1. ITV Report

Co Durham and Masters golf course designed by same man

From miners to majors.

Did you know that the same person who designed the world famous Masters Golf Course in Augusta, Georgia also designed the South Moor course in County Durham?

That man is Alister MacKenzie.

Who is Alister MacKenzie?

  • He was born in Yorkshire to Scottish parents in 1870
  • He died in January, 1934 in California
  • Alwoodley Golf Course in Leeds was the first he designed.
  • After graduating from Cambridge and Leeds Universities with degrees in Chemistry, Medicine and Science, he joined his father's medical practice in Leeds.
  • He served as a civil Surgeon in the Boer War 1900-01
  • He fought in Flanders early in WW1.
  • He took up medicine again after the war but then abandoned his medical practice in favour of golf course architecture.

"How frequently have I, with great difficulty, persuaded patients who were never off my doorstep to take up golf, and how rarely, if ever, have I seen them in my consulting rooms again!"

– Alister MacKenzie

Other courses he designed in the North East

  • 1908 - Darlington Golf Club
  • 1925 - Seaton Carew Golf Course
  • 1925 - Ravensworth Golf Club, Gateshead (this was a re-design)

About South Moor Golf Club

South Moor Golf Club Credit: South Moor Golf Club

South Moor started life as a miner's only National Coal Board golf club in 1923.

MacKenzie was a friend of Basil Sadler, managing director of Holmside & South Moor Collieries.

Golfers say the course has fast sloping greens - similar features to the Masters course.

The club motto is: 'nil nisi optimum' - translated from the Latin it means “nothing but the best.”