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Calling All Armchair Architects: Enter The 2018 Lido Design Competition

January 31, 2018

One of my favorite photos in my collection of old photographs of golf architects is that of Dr. Alister MacKenzie playing a shot out of a bunker short of the first green at Alwoodley Golf Club in Leeds, England. Alwoodley was the starting point of MacKenzie's design career; he laid out the course with the assistance of famed British golf architect H.S. Colt.

My copy of the photo is weathered and scratched, yet I cherish it because of what it portrays. It shows MacKenzie bunkered a good 20 yards short of the front edge of the green, the hole another 20 yards beyond that. He has someone tending the flag! From all appearances, he was certain he was going to hole the shot. MacKenzie was a self-confessed hacker at best, and yet he clearly possessed an indomitable confidence, the sort of spirit we all should have as golfers.

It's that spirit I hope you'll bring to the 2018 Lido Design Competition, the annual golf design contest co-sponsored by Golf Digest and the Alister MacKenzie Society. Not just because, if you win, you'll receive $3,000 cash and be figuratively following in MacKenzie's footsteps. (In 1914, MacKenzie won the magazine design contest for which this present competition is named.) But also because, if you win, you can literally follow in MacKenzie's footsteps. The 2018 winner will receive an invitation to attend the MacKenzie Society annual meeting this August at, yes, Alwoodley Golf Club, plus another $2,000 cash to help defray travel costs for the journey to Great Britain. You'll get to play not only Alwoodley but nearby Moortown Golf Club, another early MacKenzie design, as well.

The rules are simple. Design an original par-4 hole that reflects the golf design principles practiced by Dr. MacKenzie. It must be a hand drawing not larger than 11" by 17" and can be accompanied by a single page of explanation. A complete set of rules and an entry blank can be printed out at or obtained by sending an email to

Deadline for the 2018 Lido Competition is April 16, 2018. Golf architect David Dale of the Santa Rosa, Calif.-based design firm of Golfplan-Dale & Ramsey Golf Course Architecture, will judge the entries and select the winner. The winner will be notified no later than April 30.