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NCG Top 100s: Meet the England 2022 panel

 

The 17 experts tasked with ranking the best golf courses in England were…

Dan Murphy

Occupation: Editor of NCG Top 100s and chairman of the panel

Handicap: 1

Home club: Alwoodley

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 four words? Design, turf, consistency, options

Tom Irwin

Occupation: Director, Sports Publications (publishers of NCG Top 100s)

Handicap: 0

Home club: Alwoodley

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

Steve Carroll

Occupation: NCG’s club golf editor

Handicap: 8

Home clubs: York (Strensall), Sandburn Hall

Favourite GB&I course outside England: North Berwick West Links – Disneyland for golfers with iconic holes and sensational views

What makes a great course in four words: Fun, firm, variety, challenge

Sean Arble

Occupation: Local Government

Handicap: 14

Home clubs: Burnham & Berrow and North Berwick.

Favourite GB&I course outside England: St Andrews New: Far better than the consolation prize to the Old

What makes a great course in four words: Routing, soil, turf and greens

Jim Banting

Occupation: Golf journalist and author

Handicap:  0

Home club(s): West Sussex

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

Ed Battye

Occupation: Owner and manager of Golf Empire

Handicap: 3

Home club: Woodsome Hall

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

What makes a great course in four words: Options, firm-turfed, uniqueness, cadence

Dave Cannon

Occupation: Getty Images Photographer

Handicap: 9

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

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

What makes a great course in four words? Landscape, fairness, greens, variety

Niall Flanagan

Occupation: Golf Consultant/Business Owner

Handicap: 9

Home club: Sunningdale Heath

Favourite GB&I course outside England: Loch Lomond – when the sun comes out Weiskopf’s work is pure magic

What makes a great course in four words? Landscape, definition, design, playability

Neil Gray

Occupation: Marketing Consultant

Handicap: 7

Home club: Centurion

Favourite GB&I course outside England: Loch Lomond – just a great layout and the most beautiful landscape anywhere

What makes a great course in four words? Setting, turf, design, greens

Ben Hunter

Occupation: Golf club management

Handicap: 8.6

Home clubs: Liphook, Brora

Favourite GB&I course outside England: Royal Porthcawl – a challenging course with mesmerising views on every hole.

What makes a great course in four words? Fair, strategic, maintained, fun

Dove Jones

Occupation: International golf communications specialist

Handicap: 12

Home clubs: Royal Liverpool, Crail

Courses played in 2022 shortlist (out of 164) as at start of 2021: TBC

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

What makes a great course in four words? Strategy, fairness, condition, variety

John Mcloughlin

Occupation: Course manager at Wallasey

Handicap: 0

Home club: West Lancs

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

What makes a great course in four words? Design compliments natural surroundings

George Oldham

Occupation: Writer

Handicap: 17

Home club: Troon Welbeck

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

What makes a great course in four words? Setting, challenge, condition, history

Josh Poysden

Occupation: Cricketer

Handicap: 6

Home clubs: Seaton Carew

Favourite GB&I course outside England: North Berwick – quirky, playable, beautiful and, most of all, fun

What makes a great course in four words? Fun, interesting, memorable shots

Peter Rudd

Occupation: Telecom company owner and director

Handicap: 6

Home clubs: Woodbridge

Courses played in 2022 shortlist (out of 164) as at start of 2021: 101

Favourite GB&I course outside England: Kingsbarns – setting, design, fairness

What makes a great course in four words? Setting, design, fairness, turf

Steve Watton

Occupation: Company director

Handicap: 0

Home club: Churchill & Blakedown, Enville

Courses played in 2022 shortlist (out of 164) as at start of 2021: 100

Favourite GB&I course outside England: Royal Dornoch – simply spellbinding and wonderfully varied with a unique and special aura

What makes a great course in four words? Beautiful, natural & thought-provoking

Greg Webber

Occupation: Pharmacist

Handicap: 6

Home club: Muswell Hill

Favourite GB&I course outside England: Carnoustie – brutal but brilliant

What makes a great course in four words? Interesting, fair, memorable, accessible

NCG Top 100s: The best golf courses in England

Visit the NCG Top 100s homepage for all this and much, much more.

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