Moortown: The original Ryder Cup host's history-laden past is a gift that keeps giving

Moortown: The original Ryder Cup host's history-laden past is a gift that keeps giving

Moortown has been on the must-play list of every serious golfer since it was crafted by Dr Alister MacKenzie in 1909 and then hosted the Ryder Cup 20 years later.

Moortown is a classic moorland golf course with lovely peaty turf that provides the bouncy cushion-effect when walking. The fairways appear wide and inviting, with many of the holes flanked with silver birch, gorse, and heather. But don't be fooled, Moortown is no pushover; this golf course is tough and exacting.

The course measures 6,500 yards from the regular tees, but accuracy will reap more rewards than length. While the fairways appear to be wide, it's an optical illusion and the rough can be punishing.


Immortalised by the 1929 Ryder Cup by the likes of Henry Cotton and his victorious GB&I team-mates, as well as Americans Walter Hagen and Gene Sarazen, this Yorkshire venue is brimming with history, a fact which is evident from the moment you pull on your spikes in the charming locker room that has aged gracefully and sets the perfect tone.

This was the first Ryder Cup to be held on home soil, with George Duncan as captain who's team beat their American visitors 7-5.

You get the feeling that if the lockers in the changing rooms could talk they would tell tales that would entertain you for hours, including the one about possibly the most famous shot in Yorkshire.

During the 1974 English Amateur, Nigel Denham’s approach shot to the final green finished in the main lounge of the clubhouse. In those days this was not out of bounds and after some encouragement by the regulars in the bar, chipped back through an open window to land the ball six feet from the hole.

Why it's special

Fred-Lawson Brown was inspired by the beauty of Ganton so much that he decided that Leeds should have an equivalent golf course.

Chance had it that Dr Alister MacKenzie was in the area, busy working on nearby Alwoodley Golf Club. And so, in 1910, Moortown was ready for play.

To mark the occasion, an exhibition match between James Braid and Harry Vardon was held.

Where does it rank?

92nd in GB&I, 37th in England, 3rd in Yorkshire, and 49th in Value.

Would you like to play Moortown with the NCG Top 100s Tour?

Our NCG Top 100s Tour offers club golfers the chance to tick off their bucket list courses around the UK and Ireland while playing for fantastic prizes courtesy of TaylorMade.

The Tour prides itself on offering the best experience at the events while offering fantastic value.

Moortown is part of the Tour's 2023 schedule with an event on July 25, 2023 and your entry fee includes:

  • Your round of golf
  • A meal before and after your round
  • A welcome pack on arrival
  • The chance to win amazing TaylorMade prizes

And, if that isn't enough, you can get a 10% discount if you book four or more golfers.

Get in touch with Moortown

For more information about the club and course, visit its website or call them on 0113 268 6521.

Have you played Moortown? Let us know in the comments, or tweet us.

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