Meet the 14 golf course enthusiasts who have contributed to this list of England's Top 100 Courses

Dan Murphy, chairman

Occupation: Editor of NCG

Handicap: 3

Home club: Alwoodley

Courses played in shortlist: 158

Favourite GB&I course outside England: Royal County Down – it’s in a class of its own to me and ticks every box.

What makes a great course in 4 words: Design, turf, consistency, options

What you’ve learned about English courses: The quality of the inland golf. And the sheer depth – 40 or 50 courses only just missed out.

Tom Irwin

Occupation: Publisher of NCG

Handicap: 0

Home club: Alwoodley

Courses played in shortlist: 116

Favourite GB&I course outside England: Skibo Castle – the high life in the Highlands, perfection

What makes a great course in four words: Firm, flat, fun, fiendish

What you’ve learned about English courses: It’s just a crying shame that England isn’t renowned for its golf courses because it’s a huge selling point.

Sean Arble

Occupation: Automotive Manufacturing

Handicap: 9

Home clubs: Burnham & Berrow, Tantallon (North Berwick)

Courses played in shortlist: 87

Favourite GB&I course outside England: North Berwick West Links – perfect balance of quirk, challenge, beauty and brains

What makes a great course in four words: Variety, terrain and greens

What you’ve learned about English courses: There’s not really a great deal between the best courses and the second and third-tier courses.

Jim Banting

Occupation: Golf journalist and author

Handicap:  5

Home club(s): West Sussex

Courses played in shortlist: 121

Favourite GB&I course outside England: Royal County Down – visually spectacular, tough, unyielding but pure genius.

What makes a great course? Elegant, sophisticated, utterly unforgettable

What you’ve learned about English courses:  That few clubs can afford to rest on their laurels.

Ed Battye

Occupation: Owner and manager of golfempire.co.uk

Handicap: 1

Home club: Bradley Park

Courses played in shortlist: 140

Favourite GB&I course outside England: The Old Course – ground zero for golf, strategically superior.

What makes a great course in four words: Options, turf, uniqueness, flow

What you’ve learned about English courses: The depth – even down in 80th or 90th place are courses well worth seeking out and playing.

Colin Callander

Occupation: Golf writer

Handicap: 8

Home clubs: Welwyn Garden City, R&A, Elie

Courses played in shortlist: 90

Favourite GB&I course outside England: The Old Course – not the best course but atmosphere all of its own.

What makes a great course: Challenge, condition, history, fun

What you’ve learned about English courses: Us Scots tend to be somewhat demeaning about English courses but that certainly is not fair.

Dave Cannon

Occupation: Getty Images Photographer

Handicap:  9

Home club(s): Royal Liverpool, Old Head, The European Club

Courses played in shortlist: 122

Favourite GB&I course outside England: Turnberry. Views, beauty, challenge, tests every club, magnificent, fair.

What makes a great course: Landscape, fairness, greens, variety

What you’ve learned about English courses: How good they are aesthetically from the perspective of a photographer.

Craig Higgs

Occupation: Golf Genius sales director

Handicap: 11

Home club: Shipley

Courses played in shortlist: 57

Favourite GB&I course outside England: Turnberry – the course is now on a par with the views.

What makes a great course in four words: 18 interesting golf holes

What you’ve learned about English courses: What sets English courses apart is that there are so many good courses that are near each other.

Dove Jones

Occupation: International Golf Communication Specialist (marketing, PR, writing)

Handicap: 12

Home clubs: Royal Liverpool, Crail

Courses played in shortlist: 64

Favourite GB&I course outside England: New Ailsa shot for shot; North Berwick for quirky challenging fun.

What makes a great course: Strategy, fairness, condition, variety

What you’ve learned about English courses: The lesser known courses have a charm all their own and shouldn’t be overlooked.

John McLoughlin

Occupation: Course manager at Warrington GC

Handicap: 0

Home club: West Lancs

Courses played in shortlist: 59

Favourite GB&I course outside England: Royal County Down – fits into the landscape flawlessly.

What makes a great course: Design compliments natural surroundings

What you’ve learned about English courses: We’ve got fantastic heathland, links and parkland courses – we’ve got the full spectrum.

George Oldham

Occupation: Writer

Handicap: 12

Home clubs: Prestwick St. Nicholas, Troon Welbeck

Courses played in shortlist: 70

Favourite GB&I course outside England: Turnberry – incomparable setting and challenge of great historic holes.

What makes a great course: Setting, challenge, condition, history

What you’ve learned about English courses: I have been reminded, rather than learned, of the sheer wealth and variety of courses.

Peter Rudd

Occupation: Telecom company owner and director

Handicap: 7

Home clubs: Woodbridge, Thorpeness

Courses played in shortlist: 74

Favourite GB&I course outside England: Waterville – superb design, majestic setting and terrific finishing holes.

What makes a great course: Great design, condition, setting

What you’ve learned about English courses: There are a lot of very good courses – more than people realise – and a lot of variety.

Jimmy Scade

Occupation: Retired stockbroker

Handicap: 12

Home clubs: Wildernesse, Rye, Brora

Courses played in shortlist: 82

Favourite GB&I course outside England: Nairn – a true, traditional links, fair and well-maintained.

What makes a great course: Fair, well-maintained, welcoming

What you’ve learned about English courses: I’m amazed that there could possibly be 100 better courses than Royal Cromer.

Steve Watton

Occupation: Company director

Handicap: 2

Home club: Enville

Courses played in shortlist: 94

Favourite GB&I course outside England: Royal Dornoch – inspiring beautiful links, amazing green complexes, hole variety

What makes a great course in four words: Beauty, strategy, wow factor

What you’ve learned about English courses: There’s so much depth that you could easily produce a top 200 or 300 list in England.