Recent clearing and renovation work at Alwoodley has further improved a superb heathland course blessed with fine opening and closing holes
Alwoodley Golf Club Course Review
Top 100 Ranking 2021/22 - 50
Previous Rankings 2019/20 - 50 2017/18 - 48 2015/16 - 52 2013/14 - 55 2011/12 - 62 2009/10 - 58
Summer Green Fees
Visitor Times: Availability on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays
Medal Tee: Par 72 – 6,688 Yards
Website: www.alwoodleygolfclub.com (opens in new tab)
Changes since previous ranking
Extensive tree clearance has continued to restore Alwoodley’s trademark panoramas across Wigton Moor and improve the quality of the turf.
Work by Tom Doak acolyte, Clyde Johnson, (Cunnin’ Golf Design), has included the restoration of an area of fairway short left of the 15th green, the resculpting of bunkers, including the cross bunkers on the 16th fairway, merging two bunkers into one left of the 18th fairway and the removal of gorse blocking sight lines.
Alwoodley Golf Club Course Review
One of the finest inland championship courses not just in Yorkshire but England, Alwoodley near Leeds has long enjoyed an unthreatened place in the top 60 of our rankings.
It is, famously, the first design project of surgeon-turned-golf course architect, Dr Alister MacKenzie, a founding member and the first secretary of the club in 1907.
The course - largely still MacKenzie’s handiwork with input from Harry Colt - continues to challenge the best today while also delighting golfers of all standards with its attractive bunkering, superb conditioning and far-reaching vistas.
The bunkering performs the ideal dual role of strategy and aesthetics as well as any course, and recent tree-clearing work – so prevalent on heathand courses right now – has given Alwoodley a more open feel once more, bringing to mind Walton Heath in Surrey in some places.
Related: Top 100 courses UK and Ireland
Strength in depth
There is plenty of risk-reward and variety among the holes, with the back nine into the prevailing wind serving up a particularly tough finish via a quartet of par 4s that all exceed 400 yards - one of the reasons it remains on the rota for Open Championship regional qualifying.
Alwoodley may perhaps be more about considerable strength in depth rather than individual stand-out holes. But special mention should go to the beautiful, long par-3 9th at the far end of the course - a massive 235 yards from the championship tee - and the truly testing closing hole back towards the distinctive clubhouse, where sand aplenty stares back at you as you contemplate the 484 yards that lie ahead of you off the tips. Thankfully, other tees are available!
Alwoodley is a thoroughly enjoyable experience. It wouldn’t feel out of place nestled among Surrey and Berkshire’s finest. A tough test of golf characterised by long carries from the tees, unforgiving heather and beautiful sweeping holes, all culminating in an incredibly strong finish and wonderful 18th hole.
An inland classic and a real test of golf where the penal rough and tricky greens will test the best.
Recent clearing and renovation work has further improved a superb heathland course blessed with particularly fine opening and closing holes.
Jeremy Ellwood has worked in the golf industry since 1993 and for Golf Monthly since 2002 when he started out as equipment editor. He is now a freelance journalist writing mainly for Golf Monthly across the whole spectrum from courses and Rules to equipment and instruction. He also edits The Golf Club Secretary Newsletter, a highly regarded trade publication for golf club secretaries and managers, and has authored or co-authored three books and written for a number of national papers including The Telegraph and The Independent. He is a senior panelist for Golf Monthly's Top 100 UK & Ireland Course Rankings and has played all of the Top 100 plus 91 of the Next 100, making him well-qualified when it comes to assessing and comparing our premier golf courses. He has now played well over 950 golf courses worldwide in 35 countries, right across the spectrum from the humblest of nine-holers in the Scottish Highlands to the very grandest of international golf resorts, but put him on a links course anywhere and he will be blissfully content.
Jezz can be contacted via Twitter - @JezzEllwoodGolf
Jeremy is currently playing...
Driver: Ping G425 LST 10.5˚ (draw setting), Mitsubishi Tensei AV Orange 55 S shaft
3 wood: Ping G425 Max 15˚ (set to flat +1), Mitsubishi Tensei AV Orange 65 S shaft
Hybrid: Ping G425 17˚, Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Orange 80 S shaft
Irons 3-PW: Ping i525, True Temper Dynamic Gold 105 R300 shafts
Wedges: Ping Glide 4.0 50˚ and 54˚, 12˚ bounce, True Temper Dynamic Gold 105 R300 shafts
Putter: Ping Fetch 2021 model, 33in shaft (set flat 2)
Ball: Varies but mostly now TaylorMade Tour Response
Top 15 Five-Star Rated Products 2022 Deals
We've tested over 500 products this year - check out the best deals on 15 of our five-star products
By Dan Parker • Published
Dan Bradbury Seals First Professional Victory In Third DP World Tour Start
Despite securing a spot at the Joburg Open via a sponsor's invite, Bradbury claimed the title by three shots from Sami Valimaki
By Cieran Faulder • Published