The story of the Yorkshire doctor who designed the Masters golf course at Augusta

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It's one of the world's most famous golf courses - and Augusta National was designed by a Yorkshireman.

The prestigious club in Georgia has just finished hosting the annual Masters event, the only one of the sport's four majors to take place at the same course each year.

Augusta - famed for its lush greens and verdant foliage - opened on the site of a former plant nursery in 1933. It was designed by Dr Alister MacKenzie and Bobby Jones, and was said to be influenced by the Old Course at St Andrews in Scotland.

MacKenzie emigrated to California as a middle-aged man - but he had strong roots in Yorkshire and an intriguing life story.

He was born in Normanton, near Wakefield, in 1870, to Scottish parents - his father was a doctor and the family often spent holidays in the Highlands, where he first learned to play golf.

MacKenzie was educated at Queen Elizabeth Grammar School in Wakefield, before following his father into medicine and studying at Cambridge.

He returned to Leeds to practice as a GP, and was a member of several local clubs, including Ilkley from 1890-1900 and Leeds from 1900-1910. He was one of the founder members of Alwoodley in 1907, and was invited by the club to help design the course. He later served as captain and was on the green committee until 1930.

MacKenzie had volunteered as an army doctor during the Boer War, and his experiences in South Africa led to him developing an interest in camouflage that would influence his golf course designs. By the end of World War One - where he once again served, this time as a camouflage expert - he had left medicine to become a full-time course architect.

Many courses in the Leeds area are MacKenzie designs, including Cleckheaton, Moortown, Garforth, Temple Newsam, Sandmoor, Headingley and Oakdale in Harrogate. He was also commissioned to work at clubs in Scotland, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.

He moved to the USA in the late 1920s, and was working in partnership when he came to design Augusta. The course has significantly changed since, and only his routing remains, with many of his original features having been lost.

Poignantly, MacKenzie died in California in 1934, just two months before the first ever Masters tournament was due to be held. A modestly talented golfer, he is one of the few designers not to have played the game at a high level.

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