Adelaide Oval may have just hosted the first Test in the current International Series between Australia and India, but in the lead-up to the match it entertained an altogether very different event. From 29 October to 4 November, the famed arena was transformed into a nine-hole golf course as part of a week-long golfing spectacle organised by Australian Golf Digest and Adelaide Oval.
In what was the first ‘stadium golf’ event to be held in Australia, golfers teed off from various locations around the stadium to nine greens situated on the hallowed Adelaide Oval playing surface. Holes ranged from 50-90 metres in length, with tee locations including Level Five of the southern Riverbank Stand, the northern mound at the base of the famous Moreton Bay fig trees and a purpose-built platform in front of the oval’s heritage scoreboard.
The Adelaide Oval grounds team, headed by curator Damian Hough, played a key role in bringing the event to fruition, including the design and set-up of the golf course as well as executing the event during the week itself. Across the seven-day event, the grounds team were responsible for setting up the holes each day including the markings around the greens.
“We have a few keen golfers on the grounds team who were really happy to be involved with the course design for this event,” says Hough. “There was a lot of planning involved in the months leading up to the event. We worked around the Sheffield Shield match which finished the night before and also had to consider the One Day International match between Australia and South Africa (9 November) coming up.
“We had the wicket area covered to make sure we didn’t get any ball indents there and we were also preparing the ODI pitch throughout the week. It was an impressive event and to be the first venue in Australia to do Stadium Golf is a credit to Adelaide Oval.”
A total of six hole-in-ones were hit over the week with former Richmond and Sturt footballer
Adelaide Oval general manager Darren Chandler says that discussions are already underway for the event to return in 2019: “We’ve had overwhelmingly positive feedback from the event so we’re definitely going to bring it back next year,” says Chandler. “Participants loved the opportunity to tee off from different locations around the Oval, combining golf with a unique stadium experience. It’s something different – it’s not your normal golf event. It’s quite unique but quite challenging.”
Adelaide Oval hosted the first Stadium Golf event in Australia ahead of the its first international cricket fixture of the season, an ODI between Australia and South Africa