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New Golf Digest 2019 Top 100 in USA Rankings are out!


64 replies to this topic

#1 schley

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 09:13 AM

Just started to discuss at GCA and here are some of my thoughts:

1. Almost all the courses only moved up or down no more than 5 spots.

2. There was a lot of love for Monterrey Peninsula CC.  The Dunes debuted at 79, as Anthony noted, and the Shore went from 65 to 56.

3. The courses that moved down 10 or more spots:
Kinlock 52 to 66
Kittansett Club 67 to 78
Spring Hill GC 69 to 93
Laurel Valley 95 to 105
Flint Hills National 97 to 113
Sahalee 98 to 117

4. The courses that moved up 10 or more spots:
Winged Foot East 62 to 52
Shoreacres 66 to 55
Essex County Club (MA.) 91 to 73
Calusa Pines 96 to 83
Sleep Hollow 101 to 89

5. Some notable debuts are Sand Valley at 110, Stone Eagle at 111, Mamouth Dunes at 145, Streamsong Black 169

6. Bel Air dropped from 157 to170 probably because hardly any raters saw TD's renovation.

7. In the second greatest 100 there were no courses that moved up 20 or more places, but a plethora of courses that moved down 20 or more places:
Bellerive down from 118 to 144
Eugene CC down from 128 to 159
Lost Dunes down from 141 to 161
Ocean Forest down from 128 to 162
Long Cove down 148 to 168
Sanctuary down 152 to 175
Trump International (West Palm Beach) down 156 to 178
Torrey Pines down 166 to 186
Glenwild down 168 to 188
Kiawah Island Club (river) down 175 to 198
The Broadmoor (east) down 169 to 199
Whisper Rock (lower) down 172 to 200

8. Overall there were 3 new courses for the TOP 100 and 23 in the Second 100 for a total of 26 courses that are no longer ranked now from 2 years ago.


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#2 mci711

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 09:24 AM

Surprised from what I have heard Mammoth Dunes is better than Sand Valley, from just about everyone that has played both.


Do you have a link?

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#3 ceejay81

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 09:27 AM

Definitely need a link to the list.  Google is not being helpful.  Hopefully it's in a list form and not a slideshow.
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#4 schley

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 09:45 AM

It's only available on the February online digital version.  I have a subscription so I can access. I don't think it is free yet.

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#5 NCgolf135

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 09:53 AM

Posting the whole list would be nice.


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#6 schley

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 09:54 AM

Grabbed some screen grabs.....

Attached Thumbnails

  • 3679C61F-99A5-41A8-A4B0-D7A01A535038.jpeg
  • 5E8E1C5B-B02D-422E-BA51-B0608C1E1B5B.jpeg
  • 7C576543-CA68-4D1F-8C28-7B6C60329334.jpeg

Edited by schley, 03 January 2019 - 09:59 AM.


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#7 marks21

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 09:54 AM

View Postmci711, on 03 January 2019 - 09:24 AM, said:

Surprised from what I have heard Mammoth Dunes is better than Sand Valley, from just about everyone that has played both.


Do you have a link?

It's also interesting GD named Streamsong Black as Best New Course in 2018 over Mammoth Dunes but have MD ranked higher.
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#8 mci711

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 10:01 AM

View Postmarks21, on 03 January 2019 - 09:54 AM, said:

View Postmci711, on 03 January 2019 - 09:24 AM, said:

Surprised from what I have heard Mammoth Dunes is better than Sand Valley, from just about everyone that has played both.


Do you have a link?

It's also interesting GD named Streamsong Black as Best New Course in 2018 over Mammoth Dunes but have MD ranked higher.

Good point. Maybe Streamsong gave them more money for the best new course ranking...

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#9 schley

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 10:06 AM

I donít know the actual decision process or best new course, however these rankings are based on their raters which wouldnít have been known when they gave the 2018 best new course.  Iím thinking a writer gave the best new course, whereas the ratings are a compilation of their raters scores throughout the last 2 years.

