While they make for a great talking point I’m not a fan of golf course rankings.
Why you ask? Well, frankly, I don’t think they can be very accurate. The subject is…well, way too subjective.
It does take a great effort to compile rankings and I applaud various publications for their efforts, but nobody can ever get it right. It can only be right for each individual. Simply massing 100 well-qualified people together to merge their information will produce something passable, but that is about it.
For our own publications we leave it to the readers. It’s still not perfect, who’s to say how vetted their perspectives are? The only protection is that the compilation of their thoughts is made en masse, with thousands making it more valid. Even then, it’s still their opinion.
So do we need another ranking? Not really, but it’s always nice to see one from a different perspective every now and then.
Golf Course Architecture, a publication out of the United Kingdom that covers golf course design and development will be compiling a Top 100 Golf Course ranking for the world. To be published this July, instead of grabbing a sampling from readers or a chosen panel, they are taking an intriguing approach to their list. Voting is open only to professional golf course architects.
Golf Course Architecture editor Adam Lawrence says: “With most professional golf course architects having visited a large number of golf courses throughout the world, and having a very specific eye for quality that comes from their full time work on golf design, we believe these rankings will be the most insightful evaluation into golf course design quality there has ever been.”
Architects will select their own criteria for the ranking, factoring in merits such as strategic value, beauty, fun and history and weighting those attributes as they see fit, delivering individual top ten lists that will be combined to produce a full Top 100 ranking.
Lawrence adds: “In addition to this full Top 100 list, we’ll be splicing and dicing the data to deliver more insight on the architects’ choices, looking at regions, types of golf course, prevalence of particular architects’ work and the balance of modern and historic designs.”
Golf Course Architecture is now in the process of surveying golf course architects throughout the world to compile their ranking.
More information can be found at www.golfcoursearchitecture.net.
Golf course architects can register their votes at www.golfcoursearchitecture.net/rankings.
Like all rankings, not everybody will likely agree on the results but it is sure to be something worth talking about.