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Is there a better topic of debate in golf than course rankings?

 

Do you like a course because you can appreciate the intricate details of what the architect was trying to achieve? Or do you like a course simply because it’s attractive and has no water because, well, you always lose balls in water?

Maybe you don’t like a course with too many bunkers? Or trees? Maybe it’s too long? Or too short? Or the rough is too thick? Or the greens are too slow? Or fast?

Perhaps you prefer links to heathland? Or do you thrive on a parkland?

These discussions are what makes this game we love so great.

I don’t claim to be an expert when it comes to golf course architecture, but I know what I like. And so do you.

If a course is attractive, in good condition, provides a mixture of holes to keep you interested, and doesn’t beat you up then I’m generally happy. Even just how you play will affect your opinion.

Which is why I enjoy the debate as much as I do – particularly when it comes to publications such as those not a million miles from here releasing their golf course rankings.

You only have to see the fallout under any related post on social media to see the extent of it.

It’s an utterly fascinating insight into the mindset of the golfer.

“My course should be in there!” is a highlight.

Of course you think that. It’s your course, where you pay to be a member and play 99.9 per cent of your golf.

Am I delighted my home club of Bude is in NCG’s top 100? Absolutely.

Am I furious that dozens of courses are ranked higher? Also yes. But I’ve been fortunate enough to play the likes of Royal Birkdale and Sunningdale and understand their loftier status.

Tongue now removed from cheek, we are so lucky to be entrenched in a sport that allows us to have these debates.

It’s beautiful. It’s cathartic. It’s downright infuriating. And we wouldn’t have it any other way.

We recently updated our Top 100s England rundown. Our panel of judges, with hundreds of years of playing, rating, and ranking golf courses in every corner of our tiny islands between them, is about as revered as it gets.

But remember, it’s perfectly OK to disagree with them.

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