Review Alwoodley Golf Club

By: Kevin Paver | Thu 08 Feb 2018 | Comments


To the north of Leeds, literally 15 minutes from the city centre is Alwoodley Golf Club. Alwoodley has always been a highly regarded track… and for good reason.  A traditional heathland course, it was designed by Dr Alister MacKenzie in 1907, and was the first course he designed. Of course, he went on to design a few more courses you may have heard of… like Augusta National!

MacKenzie created a fantastic layout at Alwoodley, which runs pretty much straight out and back, with the back 9 providing a much tougher test… mainly due to the fact you’ll play most of them into the wind!

It’s not on it’s own in this part of Leeds either. There are some other pretty impressive golf clubs less than a 3 wood away, but Alwoodley is often the first on people’s lists.

Alwoodley 18th
 

Tell Me More

When you arrive at Alwoodley and walk around to the pro shop, the fantastic clubhouse immediately strikes you, before you are greeted with a very warm welcome from the pro shop team. There is a small range to practice should you wish to rid any first tee nerves and a rather lovely putting green. I’d definitely recommend rolling a few in before you take to the course, as the greens can be very tricky.

Alwoodley is a course that doesn’t require you to be a big hitter (although that does always help…!). It is a course that requires you to carefully plot your way around, accurately placing your shots rather than giving it your Sunday best with your driver. Large greens with lots of slope, beautiful natural looking bunkers, often fringed with heather and an abundance of hazards await. However, come with sensible golf and you can go home with some in birdies.

The condition of the course is stunning, no matter when you play it. I came in December, and the greens were as good as many others in the summer.

Front nine

The 1st is a nice hole to begin your round with as the galleries at the clubhouse watch on. With a pretty open fairway, the ideal shot is down the left hand side. By the time you get to the 3rd, you can really see what this course has in store.  The first of the par 5s, and a fairly straight one too. However, with fairways lined with thick heather, and bunkers in play up the left, the tee shot becomes more pressured. There’s another pot bunker at the front left of the green to consider if you’re going for it in two.

The 6th and 7th are two of my favourite holes on the front 9. The 6th is a fantastic par 4, with a very slight dogleg left. When you stand on the tee, you see trouble… but in a nice way! Bunkers, heather and deep rough all await you and your ball! The 7th is the first of the par 3s. Not a long hole at just 143 yards, but the wind is usually swirling, making club selection crucial. With deep bunkers left and right, taking a little bit more than you think is the play, as the green is long enough.

Finally, the 8th… and this is an absolute beauty. Par 5, 537 yards with a dogleg left. A good drive out to the right is the only way you’ll make par here. When you get to your second shot, there is a large bunker 120 yards from the green, which means you have to make your decision whether to lay up, or be brave! Once you get to the green, you have three tiers to contend with… a truly fantastic hole.

Alwoodley 11th

Back 9

The 11th is a magnificent hole. A 167-yard par 3, with some pretty special bunkering all the way around the green and trees surrounding the hole… it really does take your breath away. The green has some serious slope from right to left, so aim to the right hand side of the green. Oh… and DON’T MISS LEFT!

The 13th should really be a simple hole. A 395-yard par 4, with a semi circle of bunkers 180 yards from the tee that just get in your head! If they don’t bother you, the ones further up the left of the fairway are waiting for you. Push it right, the heather awaits! There are a total of 14 bunkers on this hole, of which four deep ones surround the green. Good luck!

The next hole is a long par 3, measuring 206 yards with a large green, and an equally large slope. Anything short will start its journey back towards you down the slope at the front of the green.

Alwoodley 14th

Finally, you reach the 18th hole… and they really did save the best until last. A golf hole with 446 yards of absolute golfing bliss. Standing on the elevated tee, you head back towards the clubhouse. Bunkers come into play both left and right off the tee, as does the wind that is usually straight at you. You have a long second shot into a green with bunkers left and right. Such a fantastic finishing hole.

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for a course that is in great condition all year round, you will struggle to find better.

This may have been the first course designed by Dr MacKenzie, but he clearly knew what he was doing. The fact that it is still here in much the same guise is testament to his skill.

If you’re a golfer that likes to be creative around a golf course, and use every kind of shot in your bag, you will love it here. Yes, it’s challenging and it times, it can be brutal… but when you leave, you’re immediately thinking about when you can return.

Whatever the time of year... if you want to play golf in Yorkshire, Alwoodley has to go on your list.

WATCH THE VIDEO of my round here:

 

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