This natural heathland course was the first work of the great Dr Alister MacKenzie

Alwoodley Golf Club Course Review

Green Fee Range £105-£130

Medal Tee – Par 71 – 6,900 Yards

Visitor Times: Weekdays and weekends subject to availability – contact Club for details


Alwoodley Golf Club Course Review

This heathland course on the northern outskirts of Leeds is where it all began for Dr Alister MacKenzie’s second career as a golf course designer.

Alwoodley Golf Club Course Review

MacKenzie was a founder of the club in 1907, and it was here he would first get to paint his fairways and greens into the natural landscape.

The layout, which starts off with a delightful-looking opener, is still predominantly MacKenzie’s design, and indeed, the current five-year improvement programme has seen a number of his original bunkers brought back to life.

Related: Top 100 courses UK and Ireland

The greenside bunkering really comes alive from the 5th, with the challenge of the hazards you have to negotiate invariably related to the length or difficulty of the shot.

On the par-3 7th, which measures just 143 yards, large bunkers guard the entire front half of the green.

Alwoodley Golf Club Course Review

On the longer 179-yard 11th, the bunkers may be more numerous, but they are confined to the left and front of the green, leaving a little margin for error on the right.

If you can thread a good drive away between the out of bounds and the right-hand bunkers on 17, the steep bank short of the hidden green will often propel balls on to the putting surface – a pleasant surprise when it finally comes into view.

The long, narrow 18th is less accommodating though!

A special hole at Alwoodley is the 10th, which comes after the beautiful and long downhill par-3 9th.

The par-5 10th doglegs severely left and is said to have been the inspiration for the 13th at Augusta.

MacKenzie’s premier Leeds creations, here and at Moortown, have both taken major steps to further better themselves of late, and while there’s much local debate as to which is superior, it’s his original creation that still just leads the way in our rankings.

As course design debuts go, this Alister MacKenzie heathland beauty on the outskirts of Leeds takes some beating. Some of his original design features lost over the years have even been re-introduced in the 21st century.

Course changes since previous ranking

Tree clearance and gorse management to maintain the heathland nature of the course as part of a five year plan based on a report by Murray Long

Proposed course changes

There will be ongoing tree and gorse management. Promoting finer grasses on greens and surrounds by quite intensive over-seeding.

Alwoodley Golf Club Course Review – Golf Monthly Verdict

An excellent test of golf and a true heathland challenge. Fine opening and closing holes bookend this heathland classic