, transfers, accommodation and paired wine experiences.

Any package can be tailored to suit you One popular package is the ‘Four Reds 72-Hole Challenge’, which includes five nights’ accommodation at the Stamford Plaza (double occupancy), daily breakfasts, private transfers, four rounds of golf with a round at each of the Four Reds clubs, each paired with premium wines and seasonal tasting plate. The cost of this package starts from $1,735 per person (based on four people travelling)

For more information or to book your tailor made Four Reds golfing holiday in Adelaide, visit the website http://www.fourreds.com.au/