MUST PLAYS

Golf World (UK) - - CONTENTS -

Wher­ever you’re play­ing golf this week­end, you could be play­ing some­where even bet­ter. Al­low us to offer th­ese four must plays for starters.

At this spe­cial time of the year, few golfers re­main to be con­vinced of the de­sign ge­nius of Dr Alis­ter MacKen­zie. Au­gusta Na­tional may be his sem­i­nal work but the good doc­tor be­gan his ca­reer on this side of the At­lantic and specif­i­cally in his home county of York­shire.

Af­ter serving in the Boer War, MacKen­zie be­came a found­ing mem­ber at Al­wood­ley in 1907, where he had the op­por­tu­nity to put his ar­chi­tec­tural the­o­ries to the test.

Leg­end has it the com­mit­tee at the Leeds club re­quired re­as­sur­ance and so the great Harry Colt, then sec­re­tary at Sun­ning­dale, was called north to offer a sec­ond opin­ion. Colt was able to con­firm that MacKen­zie was in fact fol­low­ing many of his own de­sign prin­ci­ples – and the rest is his­tory.

This heath­land course, set high atop Wig­ton Moor, is long es­tab­lished as one of Great Britain and Ire­land’s Top 100 cour­ses.

Re­cent work un­der the su­per­vi­sion of Ken Moodie has seen al­most all of the bunkers re­stored to MacKen­zie’s orig­i­nal spec­i­fi­ca­tions while new cham­pi­onship tees take the yardage to 6,914 yards against a par of 71.

Al­wood­ley is renowned for both its won­der­ful par 3s – the green on the 11th has more than a touch of Au­gusta about it – as well as the strength of the fear­some clos­ing stretch, played into the pre­vail­ing wind that ar­rives fresh from the York­shire Dales.

In ad­di­tion, the 10th hole here pro­vided the model for the fa­mous 13th at Au­gusta – both are risk-and-re­ward par 5s that sweep from right to left.

Quick-drain­ing thanks to the sandy soil un­der­foot, you will never walk off Al­wood­ley with mud on your shoes – let alone your trousers.

Macken­zie was also in­stru­men­tal in cre­at­ing Moor­town, on the other side of the A61. The two cour­ses are only half a mile apart and their his­to­ries re­main in­ter­twined.

The clubs have re­cently col­lab­o­rated on a pack­age that of­fers world-class heath­land golf – cre­ated by the man be­hind Au­gusta Na­tional – for a very ap­peal­ing price. You can find out full de­tails be­low.

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