Alwoodley - Yorkshire - England

The Alwoodley Golf Club,
Wigton Lane,
Leeds,
LS17 8SA,
England


  • +44 (0) 113 268 1680


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. In many ways, it is reminiscent of Woodhall Spa’s Hotchkin course, which is very high praise indeed. "This the home course of Dr. MacKenzie ought to be good and, personally, I put it very high among inland courses." Wrote Bernard Darwin in his book The Golf Courses of Great Britain.

Founded in 1907, Alwoodley is the cream of a cluster of excellent courses stretching across the moors just north of Leeds. The great Alister MacKenzie (a doctor at the time) joined forces with the already renowned architect, Harry Colt, to fashion Alwoodley. This was Dr MacKenzie’s first dabble with golf course design. Clearly inspired, he went on to become a full time golf course architect and later went on to design the great Augusta National, home of the Masters.

The course is a combination of heathland and moorland with rippling fairways and fine, crisp, springy turf. There is plenty of heather and gorse, which provides glorious seasonal colour and punishes the wayward shot. There are few trees, other than the occasional cluster of pines and silver birches on this glorious, windswept heath.

Essentially an out and back course, the front nine is generally regarded as the easier of the two nines (the only two par fives are on the outward nine). The back nine invariably plays into the prevailing winds coming off the Yorkshire Moors.

Alwoodley possesses some strong and supremely challenging holes. The 3rd is a very subtle straight par five measuring 510 yards and it used to appear open and devoid of definition. However, in recent years the club has implemented a policy of restoration and improvement of all the bunkers on the course. This has changed the playing characteristics of some holes, including the 3rd. The once lonesome bunker on the left-hand side of the fairway, some 200 yards from the tee, has been joined by a further left-side bunker, 240 yards from the tee, which complements the original one. A new bunker 30 yards short and right of the green narrows the approach, demanding a very accurate shot to the right-to-left sloping green.

The 17th is one of our favourite driving holes if you can avoid the out-of-bounds on the left. It’s a 434-yard par four where a reasonable tee shot will leave a blind approach to a hidden green nestling some 30 feet below.

Make sure that you bring your full compliment of golf clubs. It is likely that this hard but fair course will force you to use every club in the bag. Alwoodley has played host to many important amateur events over the years and it regularly tests the pros when the course is used as a Regional Qualifier for the Open.

2nd March 2009 - Nicholas Leefe commented on our article:

“As the Club Historian, I wish to confirm Alwoodley (1907) was the first golf course designed by Dr Alister MacKenzie. Our records simply state Harry Colt (probably the most famous golf course architect of the time) was requested to visit Alwoodley and he duly came on July 31, 1907. This was after the first medal round had been played. The proposed alteration of the course (presumably by Alister MacKenzie) was discussed with Mr Colt and it was unanimously resolved that it be adopted. Mr Colt visited Alwoodley for his second time on Oct 6 1909 to report on the course, but our records regrettably do not state what action was proposed. This is a MacKenzie course with the Committee wisely seeking a second opinion from one of the most respected experts of that period."

