Global Edition

Top 100 Golf Courses of the World – 2011

8.18am 24th November 2010 - Media

Two hundred and sixteen courses were on the shortlist for a position on our latest and much-coveted World Top 100 ranking list. Following months of research and detailed analysis we have the final results, writes Malcolm Searle.

It’s an unusual World Top 100, which at first glance looks very familiar – at least the first half – but careful study of the second half will reveal many changes. There are no fewer than fifteen new entries, however some of these have previously appeared in our earlier World Top 100s.

The highest new entry – straight in at 69 – is Gallic and it is poignant that Les Bordes should appear for the first time in our world rankings immediately after the sad death of architect Robert von Hagge. Without doubt, Les Bordes is the wonderful legacy left by a great architect when he was at his most wickedly creative.

As usual, the USA has more world ranked courses than any other country, but there are fewer on our latest list than ever before. The USA has made way for the likes of Scotland’s Royal Aberdeen (Balgownie), perhaps the most underrated links course in the world. We see a return of two wonderful Canadian courses, Hamilton and Highlands Links and we’ve got two new Australian entries, the heathland Metropolitan and the links-like Moonah at the National Golf Club. England’s Wentworth West course reappears after its multi-million pound facelift and the New course at Sunningdale – considered by many as superior to the Old – makes its World Top 100 debut.

Continental European courses generally miss out on world ranking places, but two new Stadium courses join the household name of Sawgrass on our latest list – PGA de Catalunya and Bro Hof Slott. Spain and Sweden may be poles apart and their Stadium courses are also stratospherically different from Tom Simpson’s Chantilly, which makes its first appearance. Many believe that the Old course at Chantilly is the best course in Europe, even though it now forms a composite layout from Le Vineuil and Les Longres courses.

Our recent New Zealand rankings caused a bit of a furore – not least because we placed Kauri Cliffs ahead of Cape Kidnappers – but New Zealand can boast a number of exciting new courses. The USA’s Kinloch Golf Club may have dropped out of our World Top 100 but its namesake has replaced it. The Kinloch Club plays homage to the great British and Irish links courses – located about as far away from the sea as you can get in New Zealand – and it’s Jack Nicklaus’s favourite Golden Bear design.

Breakdown of courses by country

USA (43), Scotland (11), England (10), Australia (8), Ireland (5), Canada (4), France (3), New Zealand (3), Japan (2), Northern Ireland (2), Spain (2), Belgium (1), Dominican Republic (1), Mexico (1), Netherlands (1), South Africa (1), Sweden (1), Wales (1)

Top 100 Golf Courses is an independent review website that has been online since 2004. The website showcases more than 2,500 of the world’s greatest golf courses, attracting approximately 100,000 unique visitors per month. It’s the only website dedicated to world’s top golf courses.

World Top 100
1    Pine Valley
2    Cypress Point
3    Augusta National
4    Royal County Down (Championship)
5    Turnberry (Ailsa)
6    Shinnecock Hills
7    Royal Birkdale
8    Oakmont
9    Muirfield
10    St Andrews (Old)
11    Pebble Beach
12    Royal Melbourne (West)
13    Merion (East)
14    Royal Portrush (Dunluce)
15    Sand Hills
16    Kingston Heath
17    Bandon Dunes (Pacific Dunes)
18    National Golf Links of America
19    Kingsbarns
20    Winged Foot (West)
21    Royal Dornoch (Championship)
22    Carnoustie (Championship)
23    Fishers Island
24    Seminole
25    Ballybunion (Old)
26    Royal St George’s
27    Sunningdale (Old)
28    New South Wales
29    Chicago
30    Crystal Downs
31    Loch Lomond
32    Whistling Straits (Straits)
33    Pinehurst (No.2)
34    Kauri Cliffs
35    Cape Kidnappers
36    Royal Lytham & St Annes
37    Hirono
38    Muirfield Village
39    Prairie Dunes
40    Country Club (Clyde & Squirrel)
41    Woodhall Spa (Hotchkin)
42    Oakland Hills (South)
43    Portmarnock (Old)
44    Bethpage (Black)
45    Barnbougle Dunes
46    Kiawah Island (Ocean)
47    Oak Hill (East)
48    Friar’s Head
49    Olympic Club (Lake)
50    European Club
51    Valderrama
52    Wade Hampton
53    Lahinch (Old)
54    Waterville
55    Royal Adelaide
56    Royal Liverpool
57    Royal Troon (Old)
58    Golf Club
59    Baltusrol (Lower)
60    Bandon Dunes (Bandon Dunes)
61    Kawana (Fuji)
62    Ganton
63    San Francisco
64    Medinah (No.3)
65    Shadow Creek (North)
66    Cabo del Sol (Ocean)
67    Royal Melbourne (East)
68    National Golf Club of Canada
69    Les Bordes [New]
70    St George’s
71    Spyglass Hill
72    North Berwick (West)
73    Casa de Campo (Teeth of the Dog)
74    Morfontaine
75    TPC at Sawgrass (Stadium)
76    Hamilton [New]
77    Royal Aberdeen (Balgownie) [New]
78    Southern Hills
79    Riviera
80    Leopard Creek
81    Inverness
82    Castle Pines [New]
83    Highlands Links [New]
84    Machrihanish
85    Walton Heath (Old)
86    PGA de Catalunya (Stadium) [New]
87    National (Moonah) [New]
88    Sebonack
89    Sunningdale (New) [New]
90    Royal Porthcawl
91    Metropolitan [New]
92    Wentworth (West) [New]
93    Garden City
94    Maidstone
95    Royal Zoute
96    Arcadia Bluffs [New]
97    Chantilly (Vineuil) [New]
98    Kinloch Club [New]
99    Bro Hof Slott (Stadium) [New]

100  Noordwijkse [New]


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