Welcome to Top 100 Golf Courses - the only independent website dedicated to the best golf courses of the World.
Our mission is to connect passionate golfers with the world’s greatest golf clubs. Through this connection, we bring you unique and current course information, pictures and special offers from participating clubs. We also give you the ability to share your viewpoint through our “write a review” facility. You can even email your course photographs to us and, if they are suitable, we’ll put them online. Our ultimate aim is to feature every golf course that has ever appeared on a reputable ranking list and also we’ll bring you some gems that shine brightly but are often overshadowed.
We're a team of passionate club golfers with mixed handicaps and we simply love golf courses, their rich heritage and fascinating architecture. We decided to take our passion a step further. We’ve built an independent company and we’re now committed to playing, reviewing and promoting our greatest golf courses.
Meet the team:
Andy is our Operations and Marketing Director and he plays off a 12 handicap. He has close to 30 years of experience in organising golf days and events. Consequently he’s played many hundreds of different courses and more than 600 that feature on the Top 100 site. Favourites include Waterville, Royal County Down, Kingsbarns, PGA Catalunya (Stadium) and Woburn's Duchess. Email Andy here
Barry has been a golf writer since 1955 when he became a golfer while living in Bermuda. Once in low single figures, he says his handicap is now comparable to his collar size and is rapidly approaching that of his inside leg measurement. He has visited and written about some 400 golf resorts in 37 countries, playing more than 2,500 courses in the process. He is now Publisher/Editor of www.posh-golf-travel.com.
Brian lives in Cheshire and covers the Midlands and North West England. He is currently hanging on by his fingertips to a handicap of 7. He has played more than 750 courses including 82 of the current Top 100 of Britain and Ireland. His favourites include Royal Dornoch, Swinley Forest, Waterville, Royal County Down and Woodhall Spa. Brian now works full time in golf as secretary of The Golf Society of Great Britain.
Cédric lives near Paris and is our French Correspondent with an Icelandic twist. His handicap is currently set at a very competitive 5 and he has played many of Europe’s greatest courses with his personal favourites being Royal County Down, Muirfield and Turnberry (Ailsa). He is a member at Golf de Bondues near Lille and Reykjavik Golf Club in Iceland.
Daniel is the Top 100 Company Secretary, his passion is compulsively buying CDs and he claims one day his collection will be worth a small fortune! He started playing golf as a teenager and has whittled his handicap down to 18 despite managing to get out on the course only a couple of times each year. It’s always a serious challenge to persuade him to leave the office, unless there’s a sale on at his local record store.
Dave is our Canadian Correspondent. He lives near Toronto and has been in the golf business for more than 25 years. In 2006, he co-founded travelinggolfer.net and is a member of the Golf Journalists Association of Canada, Golf Travel Writers of America and the Travel Media Association of Canada. Dave has travelled extensively throughout North America and in 16 countries. Email Dave here
David lives near Amsterdam and is our Benelux correspondent. He occasionally plays to his handicap, which alternates between 5 and 6, but most frequently he can be found right of the fairway playing out of the rough. He’s chasing his dream of playing the World’s Top 100 Courses and has played 44 to date. David’s home course is the Noordwijkse and among his favourites are Cypress Point and Royal County Down.
David is our southern African correspondent, lives in Johannesburg and owns a tourism consultancy, The Tourism Strategy Company. He is a member at Leopard Park Golf Club and plays off a 3 handicap. David is a ranking panellist for Golf Digest South Africa. His favourite courses include Royal Melbourne, Kingston Heath, Royal County Down, Teeth of the Dog, Sentosa and The Links at Fancourt.
Fergal is our US Consultant who lives in Boston but comes from Dublin. He’s a self-confessed golf course addict, who completed playing the Top 100 ranked courses in the United States in just 4 years at 28 years of age. Fergal has played 90 World Top 100 courses and, since moving to the US, has become a panellist with Golf Digest. He has a +1 handicap and is a proud member of Portmarnock Golf Club.
