Golf Digest’s World’s Top 100 Golf Courses

Taken from: Golf Digest Top 1oo Golf Courses

It’s tempting to describe Golf Digest’s fourth biennial ranking of the World 100 Greatest Golf Courses as a contest between advanced age and youth, legends versus new kids, Old Guard versus Upstarts. So who’s placed in the latest Top 100 Golf Courses?

The Old Guard dominates the top 10. There’s No. 3 Muirfield, created in 1891, No. 4 Royal Dornoch(1892) and No. 6 Old Course at St. Andrews (1848). Royal Portrush, site of last year’s Open Championship and ranked eighth, has been around since 1888. Farther down the list are veteran layouts less modified and more reflective of an earlier game of persimmon and even hickory: the delightful North Berwick (1877) at No. 39, the natural Machrihanish (1876) at No. 46 and the classic Prestwick (1851) at No. 66. The Old Guard are all vintage designs that still carry a lot of clout.

But there’s a youth movement at every corner of our latest ranking. Thirty ranked courses were built in the 21st century, including two in the top 10 and seven of the top 20. Nearly a third of the courses on our list are not yet 20 years old; five of them aren’t even five years old.

No. 1 Royal County Down, originally routed by Old Tom Morris and subsequently tinkered with by a half a dozen designers (most recently Donald Steel), is being challenged by Tari Iti in New Zealand, a dazzling Tom Doak design from 2015 that made its debut at No. 6 in 2018 and jumps to No. 2 on this survey.

Please see here for the full list: 

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