My first memories of golf were randomly doing cartwheels on the greens as a child. It turned entrepreneurial in my tweens, finding and collecting lost balls in the scrub and selling them back to the adults while walking the course with my Dad. By 15 and 16 I was playing Ambrose with school friends as a way of getting our heads out of the books and having some fun. Cartwheels still very much a part of it, and let’s be honest, nothing’s changed there.

While I’m not your usual beginner, I’ve never committed to playing a solid 9 or 18 holes. I do think though times might be changing. I’m a sporty gal. I grew up playing a variety of sports and still do in the Adelaide Hills, albeit a little slower and more cautious than I used to. I love how sport challenges you, mentally and physically, and we all know golf is one of the trickiest. Mainly at keeping a level head.  

When I mentioned to a few friends in the know that I was playing Mount Compass Golf Course, the first thing they said to me was “that’s a hard one”. It’s renowned in the golfing community as challenging, so naturally I couldn’t wait to see for myself.

My first impressions were stunning. Such beautiful grounds, immaculately kept. Ranked in the Australian Golf Digest’s ‘Australia’s Top 100 Golf Courses 2020/21’, Mount Compass Golf Course on the Fleurieu Peninsula is a privately-owned Links style public course that you access off the main road before you drive into the town itself from Adelaide.  It’s clearly sign-posted, so you can’t miss it.

It’s popular. On arrival, there were a lot of cars in the car park which almost put me off my game, but golf being golf, they were all dispersed throughout the expansive 18-hole course, so we barely saw anyone, which saved my embarrassment. I met my friend Cindy with a big grin followed by a belly laugh while embracing, knowing the hilarious experience that was before us. She plays comp, so I was hoping she was armed with tips and could refresh me on the lingo.

Even after living with both parents playing the game and hearing them debrief in depth, I am still yet to remember exactly what all the terms mean. I need an almanac. A caddy to follow me around to tell me which clubs to use would be great too.  Lucky for us, Club member Ben and his father Ian joined us for a round.

First, we loaded the buggy and pulled up to the impressive driving range for a few swings. Had quite the audience too. The local kangaroos obviously knew we were coming and all lined up to see the show – a comedy. After hooking the first three to left, I finished off with a smack straight down the middle nearing the 150 metre mark (let me have this), and it was time to tee off.

What followed was plenty of laughter, screaming, clapping (quietly of course), and questionable buggy driving. I forgot how much fun it was to get out in the fresh air, hit a few balls and take in the scenery and fauna.

In all honesty, we did alright. It was great playing with members who are experienced with the course, and the club tips were appreciated too. Sticks have certainly moved up in the world since I last played. Lighter and larger it seems. I may have to add some to my Christmas list.

The day we played, a Tuesday, the 19th was closed, but you can be certain we will be back to complete that hole too.  I’ve also heard the food is amazing, so another round is a certainty.


You can play Mount Compass Golf Course seven days a week. The Club is open Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday for lunch, and Friday and Saturday nights for dinner. There is also a pro-shop if you feel like getting professionally kitted out before your next hit.


Guest blogger: Kelly Golding @kelly_golding_
Photography: Kelly Golding @kelly_golding_