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.
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Alwoodley Golf ClubLeeds is dominated by Alister Mackenzie's work with Alwoodley being no exception. A living monument to his work the course is more or less the same as the day it opened with only lengthening having taken place to keep the course up to date. A pure heathland course, Alwoodley is an absolute must play for all students of the game.
Moortown Golf ClubMoortown is another one of Alister Mackenzie's masterpieces! One of Englands finest inland courses and host to the very first Ryder Cup held in England, Moortown is a living museum.
Sand Moor Golf ClubOne of Leeds many golf courses and is neighbours to Alwoodley and Moortown golf clubs. Also designed by Alister Mackenzie it's a must play when in Leeds.
Ganton Golf ClubGanton is not really a links course but also not really a heathland course, I guess its something in between! But what it is, is a phenomenal golf course. It's about a 90 min drive from Leeds but is more then worth the trip, its pedigree is clear to see with its long line of championship golf that has been played here including, Ryder Cups, Curtis Cups and Amateur Championships.
Mercure Leeds CentreConveniently located in the heart of Leeds, this hotel is the perfect base for those looking to explore the city. Leeds Railway Station is a short five-minute walk away, making further travel easy. The iconic Victoria Quarter and Leeds Arena are also within walking distance, allowing guests to enjoy the excitement of this bustling northern city from within the heart of the action. Standard and Privilege rooms are available to choose from, all of which are decorated to a high standard with style.
Weetwood HallSet within nine acres of beautiful woodlands and gardens and built around a 17th Century Jacobean Manor House, we would like to offer you and yours a warm welcome to the Weetwood Hall Estate, Leeds. Providing the very best in contemporary and unique guest experiences, our hotel is steeped in rich history with parts of our beautiful property dating back as far as 1540. Indulge yourself in the tranquil surroundings of our grand estate and escape everyday life with us here in Leeds at Weetwood Hall.