Edited by schley, 03 January 2019 - 10:09 AM.


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#10 az2au

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 12:41 PM

View Postschley, on 03 January 2019 - 10:06 AM, said:

I donít know the actual decision process or best new course, however these rankings are based on their raters which wouldnít have been known when they gave the 2018 best new course.  Iím thinking a writer gave the best new course, whereas the ratings are a compilation of their raters scores throughout the last 2 years.
If I recall correctly from our panelist call it was a timing issue. Courses donít pay for rankings. People can believe what they want but that couldnít be more false.


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#11 landolakes

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 02:03 PM

Cypress is the shortest 6524 (72)..... and a total of 23 tip out at less than 6900

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#12 elwhippy

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 05:04 PM

Interesting reading as per usual but I would love to know how you get on the rating panel as so many of the courses are members and guests only. I imagine Doak and Fazio could design a crazy golf course and get it ranked looking at the list.

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#13 az2au

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 07:26 PM

View Postelwhippy, on 03 January 2019 - 05:04 PM, said:

Interesting reading as per usual but I would love to know how you get on the rating panel as so many of the courses are members and guests only. I imagine Doak and Fazio could design a crazy golf course and get it ranked looking at the list.
It isnít that hard. You apply.

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#14 jayhawk0624

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 10:19 PM

Can you take screenshots of the 2nd 100?

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#15 mci711

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 10:45 PM

Here's the link to the top 100 https://www.golfdige...=social_twitter

and ranking methodology: https://www.golfdige...nks-the-courses

Edited by mci711, 03 January 2019 - 10:46 PM.


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#16 johnnylongball

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Posted 04 January 2019 - 11:41 AM

View Postaz2au, on 03 January 2019 - 07:26 PM, said:

View Postelwhippy, on 03 January 2019 - 05:04 PM, said:

Interesting reading as per usual but I would love to know how you get on the rating panel as so many of the courses are members and guests only. I imagine Doak and Fazio could design a crazy golf course and get it ranked looking at the list.
It isn't that hard. You apply.

There used to be a link on the Golf Digest website how to apply to become a rater.  I don't know if it is still up.  It was basically an email link.  I have submitted requests to begin the application process at least twice over the past few years.  No response whatsoever.  Based on my experience, it's rather difficult to become a rater.  I couldn't even get the process started.

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#17 az2au

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Posted 04 January 2019 - 11:53 AM

View Postjohnnylongball, on 04 January 2019 - 11:41 AM, said:

View Postaz2au, on 03 January 2019 - 07:26 PM, said:

View Postelwhippy, on 03 January 2019 - 05:04 PM, said:

Interesting reading as per usual but I would love to know how you get on the rating panel as so many of the courses are members and guests only. I imagine Doak and Fazio could design a crazy golf course and get it ranked looking at the list.
It isn't that hard. You apply.

There used to be a link on the Golf Digest website how to apply to become a rater.  I don't know if it is still up.  It was basically an email link.  I have submitted requests to begin the application process at least twice over the past few years.  No response whatsoever.  Based on my experience, it's rather difficult to become a rater.  I couldn't even get the process started.
If you meet the requirements then it really isnít now though (verifiable 5 index or less, ability to play and rate at least a dozen clubs per year). They doubled the number of panelists a couple of years ago.

https://www.golfdige...e-golden-ticket

Honestly though Iíd tell you that it isnít very fun and if you take it seriously it ruins any round youíre playing because it is a job. It isnít like it opens doors that most people that do it canít get into anyway either. I have more access to play places through people I know and the clubs I belong to than GD provides me. Oh and it costs money.  If those things appeal to you then you should be able to get in.

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#18 johnnylongball

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Posted 04 January 2019 - 12:18 PM

View Postaz2au, on 04 January 2019 - 11:53 AM, said:

View Postjohnnylongball, on 04 January 2019 - 11:41 AM, said:

View Postaz2au, on 03 January 2019 - 07:26 PM, said:

View Postelwhippy, on 03 January 2019 - 05:04 PM, said:

Interesting reading as per usual but I would love to know how you get on the rating panel as so many of the courses are members and guests only. I imagine Doak and Fazio could design a crazy golf course and get it ranked looking at the list.
It isn't that hard. You apply.

