A fabulous Alister MacKenzie design that has benefited from renovations to reinstate the heathland feel he initially envisaged

Moortown Golf Club Course Review

Green Fee Range: £45-£95

Medal Tee: Par 71 – 6,747 Yards

Visitor Times: Seven days, restricted until after 14:30 on Saturdays

Website: www.moortown-gc.co.uk

Moortown Golf Club Course Review

One of Dr Alister MacKenzie’s finest creations and venue for the first Ryder Cup to be held in Britain, the heathland course at Moortown in Leeds is a joy.

Recent work to re-establish traditional characteristics has been a tremendous success.

m12 fairway bunker

The par-5 12th hole

Over the years, the club has played host to countless championships, including the English Amateur Championship and the Brabazon Trophy.

Bobby Locke, Henry Cotton and Bernard Gallacher have all won professional events at Moortown.

Moortown is a classic English heathland layout. The original design was by the great Dr Alister MacKenzie in 1908.

Large undulating greens and deep bunkers are evidence of his contribution.

With heather, birch trees, burns and bushes to contend with, a round here requires precision and careful strategy.

Moortown Golf Club Course Review

Keep to the fairways and a good score is certainly possible, but stray slightly and the result will invariably be unfavourable.

Despite its proximity to urbanisation, there’s remarkable peace and serenity to be found on the course here. It’s hard to believe the track is only three miles from the centre of Leeds.

There are many excellent holes at Moortown, but the 10th – Gibraltar – deserves special mention.

MacKenzie built the green into a rocky slope and the natural contours send any shots slightly off target towards the gaping bunkers left and right of the putting surface.

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Following the 10th, the next four play up-and-down alongside one another on a plateau, featuring the lovely par-4 11th, gettable par-5 12th and the charming par-4 13th.

The finishing hole is a tough one, doglegging right and slightly uphill towards the clubhouse with bunkers to avoid down the right and thick moorland rough down the left.

Everything at Moortown is first class, from the classic clubhouse featuring the ‘Smoke Room’ and snooker room to the golf course conditioning.

Course changes since previous ranking

Installation of a new state of the art irrigation system, covering Tees, Greens, Fairways, Surrounds and approaches

Further selective removal of silver birch trees, to allow the recently planted scots pines to further establish

Redesign and naturalisation of the 11th teeing area and 11th greenside/12th tee area

Full Drainage Survey and the implementation of a 5 year drainage replacement scheme, which begun this summer

New lateral water hazard introduced to the rear of the 1st hole and side of the 17th hole

Ongoing heather regeneration programme

Proposed course changes

Completion of the £150k drainage improvement project

Construction of a new green keeping facility, due to begin 2019

Redesign of the ditches, teeing areas and bunkers on the 4th and 7th holes. Replacing original MacKenzie features to the 4th carry.

Moortown Golf Club Course Review – Golf Monthly Verdict

Classic urban heathland course offering variety and value. Fascinating history and one of the most characterful clubhouses you’ll find.