Winter: Weekdays ~ £60 per day - Weekends £80
Summer: Weekdays ~ £85 per day - Weekends £100
The Alwoodley Golf club is ranked 40th in the UK and 15th in England, and for good reason. Alwoodley was the first course designed by Dr Alistaer MacKenzie, who later went on to design the legendary Augusta National. A lot of his inspirations and ideas came from replicating and improving on his previous courses, mix that up with a warmer climate and established trees and you have a Augusta National, Cypress Point and Royal Melbourne.
Alwoodley Golf Club has been in its current location since 1907 and has not been altered too much since. This is not to say it has not been improved, it simply plays the way it was intended too when it was designed. The members are keen to maintain the vision and image MacKenzie had when he built the course and they have done that fantastically. The course has been legnthed since 1907, but not so much that it has changed the essence of the course.
The best time to play the course is April/May time, this is just when the flowers are blooming and the views and atmosphere are at their best. The colours are reminiscent of those seen when you tune into the Masters, and you can see where the inspiration came from.
The great thing about Alwoodley is that it doesn't feel like a hard slog, hitting driver off every tee and just smashing it. You have to think about where you put your tee shots and lay ups, if not you could find yourself in the thick punishing heather. You also have to put yourself in the right places on the greens, with contours and speed becoming tricky at times.
There are so many great holes at Alwoodley, the final four holes are a particularly hard finish, maybe one of the hardest in the UK in my opinion, but brilliant non the less, I have seen some great scores ruined here. Just hope you don't play the course when the breeze is up or you will have to hit two really good shots reach the 18th in 2.
One of my favourite holes is the 11th, the par 3 is a tricky one, it isn't too long but the green is contoured and surrounded by rough and bunkers. It is a typical heathland par-3 at its best, just make sure you don't leave yourself above the hole. I also enjoy playing the par 4-15th hole, the tee shot doesn't look much and you don't always have to hit driver as you can run out of fairway, but the second shot is reminiscent of something you may find at the Masters. The tee shot on the 18th is also one of the best around, the elevated tee offers great views of the clubhouse and surrounding landscape and just tempts you to have a go, but the bunker lined fairways mean you have to hit a good shot to have any chance of a green in regulation.
The green staff work extremely hard to maintain the course standards and it pays off, the greens are slick and true, fairways are mown superbly and the rough is manicured so it is punishing but fair. All staff are welcoming and helpful, and the course is usually fairly quiet so no slow rounds. All in all, this is a must play and one I would strongly recommend. There are some great courses in the area and many golfers tend to play Moortown, Pannal, Fulford and Ganton in the same trip.
The Alwoodley Golf Club is one that is high on my list of must play courses, especially in the UK. The course seems to have an aura surrounding it, maybe its the legendary designer or that it represents traditional golf at its best. The venue has hosted numerous Open Qualifying events along with many prestigious amateur championship, so make sure you put a bit of practice in before you play!!