Global Edition

Old Course tops the rankings

12.00pm 5th April 2005 - Media

For the first time in the magazine’s 55-year history, ‘Golf Digest‘ has compiled a ranking of The 100 Best Courses Outside the US, a list that encompasses 25 countries. The full list of The 100 Best Courses Outside the U.S. will appear in the magazine’s May issue, on newsstands 12th April. The list can also be viewed below.
The ranking is part of Golf Digest‘s fourth edition of ‘Planet Golf‘, a biennial feature in the magazine that looks at the best places to play around the world. The Old Course at St. Andrews was named No. 1, followed by Australia’s Royal Melbourne G.C. (Composite, No.2); Royal Portrush (Northern Ireland, No. 3); Royal County Down G.C. (Northern Ireland, No. 4) and Scotland’s Royal Dornoch G.C. rounding out the top five.
In order to determine the rankings, Golf Digest contacted every golf association, federation and union in the world for the number of courses and golfers in their country, plus nominations for their best layouts. Then, after extensive research, the magazine created a comprehensive master ballot with 1,005 of the best courses. The ballots were sent to Golf Digest‘s 800-plus international course-rating panellists and to the editors of the magazine’s 28 foreign editions.
The same eight criteria that form the basis of Golf Digest’s famed America’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses rankings, which also appear in the May issue, are considered in determining The 100 Best Courses Outside the US. The criteria include: shot values, resistance to scoring, design variety, memorability, aesthetics, conditioning, ambience and walkability.
Also part of Golf Digest’s Planet Golf rankings is a supplemental listing that includes courses from 184 nations and territories. This listing will appear in a booklet called ‘The World’s Greatest Golf‘, presented by Rolex, and will accompany Golf Digest subscriber copies. The listing will also be available online at

The 100 Best Courses outside the U.S.