Ian is our Welsh correspondent who also covers Southwest England. He started playing golf after learning to bike ride, so golf came even before girlfriends, but he still plays off a 7 handicap and reckons he got the balance about right! He played his early golf on England’s south coast and he’s played more than 50 of Britain & Ireland’s Top 100 courses favouring those that offer dramatic settings and unique challenges.
James was born in Scotland and now lives in Hong Kong. He started playing golf at the age of 8 and played in his formative years at East Renfrewshire and Western Gailes before attending St Andrews University where he studied Philosophy in between rounds on the Old Course. He is a golf writer, golf course photographer and author of The Finest Golf Courses of Asia & Australasia.
James, or Jim, as he is better known, hails from the Home of Golf. He's our Editor and Scottish Correspondent, a member of the International Golf Travel Writers Association and a key member of the editorial team. With a handicap of 10, he knows how to card a decent score on the windy fast-running Scottish links courses. Jim has played every single course on our Scottish Top 100 list. Click here for more.
Jan lives in Norway and he’s our correspondent for Norway and Sweden, playing off a handicap of 13. He’s played more than 200 courses, including every 18-holer in Norway. Among his favourites are North Berwick, Ganton and Halmstad (Norra). During the summer you are likely to catch Jan in Sweden, lounging by his camper van, cold beer in hand, following another round on one Sweden's fine courses.
Javier is our Argentina Correspondent and he’s been golfing since a 4-year-old. His handicap has been down to +2 (now 2) and he once scored 65 at Golf Club Argentino. Javier runs Let’s Golf Argentina and WeGolf and formerly managed Punta Blanca GC in the Dominican Rep. He’s written articles about golf tourism and course maintenance and his favourite courses are Cypress Point and the Old course.
Jim heads up the Top 100 web design team and he has a wealth of IT and Internet knowledge. His 28 handicap has not recently been tested on the golf course but one day we'll drag him away from his handheld and PC and onto the golf course... will he cope with the fresh air?
Kevin is our Australian Correspondent. He is a panellist for a number of golfing publications and has a passion for studying the world’s greatest golf courses. He has played golf extensively around Australia as well as throughout Britain and Ireland and has played virtually all of the courses listed in our current Australian Top 100.
Keith is the Top 100 Editor-in-Chief and Managing Director and plays off a rather suspect 10 handicap. His love affair with golf courses started twenty-five years ago and has since played more than 1,000 different courses worldwide and 90 of the Top 100 in Britain & Ireland. Keith is a member of the International Golf Travel Writers Association and his home course is Bovey Castle.
Masa is our international consultant, a successful golf writer and golf course commentator; his book Analysis of a Golf Course is a bestseller in Japan. Masa is passionate about golf courses and he has visited 56 countries and played 2,030 courses along the way. He is a panellist and international board member for Golf Magazine’s Top 100 Courses in the World.
Matt is our New Zealand Correspondent who grew up playing the Surrey heathland courses before moving to study at St Andrews University. He immigrated to New Zealand in 2008 and currently plays off 10 at former NZ Open venue, St Clair. He is also a Doctor of Clinical Psychology, and has published articles in The Cut (NZ’s leading golf magazine) on both golf psychology and NZ’s golf courses.
Nick hails from Ireland and is our Irish and North East US correspondent. He’s a 1 handicapper, our youngest team member and an avid student of golf course architecture. Nick has played hundreds of courses and aims to become the youngest person to play the World Top 100. He loves links golf and his favourite courses include Royal County Down, Waterville, Turnberry, Somerset Hills and Bethpage (Black).
Rachelle is our Office Manager, a photographer and our graphics expert. Top 100 eventually infected her with the golf bug and she's now starting to play the game. She loves landscape photography and she knows a great golf course image when she sees one. With more than 15,000 pictures already featured on the Top 100 website, Rachelle’s editing skills are kept finely honed.
Simon handles our Advertising, click here for more details. He started playing golf at 26 and then severely caught the golf bug. He took some time out to work in a pro shop and learnt the game from a pro who once played in the Open; Simon now plays off a handicap of 6. Three of his favourite Top 100 courses are Sunningdale, Hindhead and Littlestone.
