Leeds-List: The Best & Most Insightful Guide to Leeds

Where to Play Golf in Leeds

· Emma Cooke · Culture

Fancy a round of golf? These are the best courses in the city.

Alwoodley Golf Club

From Ryder Cup hosts to PGA championship courses, it’s time to play a round of golf at these wonderful Leeds clubs.

Golf is having a moment. The sport is gaining even more popularity and it’s easy to see why. It combines fitness of the mind and body with manicured vistas and spending the day outdoors. Luckily, Leeds has got loads to offer golf-fanatics. From historic clubs and challenging courses to driving ranges and extensive equipment shops, you’re sure to have a fun round of golf in our city. The only question is, are you up to par?

Moortown Golf Club

Moortown Golf Course

Founded in 1909 and designed by the world-famous golf course architect Dr Alister MacKenzie, Moortown is one of the most prestigious golf courses in Leeds, and one of the UK’s finest inland courses. It hosted the first ever Ryder Cup on European soil in 1929 and its 175 acres of picturesque greens have attracted a wealth of international visitors since.

The 18-hole course includes classic MacKenzie features, like the contoured bunkers and undulating greens, both inspired by the seaside. You’ll kick off with a daunting elevated tee shot before tackling diagonally positioned ditches and holes that are doglegged to the side. After your round, grab a bite to eat in the grand dining room, which overlooks the historic green.

Moortown Golf Club, Harrogate Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS17 7DB.

Fulneck Golf Club

Having opened in 1892, Fulneck Golf Club is believed to be the oldest golf club in Leeds. It’s nestled in the picturesque Fulneck valley, between Pudsey and Tong, where you can soak up spectacular views in every direction. The clubhouse has a bar serving its own Tristrams beer, a restaurant and a putting green to use before you head out for your round.

It’s home to a mature 9-hole course that offers a testing game for all handicaps – the holes are split between the valley and the slopes leading down from the clubhouse. It’s a fairly long course too, with a yardage of 5,436 yards, but it can have its rewards – Steve Pullan became only the second person ever recorded to score two-holes-in-one on consecutive holes back in 1989.

Fulneck Golf Club, Fulneck, Pudsey, West Yorkshire, LS28 8NT.

Oulton Hall Golf Club

Oulton Hall Golf Course

Oulton Hall has an 18-hole golf course designed by Dave Thomas, as well as a 9-hole extension. Before you reach the first tee, there’s a 16-bay driving range, fully-equipped pro shop and the prestigious Oulton Hall Golf Academy across 325 acres of lush parkland. Want a break after your round? Head to The Claret Jug, an extravagant clubhouse with its own champagne bar.

The par-71 Calverley Course has 18 holes and a good score can be achieved as long as you’re consistently hitting the fairways. As you reach the 15th, the green is laid out in a hidden copse, which marks the beginning of a testing end to your round. The 9-hole Hall Course is set at par 36 and adds a picturesque yet challenging extension to your game to complete the full 27 holes.

Oulton Hall Golf Club, Rothwell Lane, Oulton, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS26 8HN.

Cookridge Hall Golf Club

The historic Cookridge Hall serves as an impressive backdrop to the 18-hole, par-72 course that surrounds it. Just 15 minutes from the city centre, you’ll find it nestled in a stunning countryside location. The 18th-century clubhouse has a patio with a perfect view of the final hole and you can head to the 22-bay floodlit driving range to practice your swing before you hit the first tee.

The course itself is American in design and the work of architect Karl Litten, the man behind the Emirates Club in Dubai. It’s a tough start as the front nine holes have plenty of devilish bunkers and water hazards. They’re followed by a more forgiving set of holes before you tackle the 18th, which will see you try and avoid the huge lake that lies right next to the green.

Cookridge Hall Golf Club, Cookridge Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS16 7NL.

Temple Newsam Golf Club

Temple Newsam Golf Course

Found at one of Leeds’ beloved attractions, Temple Newsam Golf Club is a day out in itself, with two golf courses set in the beautiful grounds near the iconic stately home. It is another one of Dr Alister MacKenzie’s masterpieces, with some tweaks to the course over the years. It has an onsite pro shop and a clubhouse with a well-stocked bar full of local ales and views of the course.

There are two loops of nine holes – the Lord Irwin and The Lady Dorothy. Both weave through undulating parkland, which creates a balance of challenging and forgiving terrain as you make your way around. You can expect to hit par-four for most of the front nine holes while the back nine offer a wider mix of threes, fours and fives to test your game.

Temple Newsam Golf Club, Templenewsam Road, Halton, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS15 0LN.

Leeds Golf Club

Leeds Golf Club was formed in 1896 by a group of men who had played years of unofficial rounds on what is now the first nine holes, making it one of the oldest clubs in Leeds. This historic club has just one incredible course that is now the setting for competitions like the Leeds Amateur Cup, alongside your own leisurely rounds.

