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Review Rating Scale Change

17 May, 2019

Review Rating Scale Change

We’re not talking absolute balls in this short update. We’re discussing fractions. If you’ve already posted a review here at Top 100 Golf Courses, or are thinking about posting a review, read on.

When we launched the Top 100 Golf Courses website more than fifteen years ago, we went live with a golf ball rating symbol for review scores rather than using a more conventional star rating symbol. It seemed obvious to us back then that golf balls were more befitting to our platform than stars. We could have used other scoring methods, including numbers, but we decided it was definitely going to be balls and six was going to be the top number opposed to the usual five.

The shortfall of a 6-point rating system soon became obvious. We only list golf courses within the upper quartile of the world’s 34,000 or so courses, so most review ratings were squeezed into three or four rating scores. Quite rightly, very few courses we list are fairly rated 1-ball (Very Poor) or 2-ball (Poor).

Our new sliding scale now gives reviewers the chance to differentiate, for instance, between a Good, solid 4-ball course and one that just falls short of an Excellent, 5-ball rating – in this instance, a 4½ (Very Good) score fits the bill nicely.

Today, after too many years of deliberation, we launched a 10-point rating scale. No big deal you might think, but for starters we had to convert tens of thousands of reviews already posted using the 6-ball scale to the new 10-point scale.

We’ve kept 6 (six) balls as our maximum rating score, but we’ve inserted four fractional half-ball ratings in-between.

We don’t envisage too many Condor moments – perfection is overrated – but an occasional Albatross, a few Eagles and a bunch of Birdies is more than most of us can ever hope to achieve in a golfing lifetime.

New Rating Scale:

6 – Condor (Perfection) – Courses don't get any better than this, drop everything to play
5½ Albatross (Outstanding) – A brilliant World Top 100 course, worth a week away to play
5 – Eagle (Excellent) – A course that is the best in the region, worth flying in to play
4½ Eagle Lip Out (Very Good) – One of the best courses in the region, worth an overnight stop
4 – Birdie (Good) – A good course to seek out if in the area, worthy of a full day out
3½ Birdie Lip Out (Above Average) – A decent course that's worth playing if you're in town
3 – Par (Average) – An OK course with a couple of noteworthy holes and well maintained
2½ Par Lip Out (Mediocre) – A course that's uninspiring and/or with questionable maintenance
2 – Bogey (Poor) – A course that has no architectural interest and/or lacks proper maintenance
1 – Double Bogey (Very Poor) – Terrible design and/or course abandoned and reverting to Nature

Old Rating Scale:

1 – Double Bogey (Very Poor)
2 – Bogey (Poor)
3 – Par (Average)
4 – Birdie (Good)
5 – Eagle (Very Good)
6 – Albatross (Excellent)

Read more about Ranking & Rating and The ranking and rating conundrum


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