Ulrich is our German correspondent and puts up with a 13 handicap. He is a keen writer, who has contributed to the World Atlas of Golf and other publications. Ulrich plays golf all over Europe and to date has photographed, reviewed and ranked more than 180 courses. His personal manifesto for golf architecture is the GCE Scale. He wrote the Golf CV app to keep track of his golfing endeavours and publishes it as freeware.
Our ranking process:
There is nothing new about rating and ranking our greatest golf courses. Numerous publications produce their own lists using all types of criteria: design, visual appeal, quality, condition of the courses, etc. They use teams of experts from all walks of golfing life to produce their own “definitive” lists. Judging panels include golf course architects/designers, amateur and professional champions, commentators, photographers and executive members of all types of golfing institutes.
What is completely fresh and original about us is the way in which we have used the published data from these ranking and rating tables. We have developed a unique and comprehensive database containing, in some cases, decades of historical ranking information.
We have then applied a series of rules and algorithms to create a current and informed rating, based on:
Ø Number of times that a golf course has appeared on a ranking table
Ø Weighted in favour of courses appearing in the World rankings
Ø Weighting courses appearing most recently in any ranking tables
Ø Check and balance by our own team of passionate aficionados
Importantly, we have created our own unique rating system, which is built into the "write a review" process within each individual golf course web page. This simple rating system allows you to rate each course on a scale of 1 to 6 golf balls. We have set no specific rules for you to follow when you rate a course except, naturally, that you (the reviewer) must have played the course first. Important factors, such as course location, condition (or presentation), difficulty and historical importance are left for you, the reviewer, to judge.
Biennially, to coincide with our Top 100 publications, we will publish a Top 100 list (where sufficient data is available) based purely on reviews posted by you, the passionate golfer. In the first of our Top 100 books, your No.1 in the British Isles was Royal Dornoch. Dornoch has never before been voted as the No.1 course, but who would possibly argue with you?
Additionally we ask for expert opinions from people who have played an extensive number of golf courses in their country or territory. Our 2010 New Zealand rankings, for example, involved polling dozens of Kiwi club pros.
All this data is weighted and eventually culminates in our unique and all-encompassing ranking positions for each golf course. We honestly believe that nobody does it better than you and us together.
There is no doubt that whenever any list is produced, it provides a lively talking point across the whole of the golfing world, especially at those golf clubs fortunate enough to make it onto the latest list. When a conventional ranking table is produced, there are winners and losers, high climbers, big fallers and new entries. Naturally, it also means that golf courses may drop off the latest list, sometimes never to be seen again. This does not mean that these golf courses are no longer “top courses”; it simply means that other courses (old or new) have improved or come into favour.
Uniquely, here at Top 100 Golf Courses, we recognise that it is important to constantly reassess all our best golf courses. Biennially we re-sequence our ranking database to take all the latest information into account. Courses will go up and down, but they will never be taken offline. We also play as many golf courses as we can and we've written our own independent golf course reviews for literally thousands of courses.
Regardless of whether you are a professional or amateur golfer, we would like to know what you think of the Top 100 golf courses that you have played. Please take the time to write your own review and give the course a rating. Hopefully you will find our unique golf ball rating system fun and relevant. Visit our current World Top 100 or use our comprehensive search facility to find the course(s) that you'd like to review. But please, only write a review if you have played the course yourself.
If you have photographs of any of the listed golf courses, we would love to display them on this website. There is an online facility to "submit an image".
In return for your time, we have developed a personal facility whereby you can keep track of all the Top 100 courses that you have played, coupled with a tailor-made print facility. Go to score card for more information.
www.top100golfcourses.co.uk is a totally independent website. We are not associated with any of the golf publications that rank golf courses (other than our own), but we are passionate about golf and addicted to playing great golf courses.
In the spring of 2011 we changed the look of our web pages and for some courses we may now show up to four ranking positions for any one course. In the example shown, 4th represents the state/county/area ranking position, 10th is the course position in country (England in this example), 29th is the course position in Britain & Ireland and 92nd is where the course is placed on our world ranking table.