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Reviews for Alwoodley

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Description: 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. Rating: 8.3 out of 10 Reviews: 54
TaylorMade
I was lucky enough to play Hankley Common on the Friday and Alwoodley on the Wednesday. Alwoodley is simply superb. The greens were in cracking nick - quick perhaps quicker than Hankley. But the bunkering and the layout at Alwoodley is incredibly challenging. The course is a true fair test. It helps if you can hit a long tee-shot but anything of line is fairly punished. The par 3's are a great test with no flicks with a PW, but a proper iron shot into all of them. I simply loved it, and perhaps the true cherry on the cake was to see the members sitting outside, and being so welcoming. They know how lucky they are but are most happy to allow you to share in their good fortune.
May 22, 2014
10 / 10
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Aidan Healey
Played here today and can certainly see why it has been moved up the rankings to 15th best in England. Absolutely brilliant golf course and with plenty of new strategic bunkers being added along with a couple of new tees since the last time I played it is now one hell of a challenge and superb golf course. The conditioning for this time of year and with the recent heavy rainfall, it is fair to say it was top notch which made it very enjoyable. Love the out and in layout with driving a straight golf ball being key to stay out of the heather/gorse and bunkers. Hitting the right level on the very undulating greens is also vitally important otherwise you are staring a 3 putt in the face. The dogleg 10th par 5, par 3 11th and monstrous 18th hole are personal favourites on this wonderful layout. A must play that me personally would put ahead of Ganton in the rankings!
January 22, 2014
10 / 10
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Vorndron
We made our annual trip to alwoodley last week and once again our group came away extremely impressed. After the recent warm spell together with the past wet weather it meant that the rough was particularly penal but this seemed to line and define each hole. The excellence of the greens must get a mention as they were absolutely superb, a quick pace, not too fast, but you felt that stood over the ball you had a real chance of holing some putts. The course itself starts relatively gently but really shows its teeth from the 4th onwards, a long hard par 4 into the wind. Not really a weak hole on the course but the finish is very tough. From the 13th all the way home it's a real challenge, you have to drive the ball very well to post a decent score. Ganton is a real favourite of mine but alwoodley is definitely running it close and may even be on a par with it now.
June 19, 2013
10 / 10
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Eddie Maylor
I had heard of Alwoodley but never had the opportunity to play there before, finally I got a chance to play. As you arrive the first striking thing is the clubhouse, what an impressive building, make sure you spend some time looking around. The weather was wet and windy, the sort of day that is no fun to play golf but this was much too good a course to let the rain spoil. The second is a short but tight par 4, rescue club off the tee to leave a short iron to the green is my recommendation. On the next 16 holes you need to avoid the heather… and gorse. The 8th is a super hole, a good tee shot gives you the choice of taking on the bunkers to leave a short shot to the green or lay back and leave 150 yards to the green, I had to lay up and hit a 6 iron to the green. It’s also worth noting where the flags are as the greens are big and some have multiple levels; you don’t want to three putt after hitting a green in regulation. The 10th is a big dog leg right to left, over a hill then down, then back up to a green. The 14th is the last par 3, it is 206 off the back tee and the flag was tucked behind a big bunker – thanks for that! After this it is a tough stretch of long par fours to finish, all require good tee shots and accurate, long second shots. The 18th has an elevated tee looking down into the cauldron of the 18th and the clubhouse watching your finish. This is definitely one of my favourite courses.
May 29, 2013
10 / 10
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Andy Newmarch
The best course that I have played for a while and this is really very good from start to finish. Highly ranked already and looking at some of the courses with similar positions, I think there is scope for Alwoodley to go even higher - this is a great course in beautiful surroundings full of heather, gorse and plenty of tree variety; the perfect combination. After a not too demanding opener, the short par-4 2nd is a good looking hole and the trademark MacKenzie slope in the green is there to catch you out, trust me it will. The 5th is worth a mention; under 400 yards and the ideal line is to the left as the fairway feeds to the right; the green is raised a little and protected by six bunkers, with four of these on the right catching the common slightly cut-shot. The 8th is a monster is terms of length (584 yards, back tee), with out-of-bounds to the left and heavy rough on the right – a really tough drive and for most players the second shot will be blind, then add in a three-stepped green and a par-5 is a huge achievement. Another par-5 at the 10th – not much to say here other than think of another MacKenzie designed hole, the 13th at Augusta National and the similarities, especially the tee-shot are obvious. The par-4 15th is yet another tricky driving hole, out-of-bounds to the right, deep rough left and a 400+ yard dog-leg with another problematic green, this time the right-side is very undulating and can send approach shots into the right bunker – the smart play is at the left of the green. The ‘home’ hole is a classic; played into the wind (normally) at around 450 yards, there a dozen or so bunkers scattered from the start of the fairway to the green which makes this one of the toughest par-4 18th holes in England. No mention of a par-3 yet, well here goes .. there are four of them, all good looking and testing and of different lengths – my only observation is that they are spread over only eight holes from the 7th to the 14th which makes the middle part of the course so much fun. Alwoodley Golf Club is classy, very classy and in my opinion must be pushing Ganton as the #1 course in the Yorkshire rankings.
April 18, 2013
10 / 10
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Aidan Healey
A fantastic golf course. Even though I played shocking it was a very enjoyable experience. Similar to nearby Moortown and Ganton (but much better in my opinion) Alwoodley is a stunning heathland course. Keep it straight and youll be fine, hit it waywards and you are sure to be punished by the heather, gorse and deep rough. The greens were also fantastic, very undulating and fairly quick made it very challenging to put a good score together. A lovely layout playing out and in with the best holes in my opinion being 10,11,16 and 18 which from the back tee has a view to admire looking down the fairway and to the wonderful clubhouse. The only weakness in my opinion is the 17th, with the green being a good 30ft below the fairway and having a blind second shot is completely different to the rest of the course. However a fabulous walk over one of the very best courses in the country in my opinion shouldnt go a miss to any golfer out there!
August 26, 2012
10 / 10
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Will D
A fabulous course which definitely deserves its status in the English golfing world. In ways it is similar to Ganton, but not quite as difficult. Favourite holes were the 8th and the 18th- what a view back to the clubhouse. The rough is very penal, so ensure that your ball is on the short grass!
August 17, 2012
10 / 10
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Nick
Enjoyed playing this course in August 2012. The rough can be quite punishing - and playing out of the heather is a real challenge. A couple of holes are slightly featureless - the third, for example. However, it is definitely worth a visit.I wouldn't recommend trying to get food afterwards - the system for ordering might suit members, but was not good for visitors - and the staff were not particularly helpful.
August 13, 2012
8 / 10
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Max Monroe
I spent a pleasant afternoon playing here and I would gladly do it again. Alwoodley is a stunning course. Loads of heather, holes going every which way, just an enjoyable day when you are walking these fairways.
July 24, 2011
8 / 10
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Roboliozo
Played in March, course was okay bearing in mind the tough winter. Agree with previous posts about a couple of weak holes, 10th and 17th. A bit harsh charging best part of 60 quid despite the greens being hollow tined, dressed etc.
April 02, 2011
6 / 10
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