1An ideal opening hole that usually plays downwind, as does much of the front nine for that matter. This medium-length par-4 unfolds into the distance with all its features in clearA generous fairway awaits and a good drive will bring the large green, that slopes towards the player, into comfortable range. It is tempting to err right with the drive but if you2Drivable for the big hitters, this short par-4 is an excellent early birdie chance. The tee shot, like many at Alwoodley, is semi-blind but take comfort in the fact that The fairway is generous, if corrugated. You can also make three the old-fashioned way by laying up and leaving a wedge approach. Beware though – the green is well bunkered and th3New bunkering down the left of the fairway makes the tee shot much more difficult on this par 5 – especially from the competition tee which creates a distinct left-to-right angleHowever, the heather to the right of the fairway can also be punishing. The rig-and-furrow fairway offers few level stances but an accurate approach can be chased up towards4A par 5 off the reds, a 4 off the yellows, a 5 off the whites and a 4 off the blues - but whichever tee you play from this is an early test and the first hole to play into the prevAnything that has been gained down the 3rd, to which it runs parallel, is often handed back – and more – here. The semi-blind drive – a recurring Alwoodley feature – concea5Take a moment to admire the fine views across the heath and Wigton Moor before taking aim at the left half of this sloping fairway. This is one of the more straightforward par 4s aA complicating factor is that the ball is invariably below your feet. Choose enough club to clear the false front and aim a touch to the right.6The drive from the back tee is extremely demanding on this outstanding par 4. Again, the fairway is partially hidden but surprisingly generous, although the right half of it falls From the regular tees, take aim at the cross bunker in the middle of the fairway some 280 yards away. The green will receive a running shot and is attractively sited in front of a7The first of Alwoodley’s quartet of par 3s, all of which come in the space of eight holes in the middle of the round.The 7th is complicated when the wind blows into you face. It is also the gentlest, with a very large green, though it does have some subtle contours, notably towards the back. Especially when the hole is cut in the front half of the gree8The longest hole on the course is a very different proposition from the championship tee, where the angle is less advantageous, and that’s quite apart from the 50 yards that are On this stunning, much-photographed par 5, the desired tee is a draw around the corner of the woods, chasing down towards the cross bunkers. Miss the fairway and a lay-up is inevit9The longest of the short holes (from the back tees) is the most visually spectacular, with the green set below and beautifully framed by Scotch Pines. With the prevailing wind now in your face, playing for the front edge of the green is a smart idea and leaves a straightforward chip up the green. The grass bunker to the right is a subtle hazard – there are worse spots to be and many threes have been had from inside it.10The inspiration for Augusta National’s 13th hole, the 10th swings from right to left sharply at the crest of the hill. It is quite a view from there down towards the green. Heroes can earn a shy at the green in two if their drive follows the shape of the fairway perfectly but it’s a three-shotter for mere mortals. However, two methodical, circumspect strokes should leave you with a short iron in here.11The most famous of Alwoodley’s short holes. The 11th is all about the green. So much so that the members tend to check where the pin is and then work their strategy back from there. Generally speaking, short and right is a good miss.That’s because the green features some of the most severe contours imaginable – it is frequently the case that you have to aim at right angles to your eventual target. 12This medium-length par 4 is your last chance of a breather before Alwoodley’s notoriously challenging closing stretch begins. Take aim at the bunker in the distance to find the gYou should be left within comfortable range of a large green that is one of the flattest on the course – once you have cleared the false front. Find the correct target. Then there is no reason why you can’t approach leaving a makeable birdie putt. 13A classy, testing and attractive par 4 played into the prevailing wind marks the beginning of the homeward stretch. Aim as close to the left-hand bunkers as you dare because anything fading right invariably hops and bounces its way into the heather. The green, which is the largest on the course, slopes more from right to left than you might initially realise. The hardest pin position is at the very right hand edge of the gtree14The last and arguably the most testing of Alwoodley’s short holes, the stylish 14th usually plays longer than its yardage suggests.Then again, as is so often the way here, playing for the front edge of the green is the best miss, ripe for a running chip up the green. Both the bunkers are deep and therefore to be avoided unless your sand play is a strength. The green slopes severely from back left.15A rare left-to-right dogleg – Alwoodley is generally a course that welcomes a draw – the 15th is one of the most dangerous holes on the back nine. It is a tough drive, usually There’s little to be gained by hugging the right and much to lose, with out of bounds close by.There are few flat spots on the classic MacKenzie green: anything that lands on the front-right portion will trickle down the slope.16Another semi-blind drive allows a view of the flag in the distance but not the fairway. This is a piece of MacKenzie deception. This is a actualy right-to-left dogleg with more rooGo straight towards the flag from the tee, though, and you bring the two fairway bunkers down the left into play. Choose the right line and the fairway is a generous one. 17A very demanding par 4 with an intimidating tee shot played into the prevailing wind. Bunkers and heather await down the right but it’s the out-of-bounds stakes on the other sideThe further left you drive, though, the easier the second and the more you can see towards the sunken green with its extra-tall flagstick. You can chase one down the hill if you pr18A great finishing hole, probably the best in Yorkshire. From the elevated tee, the challenge is clear and Alwoodley’s clubhouse stands elegantly in the distance. It requires two – three for many of us, especially into the wind – well-struck shots to find the 18th green.Putting is complicated by a subtle central dome that often seems to take balls away rather than towards the hole. No promising scenario for an easy two putt par here.
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