There used to be a link on the Golf Digest website how to apply to become a rater.  I don't know if it is still up.  It was basically an email link.  I have submitted requests to begin the application process at least twice over the past few years.  No response whatsoever.  Based on my experience, it's rather difficult to become a rater.  I couldn't even get the process started.
If you meet the requirements then it really isn't now though (verifiable 5 index or less, ability to play and rate at least a dozen clubs per year). They doubled the number of panelists a couple of years ago.

https://www.golfdige...e-golden-ticket

Honestly though I'd tell you that it isn't very fun and if you take it seriously it ruins any round you're playing because it is a job. It isn't like it opens doors that most people that do it can't get into anyway either. I have more access to play places through people I know and the clubs I belong to than GD provides me. Oh and it costs money.  If those things appeal to you then you should be able to get in.

Yeah, that's the same email address I sent my requests to.  Radio silence.

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#19 schley

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Posted 04 January 2019 - 12:37 PM

View Postjohnnylongball, on 04 January 2019 - 12:18 PM, said:

View Postaz2au, on 04 January 2019 - 11:53 AM, said:

View Postjohnnylongball, on 04 January 2019 - 11:41 AM, said:

View Postaz2au, on 03 January 2019 - 07:26 PM, said:

View Postelwhippy, on 03 January 2019 - 05:04 PM, said:

Interesting reading as per usual but I would love to know how you get on the rating panel as so many of the courses are members and guests only. I imagine Doak and Fazio could design a crazy golf course and get it ranked looking at the list.
It isn't that hard. You apply.

There used to be a link on the Golf Digest website how to apply to become a rater.  I don't know if it is still up.  It was basically an email link.  I have submitted requests to begin the application process at least twice over the past few years.  No response whatsoever.  Based on my experience, it's rather difficult to become a rater.  I couldn't even get the process started.
If you meet the requirements then it really isn't now though (verifiable 5 index or less, ability to play and rate at least a dozen clubs per year). They doubled the number of panelists a couple of years ago.

https://www.golfdige...e-golden-ticket

Honestly though I'd tell you that it isn't very fun and if you take it seriously it ruins any round you're playing because it is a job. It isn't like it opens doors that most people that do it can't get into anyway either. I have more access to play places through people I know and the clubs I belong to than GD provides me. Oh and it costs money.  If those things appeal to you then you should be able to get in.

Yeah, that's the same email address I sent my requests to.  Radio silence.

Maybe it is your Elvis wardrobe that scared them away :taunt:

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#20 Malones19

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Posted 04 January 2019 - 12:54 PM

View Postjohnnylongball, on 04 January 2019 - 12:18 PM, said:

View Postaz2au, on 04 January 2019 - 11:53 AM, said:

View Postjohnnylongball, on 04 January 2019 - 11:41 AM, said:

View Postaz2au, on 03 January 2019 - 07:26 PM, said:

View Postelwhippy, on 03 January 2019 - 05:04 PM, said:

Interesting reading as per usual but I would love to know how you get on the rating panel as so many of the courses are members and guests only. I imagine Doak and Fazio could design a crazy golf course and get it ranked looking at the list.
It isn't that hard. You apply.

There used to be a link on the Golf Digest website how to apply to become a rater.  I don't know if it is still up.  It was basically an email link.  I have submitted requests to begin the application process at least twice over the past few years.  No response whatsoever.  Based on my experience, it's rather difficult to become a rater.  I couldn't even get the process started.
If you meet the requirements then it really isn't now though (verifiable 5 index or less, ability to play and rate at least a dozen clubs per year). They doubled the number of panelists a couple of years ago.

https://www.golfdige...e-golden-ticket

Honestly though I'd tell you that it isn't very fun and if you take it seriously it ruins any round you're playing because it is a job. It isn't like it opens doors that most people that do it can't get into anyway either. I have more access to play places through people I know and the clubs I belong to than GD provides me. Oh and it costs money.  If those things appeal to you then you should be able to get in.

