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

Round: £125

Visitor Times: Availability on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays

Medal Tee: Par 72 – 6,688 Yards

Website: www.alwoodley.co.uk

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

The 14th hole at Alwoodley (Photo: Getty Images)

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.

Alwoodley Golf Club

The 1st hole at Alwoodley sets up beautifully (Photo: Getty Images)

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 Golf Club

The 7th hole (Photo: Getty Images)

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 Golf Club

The 18th provides a strong finish back towards the distinctive clubhouse (Photo: Getty Images)

Assessor Feedback

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.

GM Verdict

Recent clearing and renovation work has further improved a superb heathland course blessed with particularly fine opening and closing holes.