Moortown was designed by legendary architect Dr Alister MacKenzie.
It opened nine holes in 1909, and the full eighteen holes by 1910.
Little has changed since.
Ken Moodie has assisted with course & design matters since 2014, restoring some green shaping and upgrading course facilities.
Moortown hosted the 1929 Ryder Cup- the first to be held on British soil.
The resulting win for the hometeam was also a first!
Over the years Moortown has proved a splendid tournament course with a variety of tournaments bringing golfing greats such as Walter Hagen, Henry Cotton, Bobby Locke, Bernard Gallacher, Nick Faldo, Bob Charles, Seve Ballesteros, Bernhard Langer, Sandy Lyle, Greg Norman and Gary Player to test their skills.
Dr Alister MacKenzie identified Black Moor as suitable for golf.
The undulating site traversed boggy/ sandy soil covered with heather.
The Good Doctor may have been right- Moortown is still regularly considered one of Britain’s better inland courses.
It is perhaps best described as a heathland/ moorland course.
Wide fairways are framed by expanses of silver birch, heather & gorse.
Like many a MacKenzie course the question asked of the player is not just to hit fairways, but where on the short grass you land to maximise your chances of a successful approach.
In that respect the width can be misunderstood.
But it does give options!
I thought the par holes at 4, 8, 10 & 17 outstanding..
The par 3 tenth hole- named Gibralter- is considered the ‘signature hole’ andrecognised as one of McKenzie’s top 20 holes worldwide..
I am not sure that I would place it in such an illustrious group, but it is a good hole!
Notable holes include:
- hole 4 (Spinney), a delightful mid length par 3 to a well bunkered green surrounded by a spinney
- hole 5 (Dog Leg), a short dogleg left with a tee shot diagonally over a ditch covered in heather and gorse. Two pines trees also need to be avoided to hit the fairway and set up a short iron approach.
- hole 10 (Gibraltar), a mid length uphill par 3 to a well protected green. This, the signature hole displays characteristics not unlike the famous redan template hole (Nth Berwick) (see pic top of page)
- hole 15 (Paddock), a longer par 4 with first a burn to carry off the tee, then a succession of cross bunkers. The green is the most severe on the course. It is a strong par!
Moortown is worth travelling to play.
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