Yeah, that's the same email address I sent my requests to.  Radio silence.

It takes time.

I sent my first email December 2017, got a response and application April 2018 and was told the next selection was end of October 2018, No response so i followed up November and by the end of November they send out an email.

Just be patient with it.


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#21 raynorfan1

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Posted 04 January 2019 - 01:25 PM

The thing I find interesting (or, actually, boring) is how little volatility there is on the list, especially towards the top. Only two courses in the Top 50 moved more than 4 slots - and both were in the 40's (Castle Pines and Camargo). The entire top 50 is separated by 7.5 points...yet there's very little movement. Which points to an incredibly disciplined / structured evaluation process.

I think the drive towards consensus, especially around specific pecking order, is bad for the rankings (but maybe good for golf). The only interesting things are big moves (Essex), new entrants (MPCC), and big falls (Sahalee). I also think that Myopia Hunt's ranking has validated their approach towards raters in recent years.

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#22 johnnylongball

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Posted 04 January 2019 - 03:20 PM

View Postjohnnylongball, on 04 January 2019 - 12:18 PM, said:

View Postaz2au, on 04 January 2019 - 11:53 AM, said:

View Postjohnnylongball, on 04 January 2019 - 11:41 AM, said:

View Postaz2au, on 03 January 2019 - 07:26 PM, said:

View Postelwhippy, on 03 January 2019 - 05:04 PM, said:

Interesting reading as per usual but I would love to know how you get on the rating panel as so many of the courses are members and guests only. I imagine Doak and Fazio could design a crazy golf course and get it ranked looking at the list.
It isn't that hard. You apply.

There used to be a link on the Golf Digest website how to apply to become a rater.  I don't know if it is still up.  It was basically an email link.  I have submitted requests to begin the application process at least twice over the past few years.  No response whatsoever.  Based on my experience, it's rather difficult to become a rater.  I couldn't even get the process started.
If you meet the requirements then it really isn't now though (verifiable 5 index or less, ability to play and rate at least a dozen clubs per year). They doubled the number of panelists a couple of years ago.

https://www.golfdige...e-golden-ticket

Honestly though I'd tell you that it isn't very fun and if you take it seriously it ruins any round you're playing because it is a job. It isn't like it opens doors that most people that do it can't get into anyway either. I have more access to play places through people I know and the clubs I belong to than GD provides me. Oh and it costs money.  If those things appeal to you then you should be able to get in.

Yeah, that's the same email address I sent my requests to.  Radio silence.

It takes time.

I sent my first email December 2017, got a response and application April 2018 and was told the next selection was end of October 2018, No response so i followed up November and by the end of November they send out an email.

Just be patient with it.

I sent an email to them in August of 2017.  Do you think 17 months is enough patience?

Maybe I should pull an Andy Dufresne and send them a letter a week.

Edited by johnnylongball, 04 January 2019 - 03:25 PM.


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#23 thechief16

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Posted 04 January 2019 - 05:45 PM

Seeing Essex shoot up the list makes me so happy.  It's such a fun course.    The first "panelist comment" sums it up perfectly.  And that is just the front 9.  I think I've played 10 courses on that top 100 list and it is far and away my favorite.
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#24 Doc420

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Posted 04 January 2019 - 08:12 PM

So what list was Sweetens Cove rankd at 50 last year?

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#25 mci711

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Posted 04 January 2019 - 08:37 PM

View PostDoc420, on 04 January 2019 - 08:12 PM, said:

So what list was Sweetens Cove rankd at 50 last year?

Golfweek top 100 modern courses.. Cool place, but nowhere near anything in this top 100 in my opinion. It is a really nice place though, awesome 9 hole track. But the golf hipsters like Zac Blair and Fried Egg are trying to make it the "different" and cool thing in golf.


