Sand Moor - Yorkshire - England

Sand Moor Golf Club,
Alwoodley Lane,
Leeds,
LS17 7DJ,
England


  • +44 (0) 113 268 5180

Sand Moor was originally designed in 1921 by Henry Barran and the course opened for play in 1923. However, it would take another three years (1926) before the golf club was founded.

The club claims “the major influence in the creation of the course was Yorkshire born Dr. Alister Mackenzie, who chaired the first AGM on March 7th, 1925.” When additional land was acquired in the 1960s, the layout was modified by Henry Cotton, resulting in the loss of the first two and last two holes and the construction of four new holes on the other side of Alwoodley Lane.

In recent years, Andy Watson has carried out an extensive audit of the course, recommending a number of improvements to the golf club committee, and this has resulted in him carrying out a sensitive mix of renovation and restoration work.

As the architect says, “some of the original MacKenzie features are no longer relevant to the modern game, whilst others have been removed or covered by encroaching tree lines. In places, I have gained approval to restore some of the classic features of this layout, and in other situations, create something of a similar ilk to challenge the modern golfer”.

A newly refurbished clubhouse sits at the top of a hill, to the south of Eccup Reservoir, where holes 1, 5, 6 and 18 run up to and down from this elevated position. The first par three at Sand Moor is not played until the 8th hole, which is played across a gulley to a green that’s guarded on the right by bunkers. The other three short holes on the card are all played on the back nine, at the 10th, 15th and 17th.

Listed in Frank Pennink’s Choice of Golf Courses, he believed Sand Moor to be: “One of the most beautiful courses in the north of England, with wonderful, moorland turf laid on a subsoil of sand and sandstone.”

Additionally he wrote: “It is a moot point as to whether Sand Moor or its neighbour Moortown is the better course – they are so different scenically. But it is certain that Leeds is indeed fortunate to have them, and Alwoodley, three courses of the highest inland calibre.”

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Description: Sand Moor was originally designed in 1921 by Henry Barran and the course opened for play in 1923. However, it would take another three years (1926) before the golf club was founded. Rating: 6.9 out of 10 Reviews: 15
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Harry Barker
I played Sand Moor yesterday for the first time and was thoroughly impressed. Either the reviewers below were playing a different course or much improvement has been made, I couldn't tell you which. I would say that the blind shots (not as many of them as the other reviews would make you believe) are the only negative point. They are however well dealt with by substantial marker posts that tell you where you should be driving. I played without the aid of a course planner and didn't have a problem. This is a tough test of golf, hitting the greens is especially difficult. The bunkers are good and I should know having been in one on most holes!If you judge this course by yardage alone you will be making a mistake, I am a long hitter of the ball but it didn't make much difference as many of the holes are up hill or round a corner etc. You really do have to hit good solid tee shots to have a chance at hitting GIR.Greens were true and puts rolled out well. The clubhouse was very good with special note going to the showers which were better than any luxury hotel I have stayed.We also had a meal after the round which was a full carvery, couldn't have been better.Finally I must give credit to the pro who gave us a good overview of the course before the round, also gave us a good deal on a few items we needed.
June 28, 2009
8 / 10
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Moreski
I am minded to agree with the previous reviewer. Sand Moor was a lovely parkland (/heath land) course offering a decent test of golf, a real variety of holes and some beautiful views/scenery. The course was in very good condition. It is not up to the standard of Alwoodley or Moortown, but it is not far off and I think this is reflected in the price. I think that the undulating terrain and blind shots give it some character. It certainly makes for interesting club selections and yardages at times. The clubhouse facilities were excellent, and as for the criticism of the 18th, I do not think that it is justified. There is a huge marker showing the line of the green, there are distance markers and the rest is surely what the game of golf is about! Do you go for it, try and land it straight on the dancefloor and risk it dropping off the back, or do you take the safe option and run it up? Either way, the members are sitting outside on their balcony watching the approaches come in giving it a great atmosphere which must be electric on match days. So it's not a championship course, but it has character, is good fun and is in great condition - not bad given its location in a relatively big city like Leeds. Not quite a 5 but not far off.
June 28, 2009
6 / 10
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Paul
I would disagree about Sand Moor being a better venue than Moor Allerton.Sand Moor is a great little club to visit but the course just isnt in the same class as its near neighbours. The locker room isnt the best start with it's austerity.There a few blind shots but the worst bit is some of the holes just dont suit the place and are not very well-designed. Examples of this would be the 2nd and the 18th which is a real let-down. By contrast the set of par 3s are among the best you will find anywhere.Last time I played it condition wasnt very good (tees hacked up) and the greens had fusarium scars. All in all I would have expected more from a club with such a high reputation.
December 03, 2008
4 / 10
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CA
Sand Moor is a mixed bag. Several excellent holes, let down by some poor ones (the 18th must be the worst finishing hole on any course on this site). As the previous reviewer mentioned, there are too many blind shots. Against the high standards set elsewhere, Sand Moor doesn't quite cut it. Still, a decent test of golf though and excellent practice facilities.
July 21, 2008
4 / 10
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Dan Burt
unbelievably picturesque course set in the rolling hills to the north of leeds, in the same belt as a number of other of leeds' courses.manicured to a high standard, both tees and greens. the course is perhaps short-playing in areas, but has a good layout using many of the natural features of the landscape to make for some good golf holes as well as pretty to look at.on the downside, a number of holes are blind tee-shots, the bunkers were in a poor state and particularly bare of sand, and lacking good yardage markers and some of the other frills other courses maintain.of particular note were the par-3's, on raised greens protected by bunkers and the views across Eccup Reservoir from the 9th tee.very well recommended course, with probably the friendliest atmosphere we have found in the search for our new golfing home in north leeds.
May 22, 2008
8 / 10
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