The relative merits of of golf courses is a discussion topic for golfers everywhere. Assessing the qualities of any course is based to some extent on subjective opinion, and compiling a list of the best will never be easy!
So full marks to Golf World for putting together their 2016 Top 100 courses in GB&I, and doing so with a methodology that effectively averages-out the subjectivity.
They have assembled a panel of 20 experienced golfers, with a range of abilities from high handicap to tournament professional. The panellists play as extensively as possible, and mark each course on a number of criteria. The criteria are design, setting, presentation, playability, memorability and consistency.
One might comment on the criteria, and the varied weighting that is given to those criteria, but that would be nit-picking a carefully thought-out and thorough process.
It is interesting that whatever the criteria, and whoever is applying their judgement to those criteria, the various top 100 surveys invariably come to similar conclusions, and the same courses consistently come out top.
Alwoodley, as Golf World notes, “seems now to be a fixture” in the top 40 of the best in Britain and Ireland.