1. St. Andrews (Old) St. Andrews, Scotland
2. Royal Melbourne G.C. (Composite) Black Rock, Australia
3. Royal Portrush G.C. (Dunluce) Portrush, N. Ireland
4. Royal County Down G.C. Newcastle, N. Ireland
5. Royal Dornoch G.C. (Championship) Dornoch, Scotland
6. Muirfield Gullane, Scotland
7. Ballybunion G.C. (Old) Ballybunion, Ireland
8. New South Wales G.C. Sydney, Australia
9. National G.C. Woodbridge, Canada
10. St. George’s G. & C.C. Islington, Canada
11. Turnberry (Ailsa) Turnberry, Scotland
12. Carnoustie G.C. (Championship) Carnoustie, Scotland
13. Kingston Heath G.C. Melbourne, Australia
14. Hamilton G. & C.C. Ancaster, Canada
15. Royal Porthcawl G.C. Porthcawl, Wales
16. Royal St. George’s G.C.Sandwich, England
17. Casa de Campo (Teeth of the Dog) La Romana, Dominican Republic
18. Sunningdale G.C. (Old) Sunningdale, England
19. Beacon Hall G.C. Aurora, Canada
20. Kingsbarns G. Links St. Andrews, Scotland
21. Loch Lomond G.C. Luss, Scotland
22. Highlands Links Cape Breton, Canada
23. Swinley Forest G.C. Ascot, England
24. Hirono G.C. Hyogo, Japan
25. Leopard Creek G. Estate & C.C. Malelane, South Africa
26. Royal Birkdale G.C. Southport, England
27. Lahinch G.C. (Old) Lahinch, Ireland
28. Golf de Morfontaine Morfontaine, France
29. Gary Player C.C. Sun City, S. Africa
30. Portmarnock G.C. (Old) Portmarnock, Ireland
31. Royal Westmoreland G. & C.C. St. James, Barbados
32. Royal Adelaide G.C. Adelaide, Australia
33. Le Golf National (L‘Albatros) Guyancourt, France
34. Royal Troon G.C. (Old) Troon, Scotland
35. The National G.C. (Moonah) Cape Schanck, Australia
36. Royal Lytham and St. Annes G.C. Lytham St. Annes, England
37. Cruden Bay G.C. Cruden Bay, Scotland
38. San Lorenzo G.C. Almancil, Algarve, Portugal
39. Macrihanish G.C. Campbeltown, Scotland
40. Tokyo G.C. Saitama, Japan
41. Woodhall Spa G.C. (Hotchkin) Woodhall Spa, England
42. Ganton G.C. Ganton, England
43. Les Bordes Beaugency, France
44. Kasumigaseki C.C. (East) Saitama, Japan
45. Mid Ocean Club Tucker’s Town, Bermuda
46. Redtail G. Cse. Port Stanley, Canada
47. Cape Kidnappers G.C. Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand
48. Domaine Imperial G.C. Gland, Switzerland
49. Barnbougle Dunes G. Links Bridport, Tasmania, Australia
50. Taman Dayu G.C. Pasuruan, Indonesia
51. Spring City G. & Lake Resort (Lake) Kunming, China
52. Spring City G. & Lake Resort (Mountain) Kunming, China
53. Playa Dorada G. Cse. Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
54. Wairakei International G. Cse. Taupo, New Zealand
55. Santa Elena G.C. (RTJ2) Cabuyao, Laguna, Philippines
56. Capilano G.C. West Vancouver, Canada
57. Russley G.C. Christchurch, New Zealand
58. Puerto Azul G.C. Ternate, Cavite, Philippines
59. The Links at Fancourt George, South Africa
60. Paraparaumu Beach G.C. Paraparaumu Beach, New Zealand
61. The European Club Brittas Bay, Ireland
62. Durban C.C. Durban, South Africa
63. Cabo del Sol G.C. (Ocean) Los Cabos, Mexico
64. G.C. de Barbaroux Brignoles, France
65. Western Gailes G.C. Irvine, Scotland
66. Metropolitan G.C. Melbourne, Australia
67. Royal St. David’s G.C. Harlech, Wales
68. The Lakes G.C. Sydney, Australia
69. Saujana G. & C.C. (Bunga Raya) Selangor, Malaysia
70. The Mines Resort & G.C. Selangor, Malaysia
71. Royal Montreal G.C. (Blue) Ile Bizard, Canada
72. Pinx G.C. Jeju Island, South Korea
73. Royal Liverpool G.C. Hoylake, England
74. Greywolf G.C. Panorama, Canada
75. Valderrama G.C. Sotogrande, Spain
76. The Gulf Harbour C.C. Whangaparaoa, New Zealand
77. Banff Springs G.C. (Stanley Thompson) Banff, Canada
78. Angus Glen G.C. (South) Markham, Canada
79. Lynx at Kingswood Park Fredericton, Canada
80. Aberdovey G.C. Aberdovey, Wales
81. Fox Harb‘r G. Resort & Spa, Wallace, Canada
82. Buenos Aires G.C. Bella Vista, Buenos Aires, Argentina
83. Shenzhen G.C. Shenzhen, China
84. Vilamoura G.C. (Old) Vilamoura, Portugal
85. Luisita G.C. Tarlac, Philippines
86. North Berwick G.C. North Berwick, Scotland
87. Kawana Hotel G.C. (Fiji) Shizuoka, Japan
88. Yalong Bay G.C. Hainan Island, China
89. Emirates G.C. (Majlis) Dubai, United Arab Emirates
90. Rye G.C. Rye, England
91. Sotogrande G.C. Sotogrande, Spain
92. Waterville G. Links Waterville, Ireland
93. Kauri Cliffs G.C. & Lodge Northland, New Zealand
94. Olivos G.C. Buenos Aires, Argentina
95. Wentworth G.C. (West) Virginia Water, England
96. Mission Hills G.C. (World Cup) Shenzhen, China
97. Jockey Club (Colorada) San Isidro, Buenos Aires, Argentina
98. St. Andrews (New) St. Andrews, Scotland
99. Golf de Fontainebleau Fontainebleau, France
100. Arabella Estate & G.C. Kleinmond, South Africa

Golf Digest

In related news... (GBN) is for the many thousands of people who work in the golf business all around the world.

We cover the full range of topics both on and off the course. We aim to supply essential information both quickly and accurately in a format which is easy to use. We are independent of all special interest groups.


Click here to sign up for our free twice weekly golf industry news summary

View the latest newsletter here