Alister MacKenzie

Full Name
Alexander MacKenzie
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Year of Birth
Year of Death
1934 aged 64
Place Born
Normanton, Yorkshire, England
Place Died
Pasatiempo, California, United States

World Golf Hall of Fame – Class of 2005. “A good golf course grows on one like a good painting, good music, or any other artistic creation. It is not necessarily a course which appeals the first time one plays over it, but one that grows on the player the more frequently he visits it.” From The Spirit of St Andrews.

Educated at Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, Wakefield before commencing medical studies at Caius College, Cambridge in 1888, Alister MacKenzie graduated from university with a couple of degrees in 1897, by which time he was already working in his father’s general medical practice.

MacKenzie was born and bred in Yorkshire but both his parents were Scottish and the family holidayed every year in remote Lochinver, close to where his father was raised in the traditional Clan MacKenzie lands of Sutherland, so it’s true to say he was more than aware of his Scottish roots.

He served with the Somerset Regiment in South Africa during the Boer War, sailing to South Africa in 1900 and returning home 12 months later. His experience of dealing with concealed entrenchments in warfare made a big impression on him and he’d go on to use elements of camouflage in his course designs in later years.

A founding member of Alwoodley in 1907, MacKenzie also set out the new club’s course, which was his first attempt at golf design. Harry Colt was called in to appraise the layout and his seal of approval meant other commissions soon followed from clubs in the local Yorkshire area and further afield.

His profile as an up-and-coming designer was aided in no small way thanks to winning a Country Life magazine ‘design a golf hole’ competition in 1914 where he drew up an imaginary 420-yard par four that could be played in several different ways, depending upon the skill of the golfer and the prevalent playing conditions.

The architect’s putting surfaces were often angled away from the centre line of approach, meaning a drive to a certain point on the fairway would ...

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Featured courses designed, remodelled and added to by Alister MacKenzie


2nd Yorkshire - Best in Area 13th England Ranking 36th Britain & Ireland Ranking

The Alwoodley Golf Club is home to one of the finest and most subtle inland courses in the British Isles, located in a secluded spot.


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Augusta National

1st Georgia - Best in Area 8th USA Ranking 8th North America Ranking 15th World Ranking

Augusta National Golf Club is one of the most exclusive clubs in the world and was designed by the world’s greatest golfer, who teamed up with the world’s greatest architect.


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Bingley St Ives

11th Yorkshire - Best in Area

The fairways at Bingley St Ives Golf Club weave through distinct areas of parkland, woodland and moorland as the round progresses from the first tee to the final green.


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Bolton Old Links

17th Lancashire - Best in Area

Bolton Old Links Golf Club is laid out in two loops of returning nines with the inward half routed around the outside of holes 1 to 9...


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6th Renfrewshire - Best in Area

The course at Bonnyton Golf Club – a lesser-known design of Alister MacKenzie – opened in 1922 with heather-fringed fairways laid out on Ballagioch Hill, high above the conservation village of Eaglesham.


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Bramall Park

20th Cheshire - Best in Area

Bramhall Park Golf Club was founded in 1894 and the course was extended shortly after World War I when additional land was acquired. Alister MacKenzie was then called in to improve the layout in 1921.


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12th Gloucestershire - Best in Area

Set at altitude of nearly 900 feet, Broadway Golf Club affords some of the finest Cotswold views imaginable across the Vale of Evesham to the distant Malvern Hills on a clear day.


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Alister MacKenzie Leaderboard

Rank Name Courses Played
1 Brian Ward Courses Played 46
2 Steven Hulse Courses Played 35
3 Kevin P Courses Played 32
= Ed Battye Courses Played 32
= Joseph Andriole Courses Played 32
6 Paul Rudovsky Courses Played 26
= Bob McCoy Courses Played 26
8 john houston Courses Played 25
9 Greg Watson Courses Played 24
= Tim Elliott Courses Played 24