Courtesy of Stan Sutherland
St Andrews shunted from the top
Sounds incredible that St Andrews came second to Royal Dornoch in the rankings for Scottish golf courses. What’s even more incredible is that in my experience so few golfers are aware of the joys of Royal Dornoch. The fact that it’s a five-hour drive from Edinburgh perhaps explains its relative obscurity. Nevertheless those who’ve taken the trouble to play Dornoch will no doubt easily accept that it has pride of place in Scotland.
Maybe now that Castle Stuart, near Inverness which came 15th is already being recognised as a great golf course this will entice more people to go North.
Personally I found it very encouraging that some of my favourite; some would say off-the-beaten-track courses still feature in the Scottish top 20.
Machrihanish at 9th, Cruden Bay at 12th and my very favourite, The Machrie on the Isle of Islay comes in at 16th.
Top of the lot
Likewise it may come as a shock to some that Pine Valley falls from No1 as the top course in the world with Royal County Down G.C. taking its place and where, “On a clear spring day, with Dundrum Bay to the east, the Mountains of Mourne to the south and gorse-covered dunes in golden bloom, there is no lovelier place in golf than our new No. 1. Its design is attributed to Old Tom Morris but was refined by half a dozen architects in the past 120 years, most recently by Donald Steel. Though the greens are surprisingly flat, as if to compensate for the rugged terrain and numerous blind shots, bunkers are a definite highlight, most with arched eyebrows of dense marram grasses and impenetrable clumps of heather.”
A couple of Kiwi courses
Cape Kidnappers has gone from 22nd to 16th in GD’s global rankings. And Kauri Cliffs has gone from 39th to 49th and hard to understand why. Nevertheless two New Zealand courses in the top 50 in the world is quite an accomplishment.
As to the course rankings for New Zealand. 1) Cape Kidnappers 2) Kauri Cliffs 3) Kinloch 4) The Hills 5) Jack's Point 6) Paraparaumu Beach 7) Wairakei, I’ll just say I very much beg to differ and eagerly await next year’s rankings which should include the newly created Tara Iti course.
Here’s the link to Golf Digest Golf’s 100 greatest
Quote of the Day
“Not a links, more like stratospheric Pebble Beach, high atop a windswept plateau some 500 feet above the sea.” - From Golf Digest’s description of Cape Kidnappers.