South Moor

JS Fernie, Alister Mackenzie
Hilly moorland course, with heather and gorse, partly designed by Alister Mackenzie.
South of Stanley, Co Durham. Postcode DH9 6AG
Peter Johnson
01207 232848
Shaun Cowell
Green Keeper
Alan Ainscough
south moor golf club, alister mackenzie,
south moor golf club, alister mackenzie,
south moor golf club, alister mackenzie,
south moor golf club, alister mackenzie,
south moor golf club, alister mackenzie,
Access Policy:
Visitors welcome.
Dog Policy:
No dogs
Open Meetings:
Fees in 1960s
Fees today


South Moor is a hillside, part parkland, part moorland course lying between the old mining town of Stanley and some large wind turbines. The first seven parkland holes were built on ridge-and-furrow farmland in 1923, and the club attracted no less than Dr Alister Mackenzie to incorporate an area of moorland to allow an eighteen hole design.

south moor golf club, alister mackenzie,

Two wind turbines over South Moor

Although there is a lack of definitive history to prove it conclusively, it is felt there are still four or five original Mackenzie holes and greens to this day.

south moor golf club, alister mackenzie,

Stanley behind the 10th hole

The club used to be called “Holmside & South Moor Colleries Officials’ Recreation & Golf Club” and was not surprisingly run by miners, though in the 1980s non-National Coal Board members were given an opportunity to vote and a name-change back to the more attractive South Moor took place.

The R&A awarded the club to host the European under-15s McGregor Cup in 2011, with much success.

There are a number of very fine holes in the second nine that runs across the open moorland area where heather, gorse, streams and ravines abound and the play predominantly runs up and down the hill.

south moor golf club, alister mackenzie,

The second shot at the 16th

There are trees in this part of the course but apart from the sixteenth they do not interfere with play too much.

A good drive across a dogleg OOB at the eighth guarantees some excitement and the ninth and tenth are also fine holes cut from moorland running turf with heather and gorse coming into play.

south moor golf club, alister mackenzie,

Peter on the 8th hole

We played only two days after the course had been closed through torrential rain and it was still very soft and the greens extremely receptive. I guess they are predominantly annual meadow grass (Poa annua) though I was told indigenous bent grass is being over-seeded to provide more natural and firmer surfaces.

The ingenious short par five sixteenth, at 439 yards, requires a drive that will run down the dogleg and stop before a stream, before setting up an uphill opportunity to get home in two. This is fun, providing one can stop thinking about the money being pickpocketed from your electricity bill and fed into landowners’ and developers’ pockets via the enormous subsidy that the wind turbines dominating this hole enjoy!

south moor golf club, alister mackenzie,

The drive at the 17th

The seventeenth hole has a testing drive across a long chasm and adds to the positive remembrance one leaves with after completing this par 72, SSS 71, 6293 yard course with its hospitable modern clubhouse, behind the 18th green that is back on the parkland, tree-lined part of the course.

Reviewed by Lorne Smith 2012


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