Course open, four temporary greens. No Buggys (updated 08 December at 07:11)
Dr. Alister MacKenzie

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!” Dr. Alister MacKenzie

Nicknamed “the Course Doctor”, Alister MackKenzi,e a founder member of the Alwoodley Golf Club, was born in 1870 to Scottish parents in Yorkshire and christened Alexander.

He died in January 1934 in California, after a fascinating life, leaving behind a blueprint of intriguing golf course designs and a legacy of classic golf courses, of which Alwoodly was the first. Willingdon is proud to be one of the golf courses he re-designed and our two tier greens are evidence of his influence.

MacKenzie was a graduate of Cambridge and Leeds Universities and had degrees in chemistry, medicine and natural science. He joined his father’s medical practice, but was then called away to serve in the Boer War. Ironically, it was the concealed trenches and camouflage techniques of the Boers that fascinated him and nurturred his design idea for golf courses.

Mackenzie took up medicine again after the war but then abandoned his medical practice in favour of golf course architecture. His decision to do so was, in part, down to his strong conviction that golf had very real benefits for patients.

A unique man of diverse talents, he believed that golf was the best medicine. This interest escalated to a consuming passion and he devised some of the world’s most interesting courses, including Royal Melbourne in Australia, Buenos Aires in Argentina, Cypress Point and Augusta National in America, as well as Littlestone, Burnham and Berrow and Moortown in England.

If you would like to learn more about Alister MacKenzie then please go to his Timeline at

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