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
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Vorndron
A truly superb golf course. A real good test of your all round game. The course itself has some great holes but not a weak one. A reasonably straight forward first hole then the 2nd looks like a given birdie on the card, but the green is oh so tricky if the pin is placed just on the tier. The course then really gets going with a reachable par 5 then a tough long par 4. Played here twice now and have booked to go back again this summer. I think the rate is too low in my opinion for this course. Second only to Ganton in Yorkshire.
March 30, 2011
10 / 10
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Hamish Wilson
This is one of the best inland courses I have played. I prefer links golf but this was a treat. If you are looking for some modern monster don't bother to play it . It is real golf at its best. No two holes the same and mix of the quirky and the conventional. I am Scottish and have played golf for over 60 years and this was one of the most enjoyable experiences I have had.
January 19, 2010
10 / 10
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Cameron Roy
I have lived in Leeds for nearly 10 years now and today is the first time that I have played Alwoodley. For a self-confessed golf nut this is an awfully long time. My reasoning for not playing up until now have been either, 'It's too expensive' or 'I am not in good enough form to play there.' However, today has shattered both of those reasons. Despite copious amounts of recent rain the course was in good condition with only the odd bunker holding water. Alwoodley is not a long course and the fairways are more generous than I thought they would be. I was not playing very well having developed a big fade (slice?!) but still managed to keep the ball in play throughout. The greens are very tricky and I didn't have a straight putt all day. Despite the rains all the greens ran true. Winter rates are £55 for the whole day (midweek) and this was great value. Staff were friendly and so were the members. I would thouroughly recommend a round at Alwoodley and I certainly won't be waiting another 10 years to play this gem.
November 09, 2009
8 / 10
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Moreski
Alwoodley is almost definitely the second best course in Yorkshire and it is in fine fettle at present. The fairways are fast running and the heather is punishing. The greens were in beautiful condition albeit not as fast as they look or perhaps could be. The front nine is certainly the place to make your score as the finish is fiendish by comparison. For its location in the city of Leeds it is a fantastic course and very good value at £40 for a twilight round. The only slight let down is the odd smell in the men's changing rooms which should be addressed.
May 15, 2009
8 / 10
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David Sheret
A good course spoilt in my opinion by 2 poor holes. Not being a lover of blind approach shots to par 4's I found the 10th and 17th disappointing, despite a 4 on the latter - it was more good luck than good management! Quirky clubhouse but a friendly Pro. I think that nearby Moortown is a fairer test (though longer) and when I played was in better condition.
April 27, 2009
6 / 10
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Cameron Roy
November 09, 2009
The 10th is certainly not a hole with a blind second as you only require a drive of 230 yards to reach the elbow and have a great view of the green. I do, however, agree with your comment about the 17th as I don't think the hole fits the rest of the course.
Mondeo
Had the oportunity to play earlier this year. This is a good course and a test for all levels. I found the clubhouse a bit snobby.
September 25, 2008
6 / 10
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Tom Sadowski
Just played this course in the Yorkshire Amatuer. What a fantastic course a very fine test indeed. The whole setup is great the start not being to severe then the meat of the course being firm but fair. A wicked 5 finishing holes a real must play and slightly more difficult than nearby Moortown.
June 28, 2008
4 / 10
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Max Monroe
I had the chance to play here last June and what a pleasant place to enjoy a game. Very fun course t play and walk, excellent course design, and the clubhouse is really good, beautiful from the outside and on the inside. I would love to be a member here. Heather everywhere here so hit it straight.
February 10, 2008
8 / 10
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Graham
Alwoodley is magnificent. The course is challenging yet fair. The course is in fabulous condition from tees to fairways to greens, even the heather! The closing holes are treacherous and demand concentration to preserve your score. The clubhouse and staff match the course. Overall a highly recommended experience.
August 01, 2007
10 / 10
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Gary F
As per other reviews, cannot fault this place. Absolute quality form arrival at the clubhouse to the 18th. Now played here 3 times in last 2 months and a masterpeice of design with great variety & top condition. Also not as tight of the tee as appears. Make your score on the front nine...last five holes are killers!! Looking forward to returning soon.
July 25, 2007
10 / 10
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