Moortown Golf Club

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  • Architects:
  • Consultant:
    • Johnson, Clyde
  • Holes of Merit:
    2, 6, 8, 10, 12, 15, 16, 18
  • NCG Rank:
    92/100 in GB&I


Moortown Golf club played host to the first European Ryder Cup in 1929. The British side had well-known names such as Abe Mitchell, Percy Alliss (Father of Peter Alliss), Henry Cotton and George Duncan. The US team had Gene Sarazen, Walter Hagan and 2x Masters Champion, Horton Smith.

Moortown Golf Club Videos

Watch the 1929 Ryder Cup highlights here

Moortown Golf Club Reviews

Neil Crafter's article about Gibraltar for SAGCA can be seen here

Golf Course Review

Moortown Golf Club is an 18 hole, Alister MacKenzie designed golf course in Alwoodley, near Leeds, Yorkshire, England. The club is a former Ryder Cup Venue.

Moortown Golf Club was the brainchild of a non-golfer by the name of Fred Lawson-Brown. Patric Dickinson writes that while on holiday in Bridlington in 1903, Mr Lawson-Brown took a trip to Ganton and was so inspired by its beauty he decided Leeds needed a golf course just as stunning. After 5 years of searching, the current site was chosen in 1908.

The course was laid on Blackmoor and required significant effort to make it suitable for golf. The entire moor needed to be drained as it was a 'boggy hillside full of stagnant pools.' The 175-acre site could now be called a mixture of woodland and moorland.

Dr Alister MacKenzie was laying out Alwoodley nearby and built a single hole to demonstrate his skills to both the founders and potential members of Moortown Golf Club. Thereafter, he was commissioned to build the full course as his first solo design. The prototype was none other than a one-shot hole which features a multi-tiered green named Gibraltar. Earning its namesake, it is built on a large rock which creates the base and forms the shape of the green. It was said that Moortown's greens were the first inland to be designed and built in the fashion of rolling links greens. The full course was open for play on September 24, 1910, with an exhibition match between James Braid and Harry Vardon.

The golf course itself is a complete set of 18 without a weak link where width is a key golf architecture feature. Whilst most attribute the design as a whole to Alister MacKenzie, it was his younger brother, Charles, who would lead the course through its final development from 1928 to 1933. Ken Moodie has been responsible for getting the club back to its MacKenzie roots with recent work at the club.

Golf Course Photography

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