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Top 100 Golf Courses of Britain & Ireland 2012

28 January, 2012

Top 100 Golf Courses of Britain & Ireland 2012

Our latest and much-anticipated Britain & Ireland Top 100 ranking list is unveiled

27th December 2010

We are pleased to announce our latest Britain & Ireland Top 100 rankings following thorough research and analysis of more than 500 British and Irish courses.

One hundred and seventy-five golf courses were on our shortlist for a position on our latest Britain & Ireland Top 100. At first glace the table will look very familiar and the reality is that there will be very few new Top 100 contenders in the current economic climate. Very few British or Irish courses have opened in the last couple of years and the position is unlikely to change in the short to medium term.

The good news is that many older clubs are embarking on renovation programmes, so clubs are not resting on their laurels and the golfing landscape is not standing still.

Some people will no doubt be fed up to see Royal County Down once again sitting at the head of our rankings. We make no apology for this because RCD is head and shoulders above any other British or Irish course. However we do have a great deal of change in the Top 20… in fact, no fewer than seventeen courses in the Top 20 have moved position. Sunningdale (New) is the most significant upward mover in the Top 20 and Royal Birkdale the biggest faller.

Those with eagle eyes will wonder how 49% of the courses in the hundred can move up while only 30% go down. I don’t know the answer, so please don’t ask me why as I surprised myself with that particular statistic.

Welsh courses have fared well. Aberdovey up ten, Royal St David’s up eight, Royal Porthcawl up four and Pennard up 2. The Twenty Ten course at Celtic Manor makes its first appearance in our rankings making a total of five courses from the Principality. Northern Ireland has its two heavyweights at Newcastle and Portrush, which are ably supported by Portstewart (Strand) and Lough Erne.

There’s mixed fortunes for the Republic of Ireland with nine courses going down the table and only three moving up. However, the Island, Druids Glen and Donegal reappear in our hundred this year to the detriment of Portmarnock Hotel Links.

In percentage terms, there’s more upward than downward movement from English courses and there’s a return to the Top 100 for the Addington and Woburn (Duke’s), while New Zealand and Broadstone make their debuts in our Britain & Ireland rankings.

Scottish courses continue to dominate the very top of the ranking table and while the Old course and Royal Dornoch make positive upward moves, the Ailsa course at Turnberry slips down. The pretty Queen’s course at Gleneagles makes a deserved return to the hundred while the Duke’s St Andrews makes its first ever appearance in our Britain & Ireland hundred.

We always welcome feedback, so please feel free to let us know what you think of our latest Britain & Ireland Top 100. We don’t claim to be “definitive” but we do like to think that we’re the most “informed” and considered golf course rankings in the business. If you’ve played any of our featured courses, we’d love to know what you think, so why not post a course review?

Keith Baxter

Pos Course Country Move
1 Royal County Down (Championship) NIR No change
2 St Andrews (Old) SCO Up 3
3 Muirfield SCO Up 1
4 Royal Dornoch (Championship) SCO Up 4
5 Royal Portrush (Dunluce) NIR Up 1
6 Turnberry (Ailsa) SCO Down 4
7 Ballybunion (Old) ROI Up 3
8 Royal St George's ENG Up 3
9 Royal Birkdale ENG Down 6
10 Sunningdale (Old) ENG Up 2
11 Carnoustie (Championship) SCO Down 2
12 Kingsbarns SCO Down 5
13 Woodhall Spa (Hotchkin) ENG Up 2
14 Lahinch (Old) ROI Up 4
15 Royal Lytham & St Annes ENG Down 1
16 Portmarnock (Old) ROI No change
17 Ganton ENG Up 5
18 Sunningdale (New) ENG Up 9
19 Waterville ROI No change
20 Royal Troon (Old) SCO Up 1
21 Loch Lomond SCO Down 8
22 European Club ROI Down 5
23 North Berwick (West) SCO No change
24 Royal Porthcawl WAL Up 4
25 Royal Aberdeen (Balgownie) SCO Down 1
26 Walton Heath (Old) ENG No change
27 Swinley Forest ENG Up 19
28 Royal Liverpool ENG Down 8
29 Cruden Bay SCO Up 2
30 Castle Stuart SCO Up 11
31 Saunton (East) ENG Down 1
32 Wentworth (West) ENG Down 3
33 Royal West Norfolk ENG Up 1
34 Nairn (Championship) SCO Down 1
35 St George's Hill (Red & Blue) ENG No change
36 Gleneagles (King's) SCO Up 2
37 Western Gailes SCO Up 2
38 Notts ENG Up 2
39 Machrihanish (Championship) SCO Down 14
40 Prestwick SCO Up 3
41 St Enodoc (Church) ENG Up 3
42 County Sligo (Championship) ROI Up 6
43 Burnham & Berrow (Championship) ENG Up 2
44 Royal Cinque Ports ENG Up 3
45 Tralee ROI Down 8
46 Royal St David's WAL Up 8
47 Formby ENG Down 15
48 County Louth ROI Down 12
49 Rye (Old) ENG Up 6
50 Hillside ENG Up 10
51 Ballyliffin (Glashedy) ROI No change
52 Alwoodley ENG Up 9
53 Rosapenna (Sandy Hills) ROI No change
54 Silloth-on-Solway ENG Up 3
55 West Sussex ENG Up 4
56 Berkshire (Red) ENG Up 6
57 Queenwood ENG Up 11
58 St Andrews (Castle) SCO Up 6
59 Hunstanton ENG Up 8
60 Enniscrone (Dunes) ROI Down 11
61 Doonbeg ROI Down 19
62 Gullane (No.1) SCO Up 1
63 Walton Heath (New) ENG Up 17
64 Island ROI NEW
65 Carne ROI Down 9
66 Blairgowrie (Rosemount) SCO Up 5
67 Aberdovey WAL Up 10
68 Dundonald SCO Up 1
69 Berkshire (Blue) ENG Up 6
70 Pennard WAL Up 2
71 Addington ENG NEW
72 St Andrews (New) SCO Down 7
73 Machrie SCO Up 5
74 Trevose (Championship) ENG No change
75 Belfry (Brabazon) ENG Up 9
76 Adare ROI Down 24
77 Worplesdon ENG Up 5
78 Mount Juliet ROI Down 28
79 Druids Glen ROI NEW
80 Old Head ROI Down 22
81 Portstewart (Strand) NIR No change
82 Hankley Common ENG Down 12
83 Woburn (Marquess) ENG Up 3
84 Chart Hills ENG Down 5
85 Machrihanish Dunes SCO Up 8
86 West Hill ENG Up 9
87 Woking ENG Down 2
88 Gleneagles (Queen's) SCO NEW
89 Little Aston ENG Up 10
90 Celtic Manor (Twenty Ten) WAL NEW
91 Lindrick ENG Down 1
92 Panmure SCO Down 16
93 Wentworth (East) ENG Down 5
94 Woburn (Duke's) ENG NEW
95 Bearwood Lakes ENG Up 3
96 Duke's St Andrews SCO NEW
97 Lough Erne NIR Down 10
98 Donegal ROI NEW
99 New Zealand ENG NEW
100 Broadstone ENG NEW

To explore in detail our new 2012 Britain & Ireland Top 100 click here:

For those interested, the ten courses that made way for the new are: Moortown, The Grove, Castlerock (Mussenden), Portmarnock Hotel Links, Sherwood Forest, Royal North Devon, Liphook, St Mellion (Nicklaus), Southport & Ainsdale, Montrose (Medal).


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