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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.

If you’re a keen golfer, you have to play a few rounds at the best golf courses Leeds has to offer. The city is known for its rich golfing heritage and is home to multiple courses designed by world-famous golfing architect Dr Alistair MacKenzie, known for the most famous courses in the world, like the Augusta National. Each one is kitted out with top-of-the-range facilities, from practice putting greens to state-of-the-art academy training, so you can get in some practice before you tee off.

Moortown Golf Club

Moortown Golf Course

Founded in 1909 and designed by the world-famous golf course architect Dr Alister MacKenzie, Moortown is one one of Leeds’ most prestigious golf courses. It hosted the first ever Ryder Cup on European soil in 1929 and has 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 you tackle diagonally positioned ditches and holes that are doglegged to the side. When your round is over, 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.

Oulton Hall Golf Club

Oulton Hall Golf Course

Oulton Hall boasts 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 that has 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, 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 has an onsite pro shop and a clubhouse with a well-stocked bar full of local ales, plus views of the course.

The Lord Irwin is their larger 18-hole course while the newer 9-hole The Lady Dorothy is perfect if you want a shorter run. 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. This historic club has just one incredible course that is now the setting for plenty of competitions like the Leeds Amateur Cup, alongside your own leisurely rounds. When you fancy a break, settle down in the restaurant or visit the well-stocked pro shop to get all your essential gear.

The 18-hole, par-69 course weaves its way through the picturesque woodland with a par-four average across each hole. Dr Alistair MacKenzie was a member of the original Leeds Golf Club in 1900 and advised on the general layout and strategic bunker positioning. You can expect a few tricky blind spots too, which will test your precision.

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

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 onto 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 across plenty of 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 which is well suited to both 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 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 or catch live sports in the Viking Bar.

The stunning 18-hole course perfectly blends 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 completely 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 on-hand to help you find the right gear.

The course was created by a range of architects, including Harry S. Colt and Dr Alistair MacKenzie. They used the varied rural terrain to design a challenging course in a beautiful setting that is 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 consistently looked after by former Toro Greenkeeper of the Year winner, Andy Stanger.

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

The Alwoodley Golf Club

Alwoodley Golf Club

The Alwoodley Golf Club is set on a natural woodland heath and is the host of the English Amateur Stroke Play Championship. It was one of the first to be designed by Dr Alistair MacKenzie, before he went on to become a world-renowned golf architect.

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

The 18-hole championship course at Sand Moor Golf Club was designed in 1926 by Dr Alistair MacKenzie, who was also part of the club’s very first Greens Committee. Before you tee off, you can get stuck into their practice facilities, driving range and a nine-hole practice putting green. And you get all this complete with spectacular views over Eccup Reservoir.

The 6,446-yard course varies in length and style. It contains 3 par-fives, 1 par-four with 4 tricky par-threes that will increase the difficulty. At the 16th, you’ll tackle the largest hole, which stretches across 665 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 the Leeds’ oldest golf courses. It’s an 18-hole, par-70 effort designed by Dr Alistair MacKenzie that incorporates natural water challenges across the parkland setting. Before you set off, you can refine your swing at the driving range or head to the large practising area. They also offer coaching sessions, which will take you out onto the course and make use of an indoor simulator that analyses 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 as you work your way around. 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 to be designed by the renowned English-American architect Robert Trent Jones Sr and you can find it right here in Leeds. 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 also 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 also be admired from the outdoor terrace or the large bay windows in the clubhouse restaurant, as well as the course. Honorary life members of the club include golfing legend Colin Montgomerie and Ryder Cup Captain Mark James, so it comes with a professional seal of approval.

The River Wharf carves its way through the course and doubles as a picturesque yet hazardous feature you’ll have to try 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, West Yorkshire, LS29 0BE.

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 Alistair 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-4 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-threes in the country. It’s a tough one to crack, as you’ll take the shot from an elevated tee, while avoiding the three bunkers that surround the green.

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

Horsforth Golf Club

Another designed by Dr Alistair MacKenzie, Horsforth Golf Club is home to a classic 18-hole course that blends parkland with moorland and has two abandoned reservoirs at the boundary. Before you set out onto the course, you can head to the practice field, pitching green and 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 requires 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.