The 18-hole, par-69 course weaves its way through the picturesque woodland with a par-four average across each hole. Dr Alister MacKenzie was a member of the original Leeds Golf Club in 1900 and advised on the general layout and strategic bunker positioning – expect a few tricky blind spots to test your precision. There’s a restaurant and well-stocked pro shop too.

Leeds Golf Club, Elmete Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS8 2LJ.

Leeds Golf Centre

Leeds Golf Centre

Leeds Golf Centre offers two different golf courses, set in a breathtaking woodland landscape. You can refine your swing at the onsite driving range or even enrol into the world-renowned The Leadbetter Golf Academy. They use a wealth of state-of-the-art technology, from video analysis to a simulator system, to help you improve your game.

The 18-hole Wike Ridge is one of Leeds’ more modern golf courses. You’ll come content with bunkers and water hazards as you play your round. Precision is needed at the final hole, as a lake and fountain guards the green. Or you can go for the Golf Centre’s less wicked counterpart, The Oak. It’s a 12-hole par-three course that’s well suited to professionals and beginners alike.

Leeds Golf Centre, Wike Ridge Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS17 9JW.

Scarcroft Golf Club

Scarcroft Golf Course

Credit: James Drake

Scarcroft Golf Club is set in a picturesque parkland landscape and boasts a cracking set of facilities. It has dedicated practicing areas, a pro shop and an accommodating clubhouse. Fancy winding down after a game? Head to the snooker room, grab a coffee and a bite to eat (there’s fine dining too) or catch live sports in the Viking Bar.

The stunning 18-hole course blends perfectly into the surrounding countryside. It’s well-maintained and well-known for the mature trees that line large parts of the course. The front nine will ease you in, but the back nine will require your full attention thanks to a testing blend of strategically placed bunkers and challenging fairways.

Scarcroft Golf Club, Scarcroft, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS14 3BQ.

Headingley Golf Club

Founded in 1892, Headingley Golf Course is the oldest golf club in Leeds. 100 years on, its location remains rural, so you can still enjoy breathtaking views while you play. The 1906 clubhouse offers panoramic views of the historic green and has outdoor seating for sunnier days. You’ll also find a well-stocked pro shop with experienced staff to help you find the right gear.

The course uses the varied rural terrain to create a challenging course in a beautiful setting (one that’s ideal for year-round golf). Despite its age, the course has been consistently maintained in line with modern standards, undergoing a Course Improvement Plan in recent years, with neat greens looked after by former Toro Greenkeeper of the Year winner, Andy Stanger.

Headingley Golf Club, Back Church Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS16 8DW.

Calverley Golf Club

Opened in 1980, Calverley Golf Club spans both sides of Woodhall Lane in the heart of the countryside to provide a truly enjoyable location for a round of golf. As well as the main course, it has a practice range, foot golf course, pro shop and a golfing academy for any budding McIlroys to join. You can sit back and enjoy the surroundings from the clubhouse’s bar and restaurant.

The course is an 18-hole, par-68 challenge, which measures out at 5,649 yards in total. The old nine-hole course was redeveloped in 2009 with input from professional golfer Peter McEvoy. He helped make sure the new nine-hole loop has a top quality layout and is a good test of golf whatever your ability, with many classic, picturesque and individually challenging holes.

Calverley Golf Club, Woodhall Lane, Stanningley, Pudsey, West Yorkshire, LS28 5QY.

The Alwoodley Golf Club

Alwoodley Golf Club

The Alwoodley Golf Club is set on a natural woodland heath and is one of the top 100 golf courses in Great Britain and Ireland. It was the first to be designed by Dr Alister MacKenzie, before he went on to become a world-renowned golf course architect. It’s known as the “Original MacKenzie”, and has kept the majority of its initial features from 1907 (with only a few tweaks).

MacKenzie subtly incorporated the surrounding landscape into the course. It has natural-looking bunkers and springy fairways that cut across the patches of heather. That’s not to say that it won’t test you. It’s over 6,900 yards long and a testing par-71, while the first nine holes are exposed to the prevailing winds and the large greens are undulating, so extra care is needed.

The Alwoodley Golf Club, Wigton Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS17 8SA.

Sand Moor Golf Club

Sand Moor Golf Club

The 18-hole championship course at Sand Moor Golf Club was designed in 1926 by Dr Alister MacKenzie, who was also part of the club’s very first Greens Committee. Get stuck into their practice facilities, driving range and nine-hole practice putting green, all the while looking out over the spectacular views over Eccup Reservoir.

The 6,446-yard course varies in length and style. It contains three par-fives, one par-four with four tricky par-threes that will increase the difficulty. At the 16th, you’ll tackle the largest hole, which stretches across 556 yards of sloping fairway that tilts from right to left. Although the course has its challenges, it’s one that will suit golfers of all abilities.