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#26 FairwayFred

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Posted 05 January 2019 - 12:30 PM

View PostDoc420, on 04 January 2019 - 08:12 PM, said:

So what list was Sweetens Cove rankd at 50 last year?

Digest doesn't include 9 hole courses in its Top 100 rankings so Sweetens Cove, Dunes Club etc are not eligible.
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#27 Mob

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Posted 05 January 2019 - 01:26 PM

Monterey Peninsula Country Club has 2 really good courses.  The Dunes course was redone a couple of years ago, so I am not surprised that it ended up on the list.  Initiation fee there is now up to $315,000.00

The remodel at Bel-Air isn't my favorite.  They were trying to "restore" the course to it's original design, which has been a recent fad amongst some of the older courses.  This one is so-so.  They removed a bunch of trees, then they took out most of the creeks and ponds on the front nine.  Instead, they put this mix of sand and grass which looks weird and is unplayable.  I loved the course before the remodel, and still like it a lot, but it is a step down in my eyes.
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#28 Roadking2003

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 08:14 AM

View Postmci711, on 03 January 2019 - 09:24 AM, said:

Surprised from what I have heard Mammoth Dunes is better than Sand Valley, from just about everyone that has played both.


Do you have a link?

I played both in August and SV is much better than MD.  MD is fun, but it wouldn't make my top 200.

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#29 Roadking2003

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 08:18 AM

View Postaz2au, on 04 January 2019 - 11:53 AM, said:

View Postjohnnylongball, on 04 January 2019 - 11:41 AM, said:

View Postaz2au, on 03 January 2019 - 07:26 PM, said:

View Postelwhippy, on 03 January 2019 - 05:04 PM, said:

Interesting reading as per usual but I would love to know how you get on the rating panel as so many of the courses are members and guests only. I imagine Doak and Fazio could design a crazy golf course and get it ranked looking at the list.
It isn't that hard. You apply.

There used to be a link on the Golf Digest website how to apply to become a rater.  I don't know if it is still up.  It was basically an email link.  I have submitted requests to begin the application process at least twice over the past few years.  No response whatsoever.  Based on my experience, it's rather difficult to become a rater.  I couldn't even get the process started.
If you meet the requirements then it really isn't now though (verifiable 5 index or less, ability to play and rate at least a dozen clubs per year). They doubled the number of panelists a couple of years ago.

Interesting.  So the list should be titled "Top 100 courses for low handicappers and screw 80% of all golfers".

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#30 raynorfan1

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 08:26 AM

View PostRoadking2003, on 06 January 2019 - 08:18 AM, said:

View Postaz2au, on 04 January 2019 - 11:53 AM, said:

View Postjohnnylongball, on 04 January 2019 - 11:41 AM, said:

View Postaz2au, on 03 January 2019 - 07:26 PM, said:

View Postelwhippy, on 03 January 2019 - 05:04 PM, said:

Interesting reading as per usual but I would love to know how you get on the rating panel as so many of the courses are members and guests only. I imagine Doak and Fazio could design a crazy golf course and get it ranked looking at the list.
It isn't that hard. You apply.

There used to be a link on the Golf Digest website how to apply to become a rater.  I don't know if it is still up.  It was basically an email link.  I have submitted requests to begin the application process at least twice over the past few years.  No response whatsoever.  Based on my experience, it's rather difficult to become a rater.  I couldn't even get the process started.
If you meet the requirements then it really isn't now though (verifiable 5 index or less, ability to play and rate at least a dozen clubs per year). They doubled the number of panelists a couple of years ago.

Interesting.  So the list should be titled "Top 100 courses for low handicappers and screw 80% of all golfers".

Iím not a 5 handicap, but I think itís a fair requirement in trying to build a pool of 2000+ raters. They need to have some proxy of general golf knowledge, and there probably isnít a better one than handicap.

Courses are also all rated from the back tees, by definition, and how difficult they are is a key metric; so having better golfers as raters is rational.

Edited by raynorfan1, 06 January 2019 - 08:28 AM.


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