Think about how few golf holes allow you to see the flag while standing on the tee. Doglegs, treelines, spurs in the land – anything might obscure the view. And, aside from par 3s, how necessary is it to see the target from the outset given that multiple strokes are required to reach it? Yet that was the mindset of Mike Clayton when he came to redesign the West course of Grange Golf Club in Adelaide. Years of growth had seen treelines choke some holes, effectively narrowing the playing corridors. Clayton opened the course right up, gave golfers width but asked them to avoid bunkers and choose a defined path towards the flag. And, in most cases, the flag was now in full view from the tee.
Co-hosting the 2008 World Amateur Team Championships and now with two Women’s Australian Opens in its history books, the West course [pictured] is an excellent example of taking something good and making it great.
Grange’s other course was also subject to a semi-recent redesign, this time at the hands of the man who won his first professional tournament there: Greg Norman. The post-2012 incarnation of the East course contrasts nicely with the West. The renovated layout is a shade longer, a little tighter in places and features a different bunkering style. And for several holes on the front nine, it also touches the club’s wetlands area, which doubles as a vital water source.
The East didn’t need a radical overhaul when it came to routing. Indeed, many of the ‘old’ holes remained in place. Of more pressing importance was establishing a point of difference to the West. The two layouts share comparable terrain and subtle but slight undulation, and they are of similar length, so the distinction had to be made through the bunkering and green complexes. Some greens slope mildly while others feature steep tiers, collection bowls or drop-offs.
Grange Golf Club
West: Ranking in 2020: 43rd
Prior rankings: 44th (2018), 44th (2016), 43rd (2014), 47th (2012), 49th (2010), 55th (2008), 55th (2006), 29th (2004), 35th (2002), 35th (2000), 33rd (1998), 29th (1996), 23rd (1994), 19th (1991), 26th (1989)
East: Ranking in 2020: 53rd
Prior rankings: 48th (2018), 47th (2016), 40th (2014), N/R (2012), 73rd (2010), 60th (2008), 48th (2006), 53rd (2004), 54th (2002), 51st (2000), 51st (1998), 43rd (1996), 28th (1994), 60th (1991), 69th (1989), Fifth Ten (1986)
Where: White Sands Drive, Grange SA 5022
Phone: (08) 8355 7100
FEATURED IMAGE: Gary Lisbon