Moortown Golf Club Hole #13

Moortown

Leeds, England

Year Designed

1908

Society Director

Geoff Mortimer

Website

Moortown is a club that combines its prestigious history with a tough but fair golfing challenge. Founded in 1909, Moortown was designed by the world famous golf course architect Dr. Alister MacKenzie.

Moortown is regularly used as an Open Championship Qualifying course, in 2017 played host to the Men’s Home Internationals and in 2020 will host The Boys Amateur Championship. Over the past Century the club has hosted over 50 professional and major amateur tournaments, the most significant of those events took place in 1929 when Moortown was the venue for the first Ryder Cup on British soil. Tournament winners at the club include Sir Nick Faldo, Danny Willett, Bernard Gallagher, and Sir Michael Bonallack, former Captain of the R & A, to name but a few.

The club has recently completed a major course renovation programme, introduced to sympathetically return the course to its MacKenzie design origins. The work included the removal of over 2,000 trees in a major heather regeneration programme and the restoration of all 94 bunkers, this included the reinstatement of over 20 of Alister MacKenzie’s original bunkers which had been lost during war times.

The immediate success of Alwoodley resulted in an invitation to design a course almost next door – Moortown. It shared many design concepts with Alwoodley, but one hole in particular, Gibraltar, brought considerable interest from far afield. MacKenzie used a rocky slope to construct a short hole with contours which would deflect the imperfectly struck shot into an army of bunkers scooped out of the edges of the putting surface. With a number of different pin positions, playing strategy could be varied daily. Moortown’s instant fame brought a flood of invitations for MacKenzie to design new courses (mostly in the north of England) and redesign old ones. In due course, he became a partner with Colt and Alison and gave up medicine for good.