The US edition of GOLF Magazine has just released its “18th biennial celebration” of the Top 100 Courses in the World and the list includes seven Aussie courses – as well as an upstart Kiwi.
Unsurprisingly, the 99 year old Pine Valley golf course in New Jersey has retained the number one ranking GOLF has awarded it since 1985.
The Alister MacKenzie designed Cypress Point at Pebble Beach in California comes in second with the St Andrews Old Course third.
The first ranked Aussie course is another Alister MacKenzie design in the iconic Royal Melbourne West Course, moving up one spot and coming in at 11th.
Nearby fellow Melbourne sandbelt course Kingston Heath (Des Soutar/Alister MacKenzie) is 20th, moving up eight spots.
Continuing a recent trend, a number of relatively new Tasmanian couses continue to impress the judges, headed by Barnbougle Dunes at 38th.
At 43rd is the oceanside New South Wales course in southern Sydney, the privately owned Packer NSW country course Ellerston is 62, the new Cape Wickham course on Tasmania’s King Island is 72nd and at 90th is Barnbougle (Lost Farm), also on the “Apple Isle”.
A worrying trend is the “gate crashing” (as GOLF puts it) at 29th of the new Tom Doak Tara Iti course in New Zealand.
GOLF notes that: “Tara Iti jumps onto our World list as one of our highest debuting courses ever. The barely two-year-old course is already acknowledged as the Southern Hemisphere’s premier links. Its enviable location in the dunes along the Pacific Ocean, along with superior fine-fescue fairways and swirls of natural grass and sand, have some reviewers saying it could host an Open tomorrow—if only it were 11,000 miles farther northwest.”
If you’re planning your next great golfing adventure a country by country breakdown of the location of the world’s top courses might help (and hopefully you have deep pockets for some of the exclusive private courses):
United States ( 44 courses), Scotland (13), England (10), Australia (7), Ireland (5), Japan (3), Canada (3), New Zealand (2), Northern Ireland (2).