Sand Moor Golf Club, Alwoodley Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS17 7DJ.

Garforth Golf Club

Garforth Golf Club

Designed in 1913, this is one of Leeds’ older golf courses. It’s an 18-hole, par-70 effort designed by Dr Alister MacKenzie that incorporates natural water challenges. You can refine your swing at the driving range or head to the practising area. They offer coaching sessions, which take you onto the course as well as using an indoor simulator to analyse your ball flight.

The holes range from 157 to 509 yards and you’ll have to try your best to avoid the meandering Cock and Carr Becks. You’ll begin with a straightforward tee shot left of centre before you reach the 2nd and encounter the water hazards for the first time. Eventually, you’ll reach the recently lengthened 18th hole with a well-bunkered green before you can head back to the clubhouse.

Garforth Golf Club, Long Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS25 2DS.

Moor Allerton Golf Club

Moor Allerton is the only UK golf course designed by the renowned British-American architect Robert Trent Jones Senior. It was built in the seventies after the club moved to accommodate more members. It’s hosted PGA European Tour events and has welcomed the likes of local golfing icon Howard Clark and the legendary Peter Alliss over the years.

The 27-hole course stretches across 220 acres of Yorkshire countryside in three loops of nine. It has generously sized teeing areas followed by holes that are full of daunting bunkers, with many that barricade the green. A scattering of water hazards amp up the difficulty. The 19th is a prime example, as you’ll have to drive the ball far enough past a large patch of water to reach the flag.

Moor Allerton Golf Club, Coal Road, Leeds West Yorkshire, LS17 9NH.

Ilkley Golf Club

Golf

At Ilkley Golf Club, you’ll be completing your 18-hole round with the iconic Moor as the backdrop. The views can be admired from the outdoor terrace or the large bay windows in the clubhouse restaurant, as well as on the course itself. Honorary life members of the club include golfing legend Colin Montgomerie and Ryder Cup Captain Mark James.

The River Wharfe carves its way through the course and doubles as a picturesque yet hazardous feature you’ll have to avoid. It will make an unforgiving appearance for the first seven holes, so expect to work hard in the beginning before it eases off slightly on the back nine. The whole 6,276 yard course is a par-69 and is one of the most picturesque in the area.

Ilkley Golf Club, Nesfield Road, Ilkley, North Yorkshire, LS29 0BE.

Woodhall Hills Golf Club

Woodhall Hills Golf Club

With views across Leeds to the east and over to Baildon and Ilkley Moor to the west, a round of golf at Woodhall Hills is a special experience. It dates back to 1905 and has built a reputation as a challenging but rewarding course whatever your handicap. You can take to the driving range or putting green before your round, and head to the bar and restaurant in the clubhouse after.

The holes total just under 6,400 yards off the white tees. Watch out for the bunkers at the well-guarded par-threes and be careful around the strategically placed ditches around the short par-fours. Should you get to the 18th with a chance of posting a decent score, get ready for an uphill, 431-yard final hole that can make or ruin your round.

Woodhall Hills Golf Club, Woodhall Road, Calverley, Pudsey, West Yorkshire, LS28 5UN.

Howley Hall Golf Club

Howley Golf Club

Found just off the M1 and M62 motorways and with spectacular views of the Pennines, Howley Hall Golf Club has made a name for itself as one of Yorkshire’s finest championship courses. It was founded in 1900 before Dr Alister MacKenzie made course improvements in 1913. Today it showcases the finest golfing talent by hosting the PGA Yorkshire Open Championship.

First up, is the considerate par-four opening, which offers you a great shot at a birdie. But it’s not all fun and games, as you’ll encounter a wicked dogleg at the 9th hole. Eventually, you’ll come to their signature 18th, noted as one of the best par-fours in the country. It’s a tough one to crack, as you take the shot from an elevated tee, while avoiding the three bunkers around the green.

Howley Hall Golf Club, Scotchman Lane, Morley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS27 0NX.

Horsforth Golf Club

Another course designed by Dr Alister MacKenzie, Horsforth Golf Club is home to 18 holes that blend parkland with moorland with two reservoirs at the boundary. Before you set out, you can head to the practice field, pitching green or putting area. The clubhouse is also on hand with a well-stocked bar and a spacious outdoor seating area to enjoy after your round.

It’s a classic course that will challenge golfers of every level. You’ll start with an incline at the 1st before you tackle wicked short holes like the par-four 10th. It’s just over 300 yards and includes a tricky blind shot. Eventually, you’ll reach the 18th, an S-shaped fairway that tumbles down towards a stream at the front of the green, with The Clubhouse as a backdrop.

Horsforth Golf Club, Layton Rise, Horsforth, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS18 5EX.