What Courses Has Alister MacKenzie Designed?

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The man responsible for some incredibly famous courses, we take a look at Alister McKenzie’s body of work here.

What Courses Has Alister MacKenzie Designed?

Arguably the most famous golf course architect ever, Alister MacKenzie originally trained as a surgeon and served during the Boer War as a physician.

His is a name that regularly gets mentioned during golf commentaries as tournaments are hosted on his layouts often, but what courses has he designed specifically? Let’s take a look at what can best be described as a stunning design resume.

Augusta National

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Aerial view of the Augusta National Golf Club course, Augusta, Georgia, January 10, 1933 (Getty Images)

His most famous and last design, MacKenzie designed Augusta National which of course plays host to The Masters ever year. MacKenzie died two months before the first tournament, originally called the Augusta National Invitation Tournament, was played.

Cypress Point

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Regularly voted one of the best courses in the world, Cypress Point on the Monterrey Peninsula features many incredible holes, chief among which is the par-3 16th pictured above.


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(Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)

The north Leeds course was where MacKenzie’s course designing career began as it was here where he founded and designed his first course, Alwoodley.

It’s a traditional British heathland course that is as equally testing as it is beautiful.

It also features the blueprint for the 13th at Augusta, as that hole is based on the dogleg-left par-5 10th at Alwoodley.


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Opened for play in 1929, Pasatiempo had restoration work done to it in 2007 by Tom Doak who looked to return the course back as close as possible to MacKenzie’s original design. MacKenzie himself loved the place so much that he had a house on the property.

Royal Melbourne (West)

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Widely regarded as the best course in Australia, MacKenzie never actually saw the finished article. The course regularly combines with the East to create a composite course that is used for Presidents Cups and other events.

Kingston Heath

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To some, Kingston Heath is better than MacKenzie’s work at Royal Melbourne. It doesn’t have the same pedigree but the design of the final five holes are arguably the finest in the country.

Related: Top 100 courses UK and Ireland

New South Wales

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MacKenzie designed this gem in 1928 which looks out over Botany Bay. It may not technically be a links course, but it most definitely plays like one thanks to its rugged terrain, strong winds and lightning fast greens.


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Cross the road from Royal Melbourne and you will pretty much immediately arrive at another Australian stunner designed by MacKenzie, Victoria Golf Club. Clearly the Brit had a significant impact on Australian golf thanks to the four designs above!

Lahinch (Old)

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Alister MacKenzie was brought in to make improvements at this Irish course after it was originally designed by Old Tom Morris. He made some significant changes, for example he moved several holes closer to the bay and introduced triple-tiered greens. These were deemed too hard for the average golfer so were scaled back, but Martin Hawtree in 1999 reinstated MacKenzie’s designs somewhat.

Royal St George’s

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MacKenzie didn’t do the original design at this English course, that was W Laidlaw Purves in 1887, but he did make revisions. The course will host the Open Championship in 2020.

Other notable courses: Moortown, Blairgowrie (Rosemount), Burnham and Berrow, California Golf Club of San Francisco, Crystal Downs, Ganton, Jockey Club (Red and Blue), Littlestone, Monterrey Peninsula (Dunes), Reddish Vale, Royal Adelaide, Teignmouth, Titirangi, Uruguay, The Australian, Valley Club of Montecito

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