Leeds is home to some of England's best-known golf courses, famed for the tournaments they have hosted, the legendary golfers they've attracted and of course, the innovative architects who designed them. All of these courses are within a short distance of the heart of Leeds, making them conveniently located for a city visit.
Leeds Golf Club: Yorkshire’s finest
Set among 97 acres of parkland and just a 15-minute drive from the city centre, Leeds Golf Club is one of the finest 18-hole courses in Yorkshire. Also known as Cobble Hall, at par 70 this is among Leeds’ more testing courses, though at 5,844 yards it’s by no means the longest. It was once a favourite haunt of Dr Alister MacKenzie, the golf architect famous for designing world-renowned courses like the Augusta National in the States. Another claim to fame comes from the fact that this course was the original home of golf’s oldest professional tournament, the Leeds Cup. The Leeds Amateur Cup, founded in 1912, is still contested annually at the club.
Gotts Park Golf Club: Parkland golf near the city
10 minutes west of Leeds city centre, this 18-hole parkland course boasts rolling hills and narrow fairways, set against the stately backdrop of Gotts Park Mansion. Owned and managed by Leeds City Council, it’s generally open year-round between dawn and dusk.
Players should expect the first five holes to be the most challenging, owing to their hillside location. The course flattens from hole six but there are still undulations to contend with, so a round here is very much a test of accuracy. With practice facilities, a clubhouse and a café, Gotts Park offers various membership options and the opportunity to pay and play, making it a great option for visiting golfers staying at our Radisson Blu Hotel, Leeds City Centre.
Moortown Golf Club: Beware of the rough
As its name suggests, this Alister MacKenzie-designed course was built on moorland. The peaty turf may feel gentle underfoot, but this 18-hole course certainly isn’t for softies. Moortown’s fairways appear wider than they are and be warned, the roughs are pretty unforgiving. Many experienced golfers have come a cropper here, none more notoriously than 1929 US Ryder Cup team captain Walter Hagen. His team was soundly defeated by Great Britain in one of golf’s most famous contests.
The course's signature hole is the tenth. Nicknamed ‘Gibraltar’ thanks to the green’s location on a rocky plateau, MacKenzie reportedly spent his entire allowance for all the holes perfecting this one par three shot.
Middleton Park Golf Club: Leave the driver at home
Another council-owned course, this club is located in the southern Leeds suburb of Middleton, approximately 15 minutes from the city centre. With 18 holes and a parkland setting, the course offers superb views of the city and the opportunity to play year-round.
Playing this course well is all about club choice. Most fairways are short par fours and threes, so you might consider leaving the driver at home. Expect the back nine holes to be different from the front nine – these make up the original nine-hole course, which was extended to 18 in 1979.