The architect of Augusta National was also instrumental in these wonderful layouts closer to home
5 Of The Best Alister MacKenzie Course Designs
Although James Braid made some significant changes here in the 1930s, the design genius and influence of MacKenzie lives on in both the Top 100 Rosemount course and the par-32 Wee course. Pine trees separate just about all of Blairgowrie’s delightful 45 holes, making straight hitting a priority. The picturesque short 17th is classic MacKenzie with its two-tier green.
Alister MacKenzie seems to go hand in golf glove with attractive courses. Cork is no exception, with its parkland design running down to and alongside Lough Mahon. Once there, the 4th and 5th flank the water before the next few holes play in and out of an old quarry. The MacKenzie greens – large and undulating – are a particular strength and mean that every part of your game is tested.
Littlestone is a historic links where MacKenzie made a number of key changes in the mid-1920s. His legacy remains its defining style. The 2nd is very strong, with its approach over a ditch and between two large dunes, while the penultimate hole is a superb par 3 played across a dip to a raised and well-bunkered green. The putting surface at the closing par 5 is a trademark MacKenzie rollercoaster.
Yorkshire is packed with great golf, much of it not so well known, and this terrific course which has evolved into something of a moorland/heathland/woodland hybrid is up there with the best. In a reverse of the Blairgowrie situation, this time it was MacKenzie who improved an original Braid design; a fact that only came back to light in 2011 when one of his invoices was found.
MacKenzie’s trademark greens are greatly in evidence at this delightful course perched high on the Devon hills, with fabulous views both inland to Dartmoor and out to sea. There is great variety and excitement, with six distinct short holes. The 11th is played over a hidden quarry and the closing hole is a monster – 230 yards up to the most MacKenzie-esque green you will find anywhere.
Don’t forget to follow Golf Monthly on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.