Not short on major attractions, LIV Golf Adelaide’s tournament has made South Australia an even more irresistible destination for travelling golfers.

They don’t call it ‘Radelaide’ for nothing. 

A term often bandied about by interstaters as a form of sarcasm to describe everything the festival state capital supposedly isn’t, now has new and very real meaning.

Adelaide, and indeed all of South Australia, is riding a wave of newfound appeal thanks to a strategic government campaign that’s bringing some of the world’s biggest sporting events and most lively entertainment to its shores.

“I am determined to lure more major events to South Australia, which means more visitors, more economic activity and more jobs,” says Premier of South Australia Peter Malinauskas.

To be fair, the list is already impressive. 

The new year kick-started with January’s annual Santos Tour Down Under. The biggest cycling race in the Southern Hemisphere, this 10-day celebration brings male and female UCI WorldTour professional cycling teams to race on the streets of Adelaide and regional South Australia, and has become a marquee event for South Australia tourism. But the state’s cycling phenomenon has company.

In April, the AFL will ride into town, bringing all nine of its round-five fixtures to celebrate ‘Gather Round… a festival of footy’ with the Adelaide faithful. That’s 18 different teams and their travelling supporters, in one city for an epic four-day bender of Australian Rules football. 

A few days later, the biennial Barossa Vintage Festival returns with a bang, popping the corks on its 75th anniversary. It’s an event that normally attracts 70,000 visitors to the Barossa and Eden Valley. This year’s celebrations, however, could surpass those numbers.

May 31 will see Game 1 of the NRL’s showpiece State of Origin series played at Adelaide Oval in what promises to be a blockbuster affair that draws millions of eyeballs from around the globe. And the football flavour will continue in July, this time with the round ball, as the FIFA Women’s World Cup sends some of its key fixtures to the city.

Then, of course, there are the dozens of other festivals – from glamourous food and wine events to art exhibitions and motorsport madness – to help jam-pack your itinerary.

Sandwiched among it all, though, could soon become the most talked about event of the lot: the LIV Golf Adelaide tournament, teeing off at Grange Golf Club from April 21-23. 

The inaugural Australian event on Aussie legend Greg Norman’s breakaway circuit promises to deliver some of the world’s biggest golf stars – including reigning Open champion Cam Smith – and on-course entertainment not seen before in this country.

LIV Golf’s three-day, 54-hole individual and team format and festival-like events (including concerts with high-profile music artists) are providing one-of-a-kind golf experiences – a fact, Norman says, that made Australia the perfect choice for global expansion.

“Passion for sport is at the core of Australian culture, and LIV Golf is proud to bring its global league to a country deserving of the world’s top competition,” said Norman, both the chief executive officer and commissioner of the Saudi-backed LIV Golf. 

“This is an opportunity to grow the game with generations of Australians while connecting them with star players like Cameron Smith, who are building a new platform for golf around the globe. There is massive potential for Australia to play a bigger role in this great sport, and I couldn’t be more excited to showcase Adelaide for our league’s
debut year.”

Taking a completely different view

LIV Golf promised via its marketing slogan that it would deliver “Golf, But Louder” in its inaugural campaign, spending approximately $784 million along the way (and likely to hit $2 billion in total before the end of 2023). 

The response in tournament-starved Australia has been just as loud. Since the LIV Golf Adelaide announcement dropped late last year, interest in the event has overwhelmed organisers. At the time of print, more than 35,000 tickets had been sold, with 60 percent of buyers aged under 45. Interestingly, 12 percent were female, including a strong contingent from overseas. 

They’re numbers that match the enthusiasm of Premier Malinauskas, who explained his government’s decision to add golf to his major events calendar.

“I’m very conscious of the arguments that the establishment monopolist forces in golf try and push around for their own benefit. I’m more interested in the facts,” he told media at the LIV Golf Adelaide launch.

“I think what Australians are focused on is having an internationalist view of the world which maximises the economic benefit in an appropriate way for the people of our country and our state but… I encourage a moment of pause, of caution, and a rational analysis of basic facts.

“This is an unparalleled opportunity for our state and our country in a way that is utterly appropriate, and one that we’ve got an obligation to pursue, rather than the opposite.”

And pursue they have. Just ask members of Grange Golf Club what they think about having LIV Golf in town next month.

“[We’re] excited to host the world’s best golfers at our course,” said club president Nicolle Rantanen Reynolds. “It is recognition of our excellent facilities and our ability to host world-class golf tournaments. We are looking forward to working with LIV Golf and the SA Government to deliver an outstanding event.” 


