We believe this is a Top 100 with a difference – it has been designed to reward quality of course and value for money on an equal basis.
If we’ve done our job properly, this special 48-page section will inspire you to start arranging a trip. And it won’t be one that breaks the bank.
NCG is aimed squarely at club golfers like you who want to play great courses without bankrupting themselves in the process and that was the inspiration behind the concept.
ABOUT THE PROJECT
Our goal was to create a list that bears scrutiny and earns the respect of serious and knowledgable golfers.
Course ranking lists will never be unanimous. It is a matter of judgement given that there is no such thing as one course being categorically better or worse than another.
However, the fun is in debating a list.
I assembled a panel of four knowledgable golfers and our views carried equal weight for the purposes of this list. The list is the result of our collective opinions.
We collectively compiled a shortlist of 150 eligible courses that we thought merited consideration for the list.
WHAT CLASSES AS UNDER £100?
We used summer 2015 green fees and we have quoted the highest off-peak (ie weekday) price available.
Of course, there are many cheaper ways to play these courses – using online booking services, two-for-one vouchers, playing with a member, twilight rates and as part of a large group, to name but a few.
WHICH COURSES ARE ELIGIBLE GEOGRAPHICALLY?
Great Britain = England, Scotland and Wales. Irish courses (in the north or south) are not eligible for this list.
It’s not a scientific list – we believe ranking courses is an art”
HOW DID WE RANK THE COURSES?
We all have our own ideas as to what makes one course better than another, be that amazing views, stringency of test, strategic value, presentation, playability, the wow factor, consistency of challenge, memorable individual holes, quality of the turf and so on.
Our panel spoke as they found and used their own judgment as to what they ”˜felt’ made one course better than another in their eyes.
It’s not a scientific list ” we believe ranking courses is an art.
Note: We were only interested in the courses. We were not trying to be restaurant critics or architects.
For the purposes of this list, a course begins when you step on to the 1st tee and ends when you leave the 18th green.
Once we had compiled our own lists, we averaged out the positions and used that as the starting point for debate.
We spent a day at Formby (which was not eligible for inclusion) assessing whether each course ”˜felt’ like it was in the right place and moving them up or down accordingly.
Each panellist’s opinion carried an equal weight but we paid attention to the quality of the opinion.
For example, if one panellist had played a course several times, or in the past year, then we considered his opinion of this particular courses to be more valid than that of another panellist who had only played it once and/or several years ago.
HOW WAS THE LIST CREATED?
We eventually agreed on a list of the top 150 eligible courses ” regardless of cost. We added a course’s rank in this list to their green fee to give an overall score: Position + green fee = overall score.
The course with the lowest overall total was judged our No 1.
Click here for an in-depth explanation of how we ranked each course
NOTABLE COURSES TOO EXPENSIVE TO BE ELIGIBLE
It’s quite a long list that includes all of the current Open rota as well as the likes of Kingsbarns, Castle Stuart, Royal Dornoch, Nairn and Cruden Bay.
Compiling this list was a labour of love. I’m proud of the result and I hope it helps you to plan some great ” and affordable “golf trips.
THE TOP 100 LIST (Click on each group for full ranking details)
100. East Sussex National (West)
99. Pyle & Kenfig
98. Northamptonshire County
97. Formby Ladies
96. Gailes Links
92. Irvine (Bogside)
91. Gullane (No.3)
87. West Cornwall
86. Monifieth (Medal)
85. Spey Valley
84. Sutton Coldfield
83. Carnoustie (Burnside)
82. Enville (Highgate)
80. Leven Links
76. Moray (Old)
75. Bude & North Cornwall
72. Fraserburgh (Corbiehill)
68. West Lancashire
67. Isle of Purbeck
66. Reddish Vale
61. Royal Ashdown Forest (Old)
60. Ipswich (Purdis Heath)
57. Ferdown (Old)
56. Cleeve Hill
55. Montrose (Medal)
54. West Hill
53. Little Aston
51. The Addington