“There is always that pleasure at Seaton of pitting one’s ability against the course, as well as the surroundings, which have the real golfing atmosphere”

Jim Ferrier after winning the 1938 Australian Open Championship
at Royal Adelaide

An Adelaide Golf Club was founded in June 1870, although it survived but a few years.

The present club was formed by 32 foundation members on Thursday 11th August 1892, following a meeting held at the Largs Pier Hotel. The first Club competition was held not two months later, on Saturday 8th October in the North Parklands, on a site now referred to as Park 6 (Nantu Wama / Lefevre Park). James Mitchell won the inaugural competition with a net score of 103 playing off a scratch handicap.

In 1896 the Club moved its activities to a nine-hole course on land leased at Glenelg (north of the existing Glenelg Golf Club). Lady members were first admitted in 1897 shortly after the move. The Glenelg course was expanded to 18 holes in 1898 however difficulties with the landlord at Glenelg prompted the Club to purchase land near Grange in 1904.

The railway line to Grange that transected the property was the means that members in the early years used to come to the links. The first bungalow-style clubhouse was ready for occupation at the end of 1905 and since that time there have been countless additions and alterations to accommodate the increasing number of Members and their varying requirements.

The Seaton links was officially opened on 30th June 1906.

In 1907, lady members were referred to as “Associates”, a name that was used throughout the 20th century and into the 21st century, only recently being removed in 2015 as the Club introduced gender neutral membership.

The North Parklands were maintained throughout this period as a practice ground before its use was discontinued in 1911.

Adelaide Golf Club was granted approval to prefix the title “Royal” in 1923 by Governor Leigh Winser. Thereafter to become Royal Adelaide Golf Club.

The land purchased at Seaton had as its nucleus, sand dunes, around which were some ribbons of grassed land but much of the property was a series of poorly drained swamps. Although poor farming land, from the very first, it was recognised as splendid golf country.

The first course skirted the sand dunes which were later incorporated into the layout following the visit of Dr Alister MacKenzie in 1926.

During the last thirty years the flat peripheral holes have been progressively landscaped to give the present links its distinctive character.

The Club has always taken a leading part in the administration of Golf in Australia, being one of the foundation members of the Australian Golf Union in 1898. Members, both male and female, have been successful in interclub matches and have won several State Titles. Three of the members have won individual National Titles – Leigh Winser in 1921, Miss L.M. Gordon in 1923 and Bill Ackland-Horman in 1949.

The links at Seaton has been the venue for many international and interstate matches and championships and the Club has hosted nine Open Championships of Australia and sixteen Amateur Championships of Australia. The Australian Ladies Amateur and Open Championships have also been played over the links. Royal Adelaide has always enjoyed a high ranking on not only National but also World listings.