“My favourite Barossa wine has to be Penfolds Grange. I have an extensive selection of Grange going back to my birth year (1955). Americans aren’t really that familiar with top-shelf Australian wine, with the exception of wine collectors, of course. They truly understand what Grange is all about. If I get a small group of people over to my house and it’s a really special night, I’ll pop a bottle of Grange. Some vintages are just to die for when you let them breathe. When I’m in the Barossa, shiraz and a cab sav are generally on my list.”

LIV it up: An itinerary for visiting golfers


Experience the majesty of Royal Adelaide Golf Club at Seaton, one of only a handful of Australian courses to be ranked in the world’s Top 100. This stunning layout, known for the iconic active railway line that cuts through its fairways, is surrounded by cypress pines and subject to the sea breeze. It has hosted the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open and promises an unforgettable golf experience. Make the 15-minute journey from Adelaide’s CBD to Henley Beach and, after a round of golf, treat yourself to some of the city’s best culinary offerings.


Herbert Lockett Rymill was presented with a stunning canvas of reddish sandy soil and gentle undulations when he began designing the iconic Kooyonga golf course. With the addition of native and imported trees, Rymill’s course quickly grew to become a masterpiece of Australian golf. Neil Crafter has since improved and restored the course’s natural vegetation and bunkering, creating a challenging yet charming experience for all players. With its sloping, tight, treelined fairways and firm, small greens, Kooyonga demands creativity and courage with every club in the bag.


Grange Golf Club is recognised as one of Australia’s finest 36-hole complexes. Designed by Vern Morcom, the West course has a parkland feel, with tall pines framing the holes and intense par 4s, like the 17th, creating an exciting finish. In 2008, Mike Clayton conducted a redesign, focusing on the greens, bunkers and tree removal to open up the course. The East course is where Greg Norman won his first professional tournament and Norman’s redesign added dynamic bunkers that have golfers eager to return. The Grange has a unique combination of beauty and challenge that make it a favourite among travelling golfers.


Surrounded by rugged cliffs and open ocean, Links Lady Bay in Normanville, a coastal town on the Fleurieu Peninsula, is the top-rated public course in South Australia and ranked 65th in Australia’s Top 100 Courses. With wildlife aplenty, you may even spot a kangaroo during your game. After a round, refuel with a cool beverage or a delicious meal at the clubhouse or stay the night in the luxurious four-star hotel.


Golfers looking to experience the perfect combination of golf, wildlife and wine will find it at Tanunda Pines Golf Club. Located a 70-minute drive from Adelaide’s CBD, the course is renowned in South Australia’s Barossa region for its Murray Crafter-designed layout. Its weathered, gnarly, centuries-old gum trees are a sight to behold, and its greens present a constant challenge with their tiers, spines and contours. It’s little wonder golfers often play it twice, strengthening its reputation as the pick of the courses in the Barossa.


Voted among the world’s most unique golf courses, the Coober Pedy Opal Fields Golf Club offers a one-of-a-kind experience with its crushed-rock fairways and sandy greens. It is the only golf club to have reciprocal rights to St Andrews in Scotland. Boasting an out-of-this-world landscape, the greens are black, the fairways are white, and the between is a vibrant red sun-baked earth. After your game, explore this eccentric Outback town and its must-see attractions.


Just a stone’s throw away from some of the most glorious sand and surf on the Limestone Coast lies Robe Golf Club, one of South Australia’s most picturesque coastal courses. Nestled nearby the chic cafés and boutiques of Robe’s main street, the 18-hole course is the perfect spot for golf sessions in the sun. It features three distinct loops, each comprising six holes, and the recent expansion was professionally designed by Neil Crafter. Enjoy the stunning views of the Southern Ocean and take in the impressive sand dunes as you make your way around the course.


Nestled in the stunning landscape between McLaren Vale’s rolling vineyards and the breathtaking beaches of the Fleurieu Peninsula, Mount Compass Golf Course is the perfect escape. Boasting an 18-hole links-style layout, the course is open to the public seven days a week and includes an on-site restaurant. Ranked 77th in Australian Golf Digest’s Top 100 Courses for 2022-2023, Mount Compass is just a short drive from Adelaide and is also conveniently located near Port Elliot, Victor Harbor and McLaren Vale.


After a major renovation in the early 2000s, Glenelg’s reputation as a must-play course for golfers visiting Adelaide hit new heights and hasn’t looked back. Neil Crafter and Bob Tuohy designed the course with prominent bunkering including the distinct revetted faces on most of the Glenelg pots, giving the course its signature orange sand look. This combined with strategic design elements, excellent turf quality and a friendly membership make for a challenging yet enjoyable round of golf. Traditional links characteristics have been preserved, with natural sand dunes and native vegetation restoring much of the course to its original landscape. 


