If we had given panellists the chance to bump one course up the list, which would they have played their joker on?
I’m biased as a long-time member but I was quite surprised it didn’t make the top 10. I think it’s because you look out from the clubhouse and see this flat expanse of land and already give it minus marks. Once you’ve played it a lot you realise what an incredible course it is.
It certainly merits a higher placement than 89th, which typifies not so much a bias against modern design as a lack of appreciation of the merits of modern design in the list overall. This also applies to post-boom courses such as Jonathan Gaunt’s Linden Hall and Ramside Hall which didn’t even make the long list.
Walton Heath (Old)
It has all the attributes of a really top-quality course and a wonderful balance to both nines. Many heathlands have allowed trees to invade but Walton Heath has stayed true and is the same course that hosted the 1981 Ryder Cup.
Royal St George’s
For me it’s quite clearly the best golf course in England. I’ll mention another one, which is Hollinwell. It’s not the best inland course in the country, which is Sunningdale, but it’s certainly second.
I think I’d like to see my home course a little higher. It’s come in at 15th but I think it’s one of the best heathlands in England. I might be biased but the more I go to other places I go back to Alwoodley and think it’s proper.
Royal Worlington and Newmarket
I think it is an excellent design. They used the land expertly well. The greens are superb.
I thought it was fantastic, it should have been much higher in the rankings.
I have to admit I was very surprised to see Wallasey down at No 62 because I count it as one of the best and most enjoyable links in England. I know several people who prefer it to Hoylake. I wouldn’t go quite that far but it’s not far away. Prince’s is far too low as well.
Royal North Devon
I went in May on a sunny evening. I thought it was magnificent. It’s gone out of fashion recently. We have it up in the 30s, which is great, but I think it could have been much higher.
It was in my top four courses but came outside the top 10. That one jumped out at me. I believed it would have been a lot higher.
Silloth has charm, character, intrigue and an identity all of its own but at the same time presents the truest, and quite often, stiffest of challenges. It’s an inspirational course with an endless collection of brilliant holes.
Especially with how high nearby St Enodoc comes in. And I definitely rate it above Perranporth. Trevose had evolved into more of a holiday course – but now they are making a concerted effort to bring some teeth back.
I feel it is a unique golf course. It’s done well in the list but I thought that it should have done even better.