A true classic, 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. Immortalised 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.
You get the feeling that if those lockers 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.
But is not just the locker room, the clubhouse or the 18th hole where this feeling of history is apparent, but in every yard of a moorland track where almost every hole could have featured as one of favourites. The best way to find out is to experience Moortown for yourself.
The feeling of history is evident in every yard of this moorland track, almost every hole could have featured as one of our favourites.
10th 175 yards, par 3
The undeniable signature hole of this course was built by MacKenzie as a showcase of his skills when the founding members asked what he could do with the land on which Moortown was eventually built.
He produced an outstanding short hole that is set on an outcrop of stone, hence the name Gibraltar.
Played slightly uphill, the large bunker on the left dominates the eye but there are three smaller bunkers on the right waiting to catch the overcautious approach to a large green that slopes from back to front.
12th 556 yards, par 5
The longest hole on the course. Only the biggest of hitters will even contemplate trying to carry the band of heather and rough that splits the fairway in two, setting up the only route to the green in two very large blows.
Most will lay up from the tee, but take care with your second shot as the fairway bottlenecks through a sea of thick heather the nearer you get to the green.
18th 436 yards, par 4
This extremely tough closing hole has created more than its fair share of golfing folklore in Yorkshire, not least when a young Seve Ballesteros cleared bushes, trees and spectators to land his approach shot on the practice putting green during the 1980 Haig Tournament.
From the back tees this is a fearsome closing hole.