Moor Allerton Golf Club was originally founded in 1923 and the original 18 holes were laid out by Alister MacKenzie close to Moortown. Later, the club moved a few miles away to the present site because it was "bursting at the seams". None other than the famous Robert Trent Jones Snr. designed the new course – his only ensemble in the UK – and it opened for play in 1971.
Jones laid out 27 holes on 220 acres of undulating Yorkshire countryside, in three distinct loops of nine holes. It's just as well that each nine starts and ends at the welcoming "Waterhole" halfway house, because Moor Allerton is a big course. You'd be wise to replenish your energy levels to cope with Jones's design philosophy, where a par is tough and a bogey is the norm.
Clearly Moor Allerton contrasts with its near neighbours, Alwoodley and Moortown. The Moor Allerton style is modern and American – big contoured greens, large teeing areas, long boldly-shaped bunkers and, of course, water hazards. Having said this, the layout blends beautifully into the delightful landscape to combine the best of Yorkshire and America.
The threatening par five 14th epitomises Trent Jones's design ethos – woodland to the right and water to the left. The 18th is also noteworthy, a tough par which calls for an accurate approach shot over a watery gully to an elevated green, guarded jealously by bunkers.
Many famous pros have walked these fairways when the PGA European Tour came here in 1982 for the inaugural Car Care Plan International – including Seve Ballesteros and Nick Faldo – when England's Brian Waites won the event by one shot. Howard Clark was the playing professional for several years and Peter Alliss was also the resident pro for a period of time. Alliss reckons that "Moor Allerton is a golfing experience larger than life", and who could possibly disagree?
Moor Allerton is friendly and relaxed off the course but as tough as nails on course. The 27-hole combination is configured into three loops as follows: Lakes (1-9), Blackmoor (10-18) and High (19-27). The championship course, which is considered to be the toughest 18-hole combination, comprises of the Blackmoor and High circuits.