If you’re prone to first tee anxiety and get agitated at the thought of your belt buckle scratching into your stomach, Regency Park Golf Course is the perfect remedy.
A short, welcoming course with barely a dress code to speak of, this track is the perfect place to experiment with a new swing or outdrive your mates, beer in hand.
Regency Park Golf Course is a nine-hole golf course with dual tee blocks, offering just enough variation for a full round.
The 18-hole layout stretches only 5543m from the clubhouse, with distance, rather than angle, the main form of variation second time around the layout.
Regency is cheap (you won’t pay over $30 here) and appears to be a course on the move, with Green Space Management taking over the reins and developing grand plans for an 18-hole mini-golf course just 10 minutes from the CBD.
Let’s just hope the ‘family vibes’ don’t spill out onto the first fairway, though – little Johnny can top his golf balls 10 metres along the carpet at the North Adelaide Par 3, thanks.
Regency is the ultimate anxiety killer, with relatively short holes, slow greens and wide-open spaces.
It’s a classic parkland layout, although the trees are scarce enough that booming blazes will often find a safe resting place on an adjacent fairway.
The 5543 metre 18-hole layout is short, but this is largely affected by the six Par 3s (three front, three back), with each nine boasting two genuine Par 5s.
The condition of the course is decent enough; fairways are short, greens are maintained, bunkers can be dicey but easy enough to play around on many holes.
It’s no Royal Melbourne, but I’d challenge anyone to bemoan the quality of the track considering the price of admission.
The course is surprisingly varied, with anything from long iron to driver required on the Par 4s and 5s, while gap wedge through to six iron are likely needed for the one-shotters.
The greens are slow, so a hefty blow will be required to get uphill putts to the hole.
Regency isn’t exactly a ‘feature hole’ kind of course. Nonetheless, a few stand out as some of the more challenging, interesting or enjoyable of the bunch.
Measuring barely 100 metres, this short Par 3 will need a smooth wedge to find the dance floor.
A deep pot just short of the bunker will swallow anything that doesn’t get there, leaving one of the more challenging up and downs on the course.
Long will put you up against netting providing protection for South Road.
A two-tiered green means finding the bent grass won’t guarantee avoiding a three-putt.
This is a mid-400m Par 5 that requires three shots to hit the surface due to a very challenging green complex.
A bunker to the right about 200m from the tee will swallow errant drives, but longer hitters will fancy their chances of flying it.
It takes a very brave golfer to go for home in two if more than a six iron is required.
A deep bunker guards almost the entire front of the green, while long-right shots will find a water hazard and have you asking where the drop zone is.
Hit the green in three and you’re faced with two tiers that will leave you happy with a two-putt par.
One of the hardest on the course, the left-hand side of the hole is lined with bunkers capturing anything short to medium distance off the tee.
Go too far left and you’ll again be flirting with the South Road protective netting.
Find the fairway safely and you’ll be greeted with a narrow entry to a sloping green, bunkers guarding the left and dense shrubs to the right.
Take par and get out.
Pace of play/tee time availability
Pace of play can be a bit hit and miss but is usually OK.
Weekends can get busy and an array of golfing abilities can lead to some 10-shot-a-hole hackers.
Nonetheless, the Average Joe golfers going around here will be happy to let quicker groups through.
After the departure of their head professional a couple years back, Regency no longer runs competitions, so from dawn to sunset seven days a week the course is open to the public for social golf; just pre-book a time before about 2pm on weekends.
The course does offer memberships, but these are merely for the ease of unlimited play and tee times aren’t blocked out exclusively.
How welcome are visitors?
Regency is a highly welcoming course with no sense of prestige or entitlement about their clientele.
Everyone from single handicappers to weekend warriors will frequent the course, and the most attention you will get is from mildly-lathered patrons of the tavern next door as they view your opening tee shot.
There is no sprawling clubhouse or elaborate pro shop (new management may change this), just a small shop where you can hand over your cash, pick up a scorecard and grab a Kit-Kat.
Arrive in the rough vicinity of twilight rates and you’ll usually get ushered through for the cheaper price.
There can be some interesting experiences on a purely public course – I’ve had someone hit their second shot into the 18th green on me while I was putting – but dumb things occurring on the course means a funny story, and are much preferred to than being yelled at by a 40-year member for not repairing a divot correctly.
Is there a dress code?
As long as you’re wearing shoes you are good to go.
I’ve seen everything from work boots to stubbies, high-vis to singlets and board shorts.
If you have your own set of clubs and $20-odd bucks to your name you’ll be welcomed with open arms.
If anything, dress down.
Leave the Sunday Red at home for once and enjoy the untucked shirt swaying in the breeze.
Are there practice facilities?
There is a practice putting green in front of the shop, although this looks under threat according to proposed mini-golf plans.
Either way, it’s no great loss.
There is a small pitching area off to the side of the first hole for you to throw down a dozen balls and practice a wedge or two.
But ultimately, if you arrive to Regency asking where the range is, you’re probably there for the wrong reasons.
Can I buy food/drinks after the round?
The ‘pro shop’ – I use that term loosely – offers your pre-round basics like chocolate bars and a Gatorade.
However, the Regency Tavern sits a flop shot away from the course, sharing the same car park.
There doesn’t appear to be any offers for free beers or cheap eats for golfers, but this watering hole is more than sufficient for a beverage, schnitzel and even a punt if your wallet is full after a prosperous skins game.
Price for 18 holes:
- Monday-Friday: $27
- Weekends: $29
Price for 9 holes:
- Monday-Friday: $18
- Weekends: $20
- After 3pm every day: $13 (9 holes)
Regency Park Community Golf Course – as it is officially known – is aptly named: this is truly a course for the community.
Fees are cheap. The people are welcoming. You can roll up straight from work and enjoy your happy hour out on the greens.
If you are looking for a home course to chip away at a handicap or hold the C-grade championship aloft, then this won’t be able to supply that – but for on-course practice mid-week or social affairs, it’s a perfect track.
The conditioning is adequate, the greens roll true, although slow, and the beers at the next-door tavern are cold.
So, why even bother with that two-grand membership elsewhere?
For more information about Regency Parks Golf Course, visit their website.
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