Yorkshire & Leeds

The counties of Yorkshire are located in northern England and are home to some wonderful heathland and parkland golf. Particularly just north of the city of Leeds is well known, especially for fans of golf course architecture. Leeds is synonymous with the name Alister Mackenzie who got his start in the business here with the courses Alwoodley & Moortown. He went on to become arguably the best golf course architect of all time. His designs include Royal Melbourne, Cypress Point, Crystal Downs and Augusta National, home to the Masters. A more impressive list is hard to imagine!


In 1907 a local doctor laid out a golf course over the Wigton Moor north of Leeds. The course would be named Alwoodley Golf Club, and so was launched the good doctors career. Mackenzie's routing over the moors became a classic heathland course with its typical Mackenzie style bunkering, a sprawling natural look. This combined with the firm turf & width created interesting playing angles, great strategic golf!  Alwoodley is an absolute must play.
He then went onto design one hole at Moortown 'Gibraltar Hole' the 10th on the current routing and when the members concurred that it was good enough, they built the rest of the course. Also a heathland course which held the 2nd ever Ryder Cup in 1929 won by the British 7- 5 over the Americans.

Sand Moor Golf Club opened for play in 1926 and is more parkland in style with gorgorus par 3's and stunning views over Eccup reservoir. Headingley, Leeds and Moor Allerton golf clubs are also worth a look when you're in town.


With a 90 minute drive from Leeds through York you come to Ganton Golf Club, a few miles shy of the seaside town of Scarborough. Ganton is not a links course but also not a heathland course. It actually lies in a deposit of sand 7 miles from the sea left over from when the North Sea retreated before the last ice age. Ganton has a very impressive history, opening for play in 1892 and Harry Vardon served as its Head Professional from 1896 till 1903. Following on from Vardon was Ted Ray who was the Head Pro till 1912. Many people and architects had their hand in the develop of the course in including Vardon & Ray, Harry Colt, Alister Mackenzie, Tom Simpson and C.K. Cotton.

The course itself is relatively flat but its difficulty is in its bunkering, or 'pits' is maybe a better word. Strategy is of the premium to avoid the bunkers and the gorse that lines many fairways. It would be remiss not to mention that the 1949 Ryder Cup was held here and the victorious American team was captained by Ben Hogan.


Leeds city centre has many good hotels, bars and restaurants to keep a weary golfer happy. Ganton also has Dormy accommodation onsite, especially handy when playing 36 holes and not feeling like the 90min drive back to Leeds.

Course Profiles

Accommodation Yorkshire