Tasmania isn’t the only seaside destination making waves in golf-course design this year. The Cliffs Kangaroo Island [above], a $20 million destination golf course, officially began construction last year, with the goal of becoming South Australia’s next world-class tourism attraction. The course boasts breathtaking views atop 500-million-year-old cliffs overlooking the Southern Ocean and is being led by world-renowned Cape Wickham co-designer and former Australian Golf Digest architecture editor Darius Oliver. The Cliffs course is expected to inject an additional $30 million into South Australia’s annual tourism expenditure and attract 40,000 tourists from around the globe in its first year.

The course is set to offer golfers a unique and challenging round of golf, surrounded by the natural beauty of Kangaroo Island. In addition to a spectacular golf course, the clubhouse, designed by local architects Walter Brooke, will be home to luxury accommodation boasting four, 6-star suites designed to make the most of the expansive ocean and island views as well as a pro shop, restaurant, lounge, sports bar and green space for outdoor entertaining. The clubhouse will provide golfers with all the amenities they need to make their stay as comfortable as possible.

The Pennington Cliffs Property Trust in partnership with the Pelligra Group will deliver the landmark project, adding to its wider investments at Penneshaw and American River on Kangaroo Island. 

Adelaide’s Wade Ormsby, fresh off LIV Golf’s inaugural season and having played on the best golf courses in the world, said he was eager to see the project come to life. “I’m excited to see this iconic Australian location become a must-see golf destination for enthusiasts and professionals alike,” he said. “This marks the start of something truly exciting – not just for the sport of golf in Australia, but for the residents of Kangaroo Island and South Australia as well.” 

Oliver said the opportunity to create something globally unique on Kangaroo Island was “something truly special”. 

“The Cliffs Kangaroo Island will provide players with not only a world-class links golf course but some of the most awe-inspiring scenery anywhere in the world,” he said.

The Cliffs Kangaroo Island is expected to open in late 2024. 

Off-course pursuits

Six things you can only do in South Australia


Adelaide is Australia’s first (and the world’s second) National Park City, thanks to its city-centre being encircled by gorgeous parklands and a generous amount of suburban green space. If you’re wondering what to do in Adelaide, Linear Park is a must-see, complete with a walk by the River Torrens that snakes its way through the heart of the capital. Belair Conservation Park is just a train ride away and Morialta Conservation Park is a waterfall paradise. 


Confront your fears and swim with the ocean’s apex predator. South Australia is famous for the invention of shark cage diving, becoming the first place in the world where you could safely observe great white sharks in their natural habitat. Based in Port Lincoln, shark diving is provided by Rodney Fox Shark Expeditions and Calypso Star Charters, with staff trained to act with the utmost care for both the sharks and divers.


McLaren Vale is a place where rolling vines tumble into azure blue waters and is a true mecca for vino lovers. This famous coastal wine region is nestled less than a 40-minute drive from Adelaide’s city centre and provides an extraordinary chance to taste a drop of shiraz in a giant Rubik’s Cube. The d’Arenberg Cube is one of South Australia’s must-see attractions. Visitors are treated to five levels of wonder: a wine sensory room, a virtual fermenter, the Alternate Realities Museum and wonderful art installations that create perfect selfie opportunities. Enjoy a morning swim at Port Willunga, one of Australia’s famous beaches, before drying off and hitting the road, winding your way through a patchwork of vineyards. 


If you’re looking for a South Australian road trip idea, the Adelaide to Flinders Ranges road trip is a brilliant way to get up close and personal with the ancient landscapes found in Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park. Once you get to the Flinders, the outback isn’t too much further. Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre is a fabulous sight-seeing spot – during the rainy season when the lake fills, it’s the largest lake in Australia and is considered an inland sea. When you’re feeling thirsty after a day behind the wheel, stop off at one of the outback pubs like Prairie Hotel or William Creek. 


Stargazers, this one’s for you. A dark sky reserve is a national park in the sky – one of the few places in the globe where you can see so many stars and a unique South Australian experience. The only Dark Sky Reserve in Australia is located on the Murray River and provides an area of land protected from light pollution. With the help of scientists on the ground during guided tours, you might even spot some constellations only visible in Australia. With lots of options for camping, or nearby town accommodation, this is a perfect short trip away. 


The annual migration of the ‘chameleons of the sea’, the Australian giant cuttlefish is a natural wonder that attracts crowds to the historic town of Whyalla every May to August. This is an excellent stop on one of the best road trips in South Australia – the Seafood Frontier journey. A world-class natural phenomenon only seen in South Australia, glass-bottom boat tours are now available and provide a perfect viewing platform for this colourful encounter. 

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